We're in between the business meeting and the start of Round 1, so I figured I'd grab a few minutes to update you all on the happenings so far. Most of our players have arrived, and last I heard we had 47 people registered to play-- 20 more than our last 3-Move Nationals. That meant standing room only for our business meeting, as the main playing room seats 48 and we had several checkers wives attend the meeting. As a special treat, eight representatives from the Fortman family attended as well: Richard's sister June Russell, his children Cindy (Ponder) and Mark, Cindy's husband Daryl and their kids Evan and Emily, and Mark's kids Noel and Neil. We're thrilled to have them visit the tournament, and they've been so kind as to cater a meal for us this evening. Cindy and Daryl have been very supportive all along, both with the tournament and with the BC reissue, and I'm glad they could join us.
At the meeting itself, the focus was on honoring Richard Fortman: I said a few words welcoming everyone to the tournament and thanking them for the support, Alex and Rich talked about the impact of Basic Checkers, and everyone gave the family a big hand for helping us out. Afterward, Rich and Kim went over the tournament rules and logistics for the week. We'll be using the main room for the majors and minors, and the masters will have a separate (quieter) room for their matches. Our rules are similar to those at previous tournaments, aside from a new rule banning electronic noisemakers from the tournament room, so everyone should be fairly comfortable. On another topic, Ray Shelly formally took charge of promotion and business networking for the ACF, sharing some of his ideas and exhorting us to help him improve the game. I don't need to tell you that marketing has been a weak point in the ACF for some time, so it's great to see Ray stepping up. He and I actually had a long conversation over dinner last night about promotion and ratings, so look for some updates soon.
Speaking of dinner, I'm starved-- time for a bite. Watch this space for Round 1 updates soon!