The man who never misses a beat on the chess board


Chess champ dominates at competition
Staff Writer

Monday, October 9, 2017

Chess pieces fell as hard and fast as the rain drops Sunday in Rocky Mount.

With a storm outside the Imperial Centre and a hurricane churning over his native New Orleans, chess champion Jude Acers played — and defeated — around 50 challengers at the same time during Checkmate Rocky Mount, an event sponsored by First Carolina Bank and Hotline Express.

“Thank all of you so much for coming out,” said Acers, U.S. World chessmaster and former Eastern North Carolina resident.

Before the games got underway, Mayor David Combs presented Acers with honorary city citizenship.

“We're very fortunate to have Jude in our city today,” Combs said.

Combs said he probably could not set up a board now, but he played chess a lot until he was about 15.

Acers, who never misses a beat on the chess board and off, said that was more than likely about the age Combs discovered girls.

Dressed in a suit and his signature red beret, Acers encouraged newcomers to the game and discussed moves with chess veterans. Challengers were encouraged to play to win. They tried.

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