John Moore wrote:Nezhmetdinov used to be described as the only player to become an "official master", however you take that, at both chess and draughts. Tim Krabbe certainly says that in Chess Curiosities published in 1985 and I have seen it elsewhere - I wonder if that is still true.
Draughts, or checkers as the Americans will have it, always seemed to me to be a somewhat tedious game but that was probably because when I first started playing chess seriously sometime way back in the last century, the Chess club president, who was not very good at chess, liked to prove he was a better draughts player than me - and he didn't find that too difficult.
The author [or translator?] of "Super Nezh" uses the American term "checkers" both in the text and in the list of prizes Nezhmetdinov won at draughts, but I suspect this is a mistake. As I understand it (maybe I am wrong?) the term "checkers" should only be applied to the 64-square game in which the ordinary men cannot capture backwards, i.e. the version of draughts mostly played in the British Isles.
It would be interesting to have a Russian source with examples of Nezh's draughts play as I suspect it's more likely he played the 100-square game (Polish Draughts also known as Dammen in the Netherlands), which is more interesting than the version of the game most people here are familiar with. Maybe there are examples somewhere in Shakmaty v SSSR which used to have draughts articles I think?
There is also a 64-square version in which the ordinary men can capture backwards, and I believe Spassky's sister was an expert at that. Unfortunately I don't have a reference but as I recall some western interviewer asked him a question along the lines that he had heard she was a draughts master, but Spassky replied that she didn't play the really difficult (i.e. 100-square) form of the game.