Pool Checkers Champion Vladimir Kaplan Vladimir Kaplan
One of the best pool checkers champions, Vladimir Kaplan from 1925 to 2000. International Grandmaster who immigrated from Russia in 1977 to live in New York City, New York.
Pool Checkers Champion Vladimir Kaplan was a renown Pool Checkers player from the Soviet Union who had reportedly played over 178 International competitive games with only one loss during his checkers career but he had some issues in the International checkers arena as a result of his Jewish background, though specifics were never stated.
To support his ‘checkers habit’, his wife worked as an accountant on Wall Street.
Checkers Champion Vladimir Kaplan became involved in American Pool Checkers shortly after arriving in the U.S. and won the APCA Tournament that was held in July of that year in Atlanta, Georgia.
Champion Kaplan repeated this victory in the Pool Checkers tournaments in 1978 and 1979 in a series of skilled games at the checkerboard and for the duration of his short reign on the American Pool Checkers scene Kaplan did not lose a game.
Pool checkers champion Vladimir Kaplan challenged such opponents as Carl Smith, Elton Williams, and Momodou Faal, but then he retired from the checkers scene as a player.
Perhaps his felt his contribution to the realm of Pool Checkers could better be served as a writer and coach because he taught theory and tactics in the homes of many APCA checkers players.
After his Championship win 1979, Kaplan retired but returned to Chicago numerous times to play exhibition games with ‘Buster’, as they had become really good friends in a short period of time.
There were numerous times when Vladimir Kaplan visited Chicago that he would play checkers with enthusiasts on street corners, in parks, on the sidewalk, or wherever a checkers game was in progress; when he played these ‘street competitions’, there was seldom a time when he would lose a game.
Charles ‘Pecan’ Thompson also got to know the Russian Grandmaster well and noted that if champion Kaplan did lose a checkers game, then it become ‘front page’ news around the Pool Checkers.
Throughout the course of a twenty year span pool chekers champion Kaplan only recorded rare losses: "Ohio, the Great Mule" defeated Vladimir in one game.
Moses "Preacher" John won a game; and finally I won one.
After many losses, Charles ‘Pecan’ Thompson finally had a victory over Vladimir Kaplan. Champion Vladimir Kaplan’s greatest contribution to the world of Pool Checkers was his books and miscellaneous writings that revolutionized the checkers game.
He published the following books and several pamphlets/booklets that became good reference material for checkers players across the country: The Key to a Success at American Checkers: Master the Middle of the Game. Strive to Be Superior at American Checkers Play Checkers and Win American Checkers the Middle of the Game. The Art of American Pool Checkers. The Tactics of American Pool Checkers. Play Checkers and Win. Tournament Checkers: An Introduction to Pool Checkers. Though checkers champion Vladimir Kaplan had retired from active tournament play, he continued to attend the National checkers tournaments, largely to sell his books, but at any time he was willing to impart his knowledge and expertise should a given problem arise, and according to sources in the Pool Checkers arena, Vladimir Kaplan was one of the most accessible players of his time.
Even when his health was failing, he was still willing to be a mentor to any player who was trying to improve the checkers game.
Vladimir Kaplan died in 2000 in the beginning of his winter years and the Pool Checkers arena lost a remarkable man, a great checkers Grandmaster, and a friend to many novice and master checkerists.
what i liked personally as i met him in atlanta he had a sharing spirit and he really wanted to see you get better. he had a great personality and was thoughtful as well. i remember playing in the blue ribbon that year and he repeatedly kept saying ive never seen a score card like this. it was funny but he was very encouraging to me and many others. roughneck