November 1 , 2004
20 Greatest American Pool Checkers Players
Of All Times
(Written by Charles ‘Pecan’ Thompson)
#4 - Ion Dosca
He was arrogant, self-assured, non communicative, and very, very good. In fact, Mr. Dosca seemed to be showing nothing but contempt for the Americans’ games-as he methodically disposed of one player after another in his 2000 debut. It was his only appearance at the APCA Tournament. Many of us had never heard of him when he was played in that tournament. Afterwards, because of my inquiry, our APCA president, Dr. Smith indicated to me, that he had personally invited Mr. Dosca to play in the tournament.
Playing a meticulously slow game, Mr. Dosca infuriated many players as he, at times, seemed to deliberately hold up play. I was told, he disapproved of playing without the clock. While I don't know this as fact, I did notice, in the game he won from me, he could have easily won it in a matter of minutes-once he got the advantage. But for some inexplicable reason, he refused to end my torture.
I will never know what his motivations were, but it did come off to me as, kind of, not being very tactful (having a keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense). Consequently, my second game draw with him was very satisfying. Be that as it may, it was apparent from the very beginning, he was awfully good. There was no denying it.
Playing in a field that was, in my opinion, perhaps the weakest in many years, Mr. Dosca simply destroyed this field. If my memory serves me correctly, I think Mr. Elton Williams was the only player in a field of 19 to draw him both games. His 104 points (he didn't have a loss) with his nearest rival having only 92 points, (an equivalence of about 6 games) might have been the biggest difference that has been recorded in APCA Tournament history. Since I finished 4th, in that tournament, I might be in as good a position as anyone to make that assessment.
I recall having a discussion with Grandmaster Vladimir Kaplan, who was an observer, about the extraordinary slow play that Mr. Dosca was engaged in. It was the opinion of the Grandmaster that the tournament needed clocks. And If I recall correctly, our own webmaster, Mr. Jake Kacher was also listening in on the discussion.
I, of course disagreed with Mr. Kaplan about the need for clocks. I pointed out to him, that in our tournaments, we were more about enjoying ourselves, and the move-as-you-please format fitted our needs just fine. And, in almost all cases, the time we used was quite reasonable. Consequently, we didn't need, nor did we appreciate anyone else trying to making that determination for us.
Additionally, I reminded him that he, himself, had played in three tournaments and even the Grandmaster Iser Kuperman played in seven-and also our own webmaster, Mr. Kacher, had played in several. And at no time did we use clocks. What, then, I retorted was his problem? The Grandmaster, simply turned and walked away-as if to say, "You've made your point."
All of that notwithstanding, there was no denying the fact that we had an extraordinary Pool Checkers player in our midst.
And so, as my #4 selection, I will offer the name of Ion Dosca.
#4. Ion Dosca - Moldova
#5. Al "Eastpoint" Barnett - Eastpoint, Georgia
#6. Calvin "Iron Claw" Monroe - Decatur, Georgia
#7. Momodou Faal - Gambia, Africa
#8. Elton "Little David" Williams - Flint, Michigan
#9. George "Lil George" Ramsey - Detroit, Michigan
#10. Freddie "The Hawk" Owens - Baltimore, Maryland
#11. Andrew Frazier - Nassau, Bahamas
#12. William "Bill" Langley - Detroit, Michigan
#13. Ollie "Shot Gun" Howard - Bronx, New York
#14. Victor "Vic" Krafft - Chicago, Illinois
#15. Charlie Brown - Baltimore, Maryland
#16. Moses "Headchopper" Lightfoot - Macon, Georgia
#17. Charles "Little Charles" McDuffie - St. Louis, Missouri
#18. Tony Rivers - Bronx, New York
#19. George Robinson - Toledo, Ohio
#20. Clyde "King Row" Black - New York, New York