Checkers is one of the most popular and oldest board games in the world. It is played all over the world and has been enjoyed by millions of people for centuries. In this article, we aim to present you with a complete guide to the game of checkers, including its history, the different variants and curious facts that may be useful for lovers of this game.
History of the game of checkers
The game of checkers has a long and rich history dating back to ancient Rome. The Romans played a game called ludus latrunculorum, which means “soldiers’ game” in Latin. The game was played on an 8×8 board, and the pieces represented men and women: soldiers and their wives.
Over time, the game was adapted and evolved in different parts of the world. In the Middle Ages, the game became popular in Europe and the pieces changed until it became the game we know as checkers today.
The basic rules of checkers
Checkers is played on an 8×8 board and each player starts with 12 pieces, which are placed on the dark squares in the three rows closest to each player. The object of the game is to capture all of the opponent’s pieces or block them from moving.
Each player moves one piece at a time, diagonally, on a single free space. If an opponent’s piece is diagonally adjacent to a piece of one’s own and there is a free space behind the opponent’s piece, the player can jump over the opponent’s piece and capture it. If more captures are possible, the player can choose to make them.
Checkers, which are obtained by reaching the other end of the opponent’s board, have a special move and can move diagonally in any direction, instead of only in one direction.
The game of checkers has many variants all over the world. Here are some of the most popular variations:
Spanish checkers is played on an 8×8 board and each player starts with 12 pieces. The difference between Spanish checkers and traditional checkers is that the pieces can only move forward, not diagonally in both directions. Also, when a piece reaches the other end of the board, it becomes a king and can move in either direction.
Brazilian checkers is played on an 8×8 board and each player starts with 12 pieces. The difference between Brazilian checkers and traditional checkers is that the pieces can only capture forwards, not backwards. Also, when a piece reaches the other end of the board, it becomes a checker and can move diagonally in any direction.
International checkers is played on a 10x 10 board and each player starts with 20 pieces. The rules are similar to traditional checkers, but pieces can move forward and backward diagonally, and multiple captures are mandatory if available.
Russian checkers is played on an 8×8 board and each player starts with 12 pieces. The difference between Russian checkers and traditional checkers is that the pieces can only move forward, not diagonally in both directions. In addition, pieces can capture backwards and multiple captures are mandatory if available.
Curious facts about checkers
- In checkers, the player who starts always has an advantage, as they can move first and control the pace of the game.
- In 1847 the English checkers championship was played on a 10×10 board instead of the traditional 8×8 board.
- In 1952 Marion Tinsley, a mathematician at Ohio University, won the U.S. National Checkers Championship and became the youngest player to win the championship.
- In 1994 the computer program Chinook became the first computer program to win a checkers tournament by winning the International Checkers Association World Checkers Championship.
- Checkers is one of the most studied and analysed games in game theory, and many strategies and tactics have been developed for expert level play.
In conclusion, checkers is one of the most played and oldest board games in the world, with a rich history and many different variations. Whether you are playing traditional checkers or one of the variants, it is a game that challenges the mind and provides hours of entertainment. We hope you found this complete guide to checkers useful and that you enjoy playing it.