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History and Curiosities of Checkers

History and Curiosities of Checkers

The game of Checkers is one of the oldest and most popular 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 present you with a complete guide to the game, along with the history and curiosities of Checkers. We explain all the differences between the variations, which may be interesting for fans of this classic game.

History 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 “soldier’s game” in Latin. This game was played on an 8×8 board and the pieces were men and women, representing 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 to become the Checkers we know today.

As we said, we will talk about the history and curiosities of Checkers, therefore, here are some very interesting facts about this game.

Interesting facts about Checkers

  • In the game of Checkers, the player who starts always has an advantage, since he can move first and control the rhythm 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 US Checkers National Championship, becoming the youngest player to win the championship.
  • In 1994, the Chinook computer program became the first computer program to win a Checkers tournament, winning the International Checkers Association’s “World Checkers Championship”.
  • Checkers is one of the most studied and analyzed games in game theory, and many strategies and tactics have been developed to play it at an expert level.

Basic rules of Checkers

The traditional version of 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 so that they cannot move.

Each player moves one piece at a time, diagonally on a single free space. If an opponent’s piece is diagonally adjacent to one’s own piece and there is a free space behind the opponent’s piece, the player can jump over the opponent’s piece and capture it. If there are more captures possible, the player can choose which one to make.

Queens are attained when reaching the other end of the opponent’s board. Queens have a special move and can move diagonally in any direction, rather than just one direction.

Variations of Checkers

When discussing the history and curiosities of Checkers, we must also consider the different variations of the game.

Spanish Checkers

Spanish Checkers is an exciting variation of the game. It is played on a 64-square board. As in other variations, this one uses only the black squares on the board. Each player has 12 pieces at the start of the game. Players have to try to trap the opponent’s checkers and try to block them. Pieces can be moved diagonally to the right or left. You capture an opponent’s piece by jumping over it. Checkers that become Queens by reaching the end of the board, will be able to move multiple spaces at once.

Italian Checkers

Italian Checkers is a variation that is often played between Italy and North Africa. The board consists of 64 squares: 32 white and 32 black and is played with 24 pieces, half black and half white. In the Italian Checkers, you must capture whenever possible, whether you want to or not. The player who manages to eat all the opponent’s pieces wins, while a tie is given when none of the players can eat any of the opponent’s pieces.

International Checkers

In International Checkers, we play with a 10×10-square board, alternating black and white, in which only the 50 black squares will be used. Each player has 20 pieces, white for one player and black for the other. In this case, all moves and captures are carried out diagonally and the pieces can capture backwards. Queens are the key pieces of the game. A piece becomes a queen if it reaches the end of the board. Queens can move multiple squares in any direction, jump and eat multiple pieces, and choose where to stop.

Russian Checkers

In Russian Checkers, the usual rules apply: two players on opposite sides of the board with alternate turns. Player one has the white pieces and player two, the black ones. The main feature of the Russian version is that pieces can be eaten forwards and backwards.


1)      When was Checkers invented?

The game of Checkers has a very rich and long history. However, its roots seem to date back to Roman times, when a game called Ludus Latrunculorum, which means “soldiers’ game” in Latin, was played.

2)      Where can I play Checkers?

In our Torofun online gaming platform, you will find all the variations that are presented in this article. Clicking here you can enjoy the international, Spanish, Italian, and Russian variations.

3)      Why play Checkers?

The game of checkers is one of the oldest and most popular board games in the world, with many variations that have entertained players from all over the world for many years. It is a game that challenges the mind and allows you to have fun with other players.

4)      If I enjoyed playing Checkers, could I enjoy another similar game?

If you liked the game of Checkers and would like to have fun with other board games, you can enter the “Board Games” section of our Torofun online gaming platform.


In conclusion, after discussing the history and curiosities of Checkers, we can say that Checkers is one of the most popular and oldest board games in the world, with a rich history and many different variations. Whether you are playing the traditional checkers or one of its variations, it is a mind-challenging game that offers hours of entertainment. We hope that this complete guide to the game of Checkers has been useful to you and that you have fun playing.