Chinese Checkers

History Of Chinese Checkers

The Chinese Checker is a board game which is very much older than one can think of. According to the scholars the Chinese board game developed from a similar pastime which dates back as far as 14000 B.C.E, which was known as Quirkat or Alquerque. This sort of game was played by the people of ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and India.

The game was played using two sets of round wedged pieces in different colours. The players used to play the game on a board with 5 by 5 grids. The game used two sets of pieces with ten pieces on each side, and the main intention was to capture the pieces of the opponent player.

Development of Modern Checkers

The next development of the modern Checkers game is thought have evolved from Southern France in 13th century. The rules of Alquerque game were fabricated and the game was now played on chess boards with 8 by 8 grids instead of the earlier 5 by 5 grids. The people of France called it Fierges, and the pieces were termed as Ferses, the matching name given to queen of chess.

The name given to the queen of chess was replaced in 15th century with the name of Jeu De Dames and more often abridged to Dames. In the 16th century, Dames was quite popular in France. In this time there came many variants of this game. One of the popular and recognise variant was the “forced capture” type, where the players were required to capture the opponents pieces instead of making other moves. This type of checker game was also popularly known as Jeu Force.

The game of Jeu Force was spread to England, which got its name as “Draughts”. The game was even popular in North America, and was called Checkers.

Modifications made to the Game

The game of Dames without the rule of “forced capture” was very popular pastime and called Le Jeu Plaisant De Dames or simply briefed to Plaisant. In the eighteenth century the game was modified with 10 by 10 grids and 20 pieces on either side. This version is played even today and is known as International Draught or Continental Draught. Tournaments of both the versions are held each year. Then first International Draught was held in the year 1847.

There is often misconception among people that Chinese Checkers originated from China, though the game has its origin in Germany. The game was recognised by many people only in the early 1900’s and got its name from people that familiarise the game with Checkers and to associate an Oriental flavour as marketing tactic.