History of checkers: stages of development of the game, popularization in Russia

History of checkers

In the article “History of checkers” we will tell a brief history of the origin and development of the logical game in the world and Russia. You will learn the features of the game and interesting facts.

#HistoryOfCheckers #Checkers #Draughts #HistoryOfSports

Probably, it can be unmistakably assumed that every person on our planet at least once in his life did two things: played soccer and played checkers. Checkers is a very widespread game, in different countries it is called in its own way, the rules are different, but the game itself exists and thrives all over the globe.

Arab men play checkers
Arab men play checkers

Checkers is a very ancient and very mysterious game. About the history of the origin of this game we know a little. When and where did the game of checkers appear? In order to answer this question, historians, first of all, turned to ancient Egypt, where thousands of years before our era formed a highly developed culture.

During excavations of pyramids scientists found all kinds of sets for unknown games. It is believed that one of the games invented and honored in ancient Egypt was checkers. To determine whether this game was the predecessor of modern a checkers or chess is very simple.

These games have a distinctive feature, if in chess each player’s army consists of different pieces, then in checkers all units are the same. So it was established that in Egypt all the same played in checkers, and the game entered the mythology of the ancients.

The creation of checkers is also attributed to the Egyptian god of wisdom Thoth. Having invented the game, Thoth offered to play it to the goddess of the moon, and won 5 days, which is how the year became 365 days. But all these are, of course, beautiful stories.


And yet, at excavations of each ancient civilization scientists found boards drawn with squares, and some special pieces were obviously designed to play on these fields. So, everyone played checkers, by different rules, with different names. Some names, like the Roman Latrunculi, have survived, some have been lost in the darkness of the ages.

In our country, this game had two names: Tavlei, translated from the ancient Greek “playing board”, the game was called by the nobles, and the peasants – checkers, they played it with checkers, i.e. bars of a transversely cut log.

Mankind was originally drawn to such logical games, games designed to reveal the mastery not of physical strength but of the mind. These games were considered elitist and were even included in the compulsory curriculum of various monarchs or schools of military commanders.

Nowadays, a checkers is a real sport with its own international federation and regular tournaments of all levels.

What does the checkers world look like? To begin with, it should be said that it is very diverse, because the famous game is called – Russian a checkers. And if there are Russian a checkers, then there are also French, Spanish, German and some others?

– Absolutely, and this is the second main difference between a checkers and chess. If chess is played all over the world according to the same rules (the game invented in India was taken as a basis), it was not so with a checkers.

International Draughts
International Draughts

Each nation created its own version of the ancient game, i.e. all took the field and pieces as a basis, but the rules were modified. In Russian a checkers ladies can go and hit far, in English a checkers ladies go only one square, and simple can not be back. In Armenian or Turkish a checkers, the simple ones do not go diagonally, but vertically, like chess pawns.

This is how a checkers developed, each in its own country, and would not have been able to become a world game, if in 1723 in France did not happen an amazing event. In that year a new type of checkers appeared – checkers on a large 100-cell board. The name of the author of the new version of the game is unfortunately lost. It is only known that it was a Polish draughtsman who lived in Paris.

This innovation greatly enriched the game, checkers immediately became more popular, because it all had to learn to play from scratch and the same rules, because no one wanted to recognize the advantage of other people’s checkers. This is how international 100-cell draughts appeared, and later the International Checkers Federation was formed, which began to organize the largest competitions.

Iser Kuperman
Iser Kuperman

Thus, two types of checkers are developing in all countries: own national game and international 100-cell draughts. In our country, checkers have always been at the highest level. The national Championship has always gathered outstanding masters who know their favorite game thoroughly.

It was only a matter of time before our draughts players entered the international arena. In the 30s of the last century, international draughts began to be played in the Soviet Union. And already in 1958, the Soviet draughtsman Iser Kuperman became the world champion.

If at the beginning of the 20th century two powers, France and the Netherlands, were fighting for the draughts crown, then since the middle of the twentieth century, the USSR has also been involved in this struggle. For 60 years, the draughts crown has spent only 11 years outside of Russia.

And today checkers are very popular in Russia. They are played by both big and small, and even fairy-tale characters and animals from cartoons can play checkers. So checkers in our country has a rich and successful history, and we wish you to become a part of it!

Brief history of checkers

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