hist-games: Checkers, Chess, and Chinese Checkers

Ed Hopkins Ed.Hopkins at mci.com
Wed Oct 29 11:37:00 PST 1997


> >   CHECKERS or DRAUGHTS
> >   Brought back from the Crusades as a variant of Al-Querques
> 
> How about that:
> Checkers developed in France or Spain of around 1100 when the
> Moorish game of Alquerque - a game without the "king" and with a
> board of its own - was transferred to the chess-board and
> augmented with the "kings". This idea was taken from medieval/
> Muslim chess, where the "Vizier" - now the queen - moved like a
> "king" in checkers.

Certainly the Middle English name for the came ("Ferses"), and
the European names for it (variants of the word "Dames") come
from the similarity of the moves, but I have not seen any evidence
that the very idea of kinging comes from chess.

[...]

> Instead of:
> >   Modern chess is late-period, but is close to versions known 
> >   throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Probably originated 
> >   in India before 1000AD, and spread everywhere from there. ...
> 
> Chess probably originated in India in the 6th or 7th c. AD, and spread 
> everywhere from there. It reached Europe in the 10th c. The modern variant 
> of chess evolved in the 16 c.  ...

I like this idea.

[...]
> I think the new version of Halma was called "Chinese" to add some exotic 
> flavour to the game.
> Who ever has done this, underestimated the intricate merits of the 
> star-shaped board with its triangular geometry and it pleasing form.

I'm not sure what you mean here.

-- Ed Hopkins
Cary, North Carolina
USA


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