hist-games: Checkers, Chess, and Chinese Checkers

Christian Joachim Hartmann lukian at Null.net
Thu Oct 30 04:40:19 PST 1997

At 14:37 29.10.97 -0500, Ed Hopkins wrote:
>> >   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.

All right, drop the king, but keep the bit on the "board of its own", because that is important. The translation of this Spanish/Moorish game to the well known chess-board - enabled by the recent "invention" of the chequered chess-board in the same area - provoked the spreading of the game of draughts/chequers to the rest of Europe.

>> 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.

This is just my  aesthetical evaluation of the star-shaped board. I prefer it to the original and it is sad that no one knows the author of this important improvement. But all this doesn't change the fact that the original game should be included in the FAQ-text first.

>-- Ed Hopkins
>Cary, North Carolina

**       Christian Joachim Hartmann 
**       lukian at Null.net
**       christian.hartmann at uni-duesseldorf.de

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