Excerpted from our Checkers Games booklet.
The exact origin and date for checkers is disputed, but today it is generally believed that it dates as early as 1000 A.D., and that it is at least as old as Chess. An early description of checkers was published in Valencia, Spain in 1547 by Antonio Torquemada. Originally the capture of pieces was optional, but in the 1500's capturing pieces was made mandatory under some versions of the rules. Any piece which neglected to make a capture could be "huffed," or removed from the board by the opponent. Instruction to the Game of Draughts, was the first English work written on the game by William Prynne in 1756.
In less politically correct days Checkers was sometimes referred to as "Chess for Ladies." This deprecation of the game has continued in several languages: French, jeu des dames; German Damenspiel; Italian, il giuco delle dame; Portuguese, o jago das damas; and in Persia and Turkey: Daama. "English" checkers is most common variation played in America and throughout the English-speaking world, and was standardized by about 1800. In our rule booklet have included no less than fourteen variants of checkers, and other games which can be played on a checkerboard.
This information is provided as a service, feel free to use it for educational purposes.
However, reprinting it for commercial purposes without prior authorization is a violation of the "fair use" principals of U.S. Copyright laws.
We are happy to recommend sources for additional reading. E-mail us