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Checkers Game
Player John Drummond

(1806-1881)

Scotland has produced many fine, committed checker game players throughout history. John Drummond was another skilled checkers player and prolific checkers game author as well as a very interesting personage.

John Drummond was born on March 26, 1806, in Lawrieston near Falkirk, Scotland, and as many other checkers game players of his era, discovered the great board game early. It is likely that he would have spent his time in the same way his contemporaries did by playing numerous games with friends and gradually honing his technique and checkers game strategies with time.

Player John Drummond, a physically large and strong man, ran his own business in Denny as a master slater, which was the trade of a professional who covered roofs with slates. However, judging by his checker game, John Drummond would also spend time studying the board and analyzing moves with the same tenacity that his fellow checker masters showed in the mind sport. Checkers game player John Drummond was a celebrated author and his famous book, Scottish Draughts Player, contained countless innovations and new ideas in the openings of the game. John Drummond was honest and straight spoken and not afraid to speak his mind on many a subject.

Barker Woolhouse, a good friend from London, remembered Drummond fondly in an account printed by the Draughts World:

"In 1844, John Drummond was by me invited to visit London. Drummond accepted the invitation and stayed with me several weeks, and I had the supreme delight of meeting a man whose enthusiasm, industry, and patience were beyond description. Player John Drummond, his pockets were literally stuffed with manuscript games and improvements. I introduced him to my brother who became very friendly with Drummond, taking great interest in the second edition of the Scottish Draughts Player and wrote an article on the ‘move’, which appears therein. Later, having lost the second edition of Anderson, I wrote to Drummond to send me a copy. He could not obtain one, but with extreme kindness sent me his own copy, with improvements marked on every page."

As a checker player, John Drummond was amongst Scotland's strongest and finest, in an era that heralded the great masters, Andrew Anderson and James Wyllie. John Drummond may have been one of the best checker game players in his day.
Drummond played in seventeen checker matches against different opponents and he was successful in winning every one with a total of 146-47-0 games.
However, checkers wasn't the only challenge that he enjoyed, for Drummond was also something of a hustler in his day. John Drummond and his friend, John McKerrow of Douglas, often traveled incognito south to England to ‘relieve’ some of the English natives of their money in quick games. Not knowing the identity of either man, seemed to encourage English locals to participate willingly in whatever Drummond and McKerrow had going at the time. It wasn't so much that they were clever, but more that they were brash about their money-making schemes.

A local newspaper ran the following letter written by Coltherd of Newcastle:
"...Now, as regards names I think it only right to state how two persons named Story and Flockhart tried it on with the Newcastle players. In the first place these men had John Drummond, the author of the Scottish Draughts Player, under the name of John Malcolm, against Harper Coltherd for £10 a side, but he was suspected to be Drummond and had the piper to pay. They succeeded better in the next match in which McKerrow of Glasgow under the name J. Campbell of Hawick played the said Harper Coltherd. McKerrow proved victorious and Story had the impudence to say after the stakes were drawn - 'We have walked over them now!' I write this to put Englishmen on their guard against these aliases of McKerrow and Drummond."

Although checkers game player John Drummond did not gain the recognition and popularity of Anderson and Wyllie, he was none the less a talented checker player, and his legacy lies perhaps more in his checker study and game innovations discussed in his writing. He died in Denny on April 11, 1881 and was buried in the town cemetery, with a beautiful granite tombstone, which alludes to his draughts association throughout his life.








DeerLake Online Store Items

Wonder Mugs Play checkers online, and enjoy drinking from this cool wonder mug.
When adding hot liquid, the colors of the mug will change, checkers cool.

Checkers is a two-player game, where one player is assigned white-chip checkers and the other red. The aim is to play checkers online, capture all of the other player's checkers or make them impossible to move.

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