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World Checkers Federation Philosophy
In 2004, the Czech Union of Draughts (CUD) was the latest federation to join the WCDF.
At that time, the World Checkers and Draughts Federation consisted of the American
Checker Federation (ACF), the Canadian Checkers Association (CCA), the English Draughts
Association (EDA), the Scottish Draughts Association (SDA), the German Draughts
Association (GDA), the Northwest Draughts Association of Northwest Ireland (NWDA), the
Northern Federation of Draughts of Northern Ireland, the Cymdeithas Draughts
Association of Wales, the Barbados Draughts Association, and the International Checker
Hall of Fame (ICHF).
Checkers Philosophy from AssociationsIn 1896, the Scottish Draughts Association was the world's first draughts association to make philosophy part of the game.
It is truly as stated by the American Checker Federation ~ “Checkers: The Mind Sport of Kings and Ordinary Men”.
Throughout the centuries, Scotland has produced many of the world’s finest players, including James Wyllie, nicknamed ‘The Herd Laddie. 150 years later, some of his innovative philosophy play still holds true today without correction or improvement.
Wyllie is also accredited with taking the game to the United States, where the love for the game has grown tremendously over the years.
Scotland is also renowned for most of the opening moves of the '2 move' era and earlier as these originated and were developed by intensive play and analysis by players from the cities and smaller communities. Numerous cities such as Glasgow, Dundee, Paisley, Edinburgh, Kelso, Fife and Denny have strategic formations named after them as a result of this early innovative checkers play.
The Scottish Draughts Association prides itself on the continuous of the checkers/draughts game and is striving to encourage greater membership into the sport on the basis that it is a challenging game for all people.
During the same time period in 1896, the game of Draughts/Checkers officially began in New Zealand, when the first National Championship was held at Wanganui. The winner was J. Boreham, who, like all the leading players of those early days, had learned philosophy on how to play the game overseas.
Following this tournament, New Zealanders became increasingly more interested in the game of checkers. Clubs were formed and tournaments were held regularly in different parts of the country. All main centers had Draughts Clubs. It didn't take long for the New Zealand Draughts Association to be created.
For several years, new immigrants won the championship titles. Most of the leading players came from Otago, and so the National Executive was formed there. The tournaments were run on a "2-move" restriction, which has now become the "3-move" restriction play.
The same sport philosophy holds true in New Zealand. It is important to uphold the integrity of a Checkers/Draughts game or tournament, but it is equally important to encourage everyone to try his or her hand at this wonderful game that is so underrated in comparison to the many varied physical sports played in the world today. New Zealand is also endeavoring to develop a stronger foothold of this unique mind sport and hopes that the Checkers/Draughts enthusiasm will continue to develop throughout this century.
Another checkers association that was founded in the 19th century is the English Draughts Association. Its roots run deep and its game is played with commitment and regularity in many clubs across the country. Since 1897, this draughts association has faithfully promoted the game by sending players around the world to various championships and tournaments and has a proud history of many fine players.
According to its website, the Danish Draughts Federation has two goals: firstly, to promote the game of Draughts/Checkers in Danmark and, secondly, to hold tournaments and nominate Danish players to world championship qualifying events. Though a small country in the European circle, Danmark has a big heart for checkers and draughts and a desire to expand the philosophy of this sport.
The NorthWest Draughts Federation is a federation of draughts clubs and individual players across the north west of Ireland. Formed in 1998, the NWDF aims to organize, promote and co-ordinate draughts’ activities in the northwestern region of Ireland by bringing the individual players and clubs together in a mutual supportive environment, involving inter-club, inter-county and cross border activities.
Here again, the commitment to the checkers and draughts mind sport is evident. There is no limitation to how far the game can go or to the ‘who’ of the players. What counts is taking a moment or two from a busy schedule and playing a round amongst friends or challengers in a local club or as a representative of an association or federation. Whether on the local front or the international circuit, the spirit of a game of draughts or checkers is the driving force behind the minds of many competitors.
Although checkers has been part of Canadian history under the auspices of the Association québécoise des joueurs de dames since around 1856, Canadian checkers or more accurately, Le Jeu de Dames Canadien, was mainly played in Quebec during the early years of the game’s invention. However, since the popularity of American checkers has grown tremendously over the years, the traditional game of checkers has also gained impetus in Canada as seen by new players and challengers for the championship title.
The Canadian Checkers Association is affiliated with the largest checkers association in the world, namely the American Checker Federation and the CCA made the following comment on the ACF site regarding a new Canadian Checkers Association: “Nothing of value comes without hard work or effort. For the past several months, much work has been put into creating the environment for a viable Canadian checker organization.”
The clear evidence of the commitment to Checkers and its growth is seen in the historical account and statement by the North Carolina Checker Association, as taken from its website:
North Carolina Checkers as a game has been around as far back as the first settlers who brought the game with them. Various communities and townships organized their own local checker "get-to-gathers/checker parties" and were later called checker groups, associations and today called checker clubs. These group leaders were responsible for organizing and promoting the State's earliest tournaments, matches and playing events, thus we have recorded matches between top North Carolina Checker Contenders as far back as the late 1800s…
It is obvious Harry Anderson was referring to the records of NCCA, which were established in 1918. The American Tourney (AT) printed as journals go further back and these were sponsored and published by the early National checker groups like the American Checker association (ACA) officially formed in 1906. It later joined together with the National Checker Association (NCA) on Sept 1st, 1947 and this merger formed the present ACF. Officially the ACF was formed the following year by changing its name to the American Checker Federation, which was chosen by full vote on May 1st, 1948.
We might not be as popular or famous as the PGA, ACC, NCAA or NASCAR, but we sure been around long. The same things about checkers that fascinated and entertained our forefathers still exist today. The grand old game is a hobby, a mind sport, so simple a child can play and yet no one has mastered it. The game is void of gambling, luck or cheating which makes it a wholesome family pastime for friendly competition with little or no cost. Shoot, I can remember Grandpa making his board and sawing a broom handle into checkers, then smutting the dark ones from the fireplace. Now, I would say that's being thrifty, frugal and creative.
Over time different sections of the State produced strong checker groups from close net communities and townships. Often this would be a regular group of players who met on rainy days, weekends and their regular hang out day at the local feed mill, grocery, gas station, barber shop, hardware store or courthouse. It was common to see checkers played during break time and lunch among railroaders, fireman, farmers and factory workers. These players organized and formed clubs and associations. The Winston Salem YMCA. Chess & Checker Association is a fine example.
They boasted a 300+ membership in their hay day back in the mid 50's. They had strong master players like Ed Scheidt, Gene Self, Harry Anderson and a number of others who raised the playing bar and helped bring many other checker players along, improving their knowledge and skill. It was that organization that sponsored the July 4th, 1952 State Championship Checker Classic and published the above booklet.
There were six such club groups in the 50-70's (Eastern NC Checkers, Sanford Checker Club, NC Checker Association, Sanford, Coastal, Piedmont, (Winston YMCA) & Mountain) with separate and independent leadership. I recall older checker players talking about the numerous one day tournaments were held all over the state.
Although the North Carolina Checker Association was established in 1918, several dedicated and serious checker players representing the leadership of the various group/clubs recognized a need to reorganize NC Checkers to better promote checkers, improve tournament participation, and financially support checkers in North Carolina.
The key individuals were Clinton Pickard, Cecil Lowe, Raleigh Johnson, John Webster, Elbert Lowder and BT Jones who recognized the need to combine, update and centralize. They discussed the areas that needed to be addressed and who could best oversee that particular task of organizing checkers. By laws were updated by BT Jones, an attorney and the NCCA President.
North Carolina Checker Association is affiliated with The American Checker Federation (ACF) and the central governing body for checkers in the United States. We, as they, are dedicated to promoting the great game of "Checkers", although our emphasis is focused throughout North Carolina by sponsoring various checker events and tournaments. All our tournaments follow ACF regulations and guidelines on setup, conduct, play, scoring and reporting. Standardizing allows ACF to sanction our tournaments and the results are accepted for player membership ranking and rating. This permits players to advance in tournament class, qualify, compete in Nationals and challenge for USA and World Match Titles.
Although our core base of tournament checker players’ average age is 57, we accept our mature adults and senior citizens as a natural phenomenon of the checker game; however, we are currently striving to attract our youth. We have implemented several programs to encourage children and young people to play more checkers. We are working with Schools, Church Socials, YMCA, Recreation Facilities and the Boys & Girls Clubs. We sponsor and promote youth checker tournaments just for this age group. A "Juniors" division was added to the Masters, Majors and Minors just for this age group. What better way can we share this beautiful and intriguing game than help a young active mind development through thinking, problem solving and visual concentration? Our young people advance with enhanced mental skills and also hopefully acquire a love for the game of Checkers. We continue to think that our best opportunities lie in the Elementary and Middle Schools where Students who get involved in playing (and maybe even studying Checkers & Chess) will, by virtue of all the Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Strategy and Perseverance Skills that are developed by our great game, do better on their Math and Reading Comprehension Tests than they otherwise might, to the delight of their Educators and Parents.
NC Checkers continue to benefit from the foresight and effort of those individuals who founded our organization, improved it and set up permanent and perpetual funding. We indeed, inherit a proud and rich checker legacy.
As with the majority of the Checkers/Draughts associations and federations around the world, this mind sport is regarded as something more than a mere game for simple amusement. The level of championship tournament play is a clear indicator that as a sport, checkers and draughts, rank equally high on the playing field as any Olympic sport today.
The words depicted on a simple checkers logo state clearly that ‘CHECKERS IS A SCIENCE; A GAME OF LOGIC, REASON, AND UNDERSTANDING’.
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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.