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Past Alquerque
Checkers or Draughts

As trade broadened it's horizon, African, Greek and Roman culture spread its wings as well and one of the legacies that left its mark on Europe and the Middle East. Past alquerque, checkers or draughts came around the sixth century A.D. There was the ancient game of past Alquerque, the parent game to modern Checkers or Draughts.

As time passed, checkers games were played and soon the basic rules took on a new dimension. Before the eighth century A.D., another promotion rule was devised by an Arab checkers player because he thought that the king required greater freedom of movement and soon the long king came into being.

As the Arab people, the Moors, conquered the province of Spain, so did their culture capture Spanish hearts in the past alquerque game of checkers because the new Arab version was more lively and quick than Roman checkers with the short king. In a treatise on games commissioned by the king of Castile and Leon, Alfonso X and completed by 1283, court officials presented a list and description of all the board games played by the aristocracy and plebians of the area. Past Alquerque, chess and table games were the most fashionable and were richly detailed and illustrated, whereas the more so called simplistic game of Alquerque or Checkers/Draughts was quickly disposed of in a short careless sketch of the game rules. Luckily, however, a more thorough clerk also included a drawing of the current checkers game board with the opening position. This was still based on the ancient past Egyptian checkerboard.

This ancient game also gained popularity in Northern Europe and some time ca 1100 or perhaps a little later, the French began playing Alquerque or Checkers/Draughts on a chessboard instead of the ancient 5 x 5 point board, where the pieces moved in a nonsymmetrical pattern. They called the new game “Fierges” or “Ferses”, but later changed the name to “Jeu de Dames” or “Dames”. In this past alquerque game, players were not forced to take the opponent’s pieces when presented with the opportunity but a new challenge was created in the play on a checkered surface. Checkers Draughts game players from other countries also adopted this new custom, but English players soon chose the name Checkers because the game was played on a checkerboard.

In 1535, the character of the game changed yet again by a new innovation when the French incorporated another move into the play. This rule forced a checkers player to capture an opposing piece whenever possible and now another name emerged: Jeu Force. Capturing now became mandatory on the penalty of the huff. If a checkers player overlooked the capture, then the opponent took the piece off the board, brought it to his lips and blew. Now English Checkers/Draughts had a new rule: moving a piece from the board. Spanish players also adopted this play but extended it with multiple capture where multiple take precedes single take.

From then on, numerous variations began to develop within the game of Checkers/Draughts. In 1727, a faction of “Jeu Force” players broke away from the norm and began playing the game on a 10 x 10 checkered board, which later became known as Continental Draughts or Checkers. However, the game continued to be played on a 64 square board in England and was eventually renamed Draughts. When this game was brought to North America, it became the game of Checkers.

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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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