Chess and checkers are the most popular board games for two in the world. People have been entertaining themselves with the help of these wonderful games for centuries and still don’t seem to lose interest in them. What is the key to such popularity? And which board game is better? We will try to find answers to these questions in this article. Read till the end, as the most interesting part always comes last.
Intricate Art of Chess
As we already mentioned, chess is a strategic board game for two. One player uses white pieces while the other one usually plays black pieces. The board is divided into 64 small black and white squares that are also called fields. At the start of the game, each player has 1 king, 1 queen, 2 rooks, 2 bishops, 2 knights, and 8 pawns. The goal of the game is to capture the opponent’s king. This move is also called checkmate, and it is an alteration of the Persian phrase “Shah Mat,” meaning literally, “the King is ambushed.”
According to the common theory, the game was invented approximately 1500 years ago in India. It is also interesting to note that it has changed only slightly since that time with the advent of the queen in the 15th century and some minor movement adjustments in the 1800s. Everything else remained exactly the same.
The first mention of chess in the United States of America dates back to 1641 and is associated with the city of Esther Singleton, where Dutch settlers lived at that time. And the first chess tournament in the USA took place in New York in 1857.
All About Checkers
Checkers is a board game for two players with special pieces (checkers, sometimes called draughts) on the board. The goal of the game is to destroy all the opponent’s checkers or make it impossible for them to move. There are various variants of the game, which come in different sizes of the playing board and the initial arrangement of checkers on it, different rules for the moves of checkers, etc.
We don’t have reliable information about the invention of checkers. However, according to one of the ancient Greek legends, checkers were invented by the god Hermes. And according to another version, this game was invented by a bored warrior during the siege of Troy, which lasted for about 10 years.
It is likely that various checker-type games were invented throughout the history of humanity many times and not interrelated, as this process was facilitated by the simplicity of the inventory and rules. It is believed that the currently known checker-type games represent different stages in the evolution of board games so that they are all in a certain sense related to each other, which is confirmed by the closeness of the inventory and the names of the games.
What Do They Have in Common?
Well, we will not name the obvious things, such as both of them are board games for two players, etc. Both games need logic and are played primarily using brain cells. You need to have precise thinking and learn to foresee and calculate the situation for several moves ahead.
Knowing how to play these games is a must for everyone. It is also a great method for kids to develop their brain in a fun way. Instead of doing some silly things, they will improve logical thinking and become smarter if they practice any of these two games enough. It is most likely that there are no better educational games in terms of intelligence. Unlike backgammon and many other board games, the element of luck is minimal in chess and checkers. Everything is decided only, as already written above, by the intellect. So, a definite advantage of both games is that they develop your mental abilities.
Even though these games seem quite similar, they actually have a lot of differences too. Naturally, they differ in rules, figures, etc. In terms of the level of difficulty, chess is much more difficult than checkers. While in checkers, the winner is the one who has destroyed all the opponent’s pieces, and the remaining ones have no possible ways for a move. There can be quite complex combinations in chess, but the goal is to checkmate the king. Sometimes you need to sacrifice other important figures to gain victory.
In chess, there is a strict hierarchy among the figures. They can only move according to certain rules. Also, in chess, career growth is possible for pieces. A pawn can be surrendered by a knight, a bishop, and even a queen; it is up to the player’s choice. In checkers, this is also possible, and an ordinary pawn can become a king.
Both chess and checkers are games that require severe strategic thinking and planning. To win in any game, each opponent should think ahead, look for opportunities and ways to outsmart the other player. To play checkers, players should think logically and strategically. Generally, checkers players are good problem solvers and have excellent critical thinking skills. Similarly, chess requires good critical thinking from players. As a rule, chess players are logical, patient, and have good abstract thinking and analytical skills.
Playing checkers takes a lot of patience. For this reason, children are not taught to play checkers (or chess, for that matter) until they reach a stage where they can practice a little patience. Chess games, like checkers games, can last for hours, and players usually need endurance.
Which One Is Better?
You may have come across some avid chess players online who take offense when checkers and chess are called alike. The point is that these two games are somewhat similar, but this does not diminish the value of either game. If you are looking for decent strategy games, then both chess and checkers are worth your time.