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"I hereby take occasion to assert that the highest powers of the human intellect are more decidedly and more tasked by the unostenratious game of Draughts, than by all the elaborate frivolity of Chess. In the latter, where the pieces have different and bizarre motions, with various and variable values, what is only complex is mistaken (a not unusual error) for what is profound."-"Murders of the Rue Morgue."


Checkers (or Draughts) charmed the minds of some of our greatest American statesmen. Benjamin Franklin has this to say about the game.
"For life is a kind of Draughts, in which we have points to gain and competitors or adversaries to contend with: and in which there is a vast variety of good and evil events that are in some degree, the effects of prudence, or want of it.
"By playing at Draughts then we learn (1) foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action: (2) circumspection, which surveys the whole scene of action, and (3) caution-the habit of not making our moves to hastily. "Lastly, we learn by Draughts not to be discouraged by present appearances in the state of our affairs, but to persevere in hoping for a favorable change, and in searching for resources. "The game is full of events, there is such a variety of turns in it, fortune of it is so subject to sudden vicissitudes, and one so frequently discovers, after long contemplation, the means of extracting oneself from a supposed insurmountable difficulty, that one is encouraged to continue the contest to the last, in hope of victory by our own skill, or a least of making a draw through the negligence of the adversary." -Published in the "Draught Board Magazine"-1870.

Many famous men and men of the learned professions, have been fond of the game of Checkers. (Draughts) It was introduced into Europe, from Egypt, at the beginning of the 16th century.
From monumental inscriptions, it appears that the game was familiar to the Egyptians as early as 200 B.C. Its antiquity is attested to by Homer in the Odyssey, where reference is made to games in the palace of Ulysses in Ithica, and by Plato, who in his dialogues made frequent mention of it by way of illustrations.

"An invention: and in this epoch of intellectual culture, the mind of Man has conceived no pastime approaching it for happy conjunction of beauteous simplicity, emulative interest, pellucid calculation, and as an entertainment, at constructive study-differing from mathematical analysis, which considers only numerical phrases of giving combinations, while Checkers treats specially with their intrinsic qualities and positional relations. In it's practice, the active, militant temperament finds a concordant recreation-unlike the science of warfare, in the definiteness of its reckoning depends on the uncertainties or chance, such as courage, irregular topography or clime: yet the labyrinth of beautiful, geometric evolution's, through which subtle Greek tugs thwarting Greek in this martial game, are the objective expressions of a dispassionate, subjective strife. Surviving the conventional sports of historic time, the game of Checkers, with its inherent attractiveness, has acquired the degree of tried stability in popular interest, which entitles it to be esteemed as "easily first" of our amusements and worthy of anyone's systematic study and great regard."-Zack Brogan, Leavenworth, Kansas. From the "Draughts World Magazine", September-1889.

What is Harder-Chess or Checkers
In watching the "Deep Blue-Gary Kasparov" Chess match, the commentators made mention of the game of Checkers being "mastered" by the "Chinook" computer.
Not so.
Checker Grandmaster Don Lafferty had this to say about that comment.
" They must have a pipeline to heaven. The only ones who have mastered this game, reside there."
The "debate", which is harder, Chess or Checkers, will always continue. When facing an opponent across the board, you have to play what you can see, not what is in a library or database. Said the chess player: "We play chess, we can't analyse it." Said the checker player: "We analyse Checkers, we can't play it."

Checkers is one of the oldest of board games, with Chess and Backgammon, later forms. "Draughts" (pronounced "Drafts") was the original name, and still is in much of the world, the name "Checkers" applying mainly to the U.S. and the "English Version." Checkers is played on an 8x8 board, as is Chess.