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Playing Competitive Checkers in Texas

Oct 12, 2007
Youths in Austin, Dallas, Houston and other locations in Texas play checkers more often than chess. If you're an individual who's a serious checker player, you sometimes have to defend your position that checkers is better than chess! Of course, both games have merit, but here are some of checkers finer points.
Checkers has been played in Europe since the 16th century. A similar game was played in ancient times. The British Museum has specimens of ancient Egyptian checkerboards in their collection.

Checkers is called by different names in different parts of the globe. In the U.S., Canada, Australia, Ireland and a few other countries the game is called checkers (or in the U.S. it is sometimes called Polish Checkers). In Great Britain, checkers is played on an 8x8 board where it is called draughts. The most popular version of checkers, however, is played on a 10x10 board in Eastern Europe. In other places, it is called International Draughts.

Now both styles, checkers and draughts - are gaining popularity on both sides of the ocean. The Eastern Europeans are starting to play the U.S. game, and U.S. players are starting to play the Eastern European game. This is due to the efforts of the International Checkers Hall of Fame. In addition, there are additional 8x8 varieties of the game being played in Spain, Italy and other countries.

There is an incredibly widespread fallacy about checkers. Many individuals believe that it is a dead game because it is "solved." Another fallacy is that a super-computer can play perfect checkers the way modern computers play chess. It has been proven by computer experts that every chess move can not be completely played out by any computer. Avid checker players who are also computer experts believe that the same is true of checkers, although it is more limited than chess.

When it comes to checker competition levels, there are two main styles played in tournaments, Go-As-You-Please (which is also called Freestyle or Unrestricted) and 3-Move Restriction. In Go-As-You-Please style, you can make any opening moves you want. In 3-Move, the first three moves, Red-White-Red, are chosen at random from a list of accepted three-move openings. The list has no openings that are known losses.

3-Move checkers is more popular in serious tournaments and matches, because it decreases the number of draws. After playing a game with one of the 3-Move openings, you play a second game with the same opening, but from the other side of the board to even out the disadvantage of having to play a weak opening.

Under international sanctions, there are World Championship Matches in both Freestyle and 3-Move styles. The 3-move World Championship is the more prestigious. Furthermore, there are a number of National Championship Tournaments, District Tournaments, State Tournaments, local and mail tournaments, mail ladders, International Team Matches (which include both over-the-board and mail), as well as other checker-related events.

Checkers is a great strategic game that can help keep your mind healthy into your later years. Keeping your mind and body competitive with a variety of games can certainly impact your health.
About the Author
Pat Carpenter writes for Precedent Insurance Company. Precedent puts a new spin on health insurance. Learn more at Precedent.com
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