Checkers: The Game that Spawned a Million Tournaments

Checkers is arguably one of the most well known board games of all times.  It’s been featured in countless movies and has been the subject of millions of tournaments hosted by international checkers associations.  You can hardly go for a walk through the park without seeing a pair of players ruminating over a checkers board.  But this timeless board game has reached international notoriety for two reasons: its simple rules and its endless strategies.  Even two players who know nothing about each other can connect over the mind sport that is checkers!

Jumpin’ Jumpin’

Checkers is played by two opponents who start out on opposite sides of the board.  The board is set up with dark and light checkered spaces, while each player plays with either light or dark pieces.  Only the dark checkered spaces are used in the game as players move their pieces across the board in an attempt to capture their opponent’s pieces.  Players are allowed to move one piece per round, either moving the piece diagonally into an unoccupied space or capturing the other player’s piece.  

To capture your opponent’s piece, you have to be able to jump diagonally over them.  You can’t jump over two pieces that are in a diagonal row, as there must be an empty space on the other side of the piece in order to make the jump.  However, you can jump over multiple pieces in one turn provided these are done in successive jumps.  Much of the fun of checkers comes with the zigzag moves where you sweep half the other player’s pieces off the board in one fell swoop (to their dismay).

King Me!

The simple setup of checkers makes it a bit more accessible to younger players than chess, although there is one thing that makes checkers more than just a game of jumping jacks.  If either player manages to get one of their pieces all the way to the opposite side of the board, their piece becomes a king.  Not only does this mean you get to stack a second piece on top of the first, but you also gain the ability to move your piece backwards and even capture pieces backwards.

Checkers In Different Countries

Many different countries have their own versions of checkers that add new rules and switch up the game board.  Because checkers is the American name for the English game of draughts, different versions of checkers are referred to as draughts.  

While American checkers takes place on an 8×8 game board, international draughts is played on a 10×10 board.  International draughts also allows kings to move more than one space at a time in one diagonal direction provided there are no pieces blocking the way.  Turkish draughts is unique in that it starts with the pieces placed one row forward, and also uses every space on the board instead of every other space.

Checkers Tournaments

Checkers has long been played in tournaments and championships ever since the World Championship was established in 1840.  These tournaments bring checkers players from all over the world to employ their own unique strategies to beat the competition.  Because checkers deals with abstract strategy, it can be as complicated or as easy as you want it to be.  Young kids will get just as much out of a game of checkers as the most advanced tournament player!

Checkers: The Ultimate Mind Sport

Checkers is a one-on-one game, so only two players can play it at a time.  However, if you have multiple checkers boards, you can easily play the game in rotating pairs to give everyone a chance to join in on the fun.  Playing time lasts around 30 minutes, so you have a decent amount of time to develop your winning strategy for capturing your opponent’s pieces.

Checkers is suitable for ages 6 and up, which makes it the perfect introductory game for kids.  With incredibly simple rules and endless possibilities, checkers is the kind of game you can play time and time again from childhood through old age.  There’s a reason it’s survived for hundreds of years, and chances are it will survive long after we’re gone.

 

Chess: The Original Game Of War

Chess is the kind of game that separates the men from the boys. While most board games try to ease in newer players as they learn the game, Chess throws you right into the center of the battlefield. Warring kings send their loyal subjects to capture the enemy’s forces and defeat their rivals in this classic yet enduring board game. The opportunity for endless strategies and maneuvers makes Chess the kind of game where no two plays are alike.

Moving the Pieces

As difficult as Chess is to master, it’s incredibly simple to learn. Each piece on the board has its own unique movement that it can use to traverse the board and capture your opponent’s pieces. While the pawns can only move forward one space (or two spaces on the first move), they can only attack diagonally. Bishops can move an unlimited number of diagonal spaces, while rooks can move an unlimited number of spaces left and right.

The knight can move in an L-shape of three spaces forward and then two spaces perpendicular, although you can aim the direction of their movement either forward, to the back, or to the side. The queen is the most powerful piece on the board, capable of moving an unlimited number of spaces in any one direction.

However, the whole game is centered around the king. Although the king can only move one space in any direction, he must be protected at all costs. If another player captures your king, it’s game over. Players typically call out “check” when they’re one move away from capturing their opponent’s king, and “checkmate” when victory is certain.

Chess Strategies

Chess is notable in that there are a number of popular strategies that you can employ to win the game. While new players can certainly play without a strategy, you’ll need to think several steps ahead in order to beat a more advanced player. There have been countless books devoted to chess strategies, laying out classic defensive and offensive strategies for opening the game and capturing your opponent’s king.

Chess is also played in championships all over the world, pitting players of various ranks against each other in an effort to win titles, fame, and fortune. However, you don’t have to be a Grandmaster to enjoy the thrill of Chess. This board game can be enjoyed just as easily by two friends in the park as it can by two masters in a heated championship.

Chess Spinoffs

There are countless spinoffs of Chess that add new elements to the game in order to make it even more chaotic and fun. Code Geass: Knightmare Chess uses two decks of cards in addition to a chessboard that allow you to bend the rules of the game with special abilities. Players will play a standard game of Chess while also drawing and playing cards from the deck, giving you increased opportunities to thwart your opponent and get the upper hand.

Devil’s Chess is another spinoff card game that adds a deck of cards to your typical chessboard. It’s marketed as bringing Chess out of the 6th century and into the 21st by adding modern-day mechanics to this classic game. Players will draw playable cards throughout the game as well as Rule cards, which add special conditions that can mess up your game. It also adds new conditions for winning that can allow you to sneak a victory without taking your opponent’s king.

Take a Dive Into the Classic World of Chess

Chess is a 2-person game, pitting the minds of two players against each other in an incredibly intimate and competitive setting. It’s suitable for ages 6 and up, as younger players can easily understand the mechanics. In fact, younger players are often the ones who become the most adept at the game as they quickly learn new strategies and develop into Chess prodigies.

The playing time for Chess really depends on the expertise of the people playing the game. It can end within minutes if you make a sudden wrong move, but it’s also been known to go on for hours with more advanced players. Buy Chess today and put your mind to the ultimate test!

 

Candy Land: A Sweet Bite Of Nostalgia

If you grew up playing only one board game as a child, chances are it was Candy Land. Who doesn’t remember the sweetness of Gramma Nutt or wanting to take a bite out of the Candycane Forest? One thing that sets Candy Land apart from other board games is its beautiful simplicity. You don’t need to remember complex sets of rules or even devise a winning strategy to play the game. All you need to do is pick a card and let the chocolate chips fall where they may. After over 70 years on the market, Candy Land’s sweetness has endured, teaching millions of children the joy of board games at a young age.

The History of Candy Land

Although countless families have their own personal history growing up playing Candy Land, the history of the game is quite a tale in and of itself. It was first created by a woman named Eleanor Abbott in the early 1940’s while she was recovering from polio. She made it to entertain other kids who were also recovering from polio in the same ward that she was. Once the game was created, the children suggested that she submit it to the Milton Bradley Company (which was later purchased by Hasbro). Candy Land became their best selling game, and the rest is history.  

The Path to King Kandy

The gameplay of Candy Land is deliciously simple enough for even the smallest of kids to follow. Players race each other down a rainbow-colored path to see who will be the first to arrive at Candy Castle and locate the missing King Kandy. The path to the castle is strewn with sweet and scrumptious locations, from the sticky Molasses Swamp to the icy Peppermint Forest. Just make sure to avoid that villainous Lord Licorice, who rules the Licorice Castle and lords over Candy Land with his sickly sweet power!

Candy Land is played in turns, where each player gets to draw a card with one of six colors on it. These colors represent spaces on the board, and each time you draw a card with a specific color on it, you move to the next space of that color. Players get to handle little character markers like the Gingerbread Man that they navigate around the board on their quest to the finish line.

Some cards will have the name of a specific location on the board, in which case the player who drew that card will have to move their piece to that location. This can cost you the game if you’re within a stone’s throw of the castle and you get sent back to the Gingerbread Plum Trees! The 2006 version of the game created licorice spaces that cause you to lose your turn, while the 2013 version swapped the cards for a spinner that decides which space you move to.

Future Versions of Candy Land

Candy Land has released countless later editions in the last 70 years that make the game slightly more complex or give the board game some of your favorite fictional characters. Candy Land: Fun on the Run turns the board game into a travel board game, allowing kids to play it in the car or on vacation. There are also editions such as Candy Land: Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory or Candy Land: Dora the Explorer that replace characters and locations with elements from other stories.

Take a Ride Down Candy Road with Candy Land

Candy Land is playable by 2-4 players, so it’s easy for parents to play with their kids or for kids to play together. It’s also suitable for ages 3 and up, which is perfect for teaching younger kids the rules of board games. In fact, Candy Land is often used as a tool to help younger players learn things like following rules, socializing, recognizing colors, and using patience.  

Candy Land has a playing time of around 30 minutes, which is just enough time to keep kids’ interest without boring them. With bright colors, inventive characters, and simplistic gameplay, Candy Land is the quintessential board game for youngsters. Buy this game today and enjoy the sweetness of Candy Land!

 

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