Two Fabulous Books on Checkers


We have one of the finest collections on checkers in the U.S. (I think only the Cleveland Public Library rivals us), and here are two examples from the collection. The first is a treatise in French, published in 1785 in Amsterdam, on “international checkers,” also called International draughts or Polish draughts. The main differences between this and English draughts (or American checkers) are the size of the board (10×10) and the rule that pieces can also capture backward, not only forward. Not only is this a scarce book–our copy is stamped with the arms of Marie Antoinette!

The other book has the following note, dated May 14, 1916 and typed by the collector, E. B. Hanes, who pasted it onto one of the endpapers:

“Turkish Checkers. 1905. This book is in the Turkish language and treats of the Checker game as played by the Turks. It was published in Constantinople about 1905. It has been a most difficult book to obtain. No other copy is known in America. The general principles of the game, move and capture, are the same as in the English game. They play on 64 squares of the same color with 16 men to a side. The moves are straight forward or sideways, not diagonal. The king is made same as in the English game and moves as in the French, Spanish, Italian, and German games, across any number of vacant squares. I know of no other native book on the game.”

3 thoughts on “Two Fabulous Books on Checkers

  1. Hello Sir.
    I am a checkers/draughts researcher. I wrote a paper about draughts variants from all over the world.
    Can you scan both books and upload them as pdf books so that we will be able to download them?


  2. As a serious player, trainer, arbiter & researcher of draughts/checkers variants
    and other abstract games, I would greatly appreciate receiving PDF of book
    on Turkish draughts. The famous Frank Dunne, in his Draughts Guide wrote
    sections covering variants including Turkish but he didn’t state the source from
    which he obtained the material which was a pity. In exchange I could send you
    or the library material as well. Thank you for your cooperation. David Kotin

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