Checkers vs. Chess

by Bill Wall


Checkers (American English) or draughts (British English) has a few things that are different than in chess.


In chess, all 64 squares are used.  In checkers, 32 squares are used.


In international chess, the board is 8x8.

In international checkers, the board is 10x10.


In chess, White moves first.  In checkers, Black (Red) moves first.


In chess, captures are optional.  In checkers, capture is mandatory.


In chess, only one piece can be taken at a time.

In checkers, one or more pieces can be taken at a time.


In chess, the capturing piece replaces the one that was removed.

In checkers, the capturing piece jumps over the one that is removed.


In chess, a stalemate is a draw.  In checkers, a stalemate is a loss.


In chess, the pieces move in different ways.

In checkers, the pieces all move the same way.


In chess, a pawn is promoted to anything but a King.

In checkers, the pieces promote to a King only.


In chess, the choice of openings is not restricted.

In checkers, the openings are chosen by ballot at random.


In chess, moves are described in algebraic notation.

In checkers, moves are described in numbers only.


In chess, the board is numbered from left to right.

In checkers, the board is numbered from right to left.


In chess, there are 10 to the 100th power possible positions.

In checkers, there are 500 quintillion possible positions.


In chess, computers have only solved 6 or 7 pieces or less in the endgame.

In checkers, computer programs have solved the entire game.


In chess, the world record for blind chess is 46 simultaneous games.

In checkers, the world record for blindfold checkers is 28 simultaneous games.


World Checker/Draughts Champions

1840-1844 Andrew Anderson (Scotland) - unofficial

1844-1847 James Wyllie (Scotland) - unofficial

1847-1849 Andrew Anderson

1849-1859 James Wyllie

1859-1864 Robert Martins (Scotland)

1864-1876 James Wyllie

1876-1878 Robert Yates (USA) (died at sea at age 24)

1878-1894 James Wyllie

1894-1896 James Ferrie (Scotland)

1896-1903 Richard Jordan (Scotland)

1903-1912 James Ferrie

1912-1917 Alfred Jordan (England)

1917-1922 Newell Banks (USA)

1922-1933 Robert Stewart (Scotland)

1933-1934 Newell Banks

1934-1948 Asa Long (USA)

1948-1955 Walter Hellman (USA)

1955-1958 Marion Tinsley (USA)

1958-1975 Walter Hellman

1975-1991 Marion Tinsley

1991-1994 Derek Oldbury (England)

1994-2014 Ron King (Barbados)

2014-          Sergio Scarpetta (Italy)


Checkers as we know it has been around since 1600 B.C.

Checkers was first played on a chess board in 1100.

The compulsory rule to take a piece occurred in 1535.

The first book on checkers (draughts, pronounced drafts) was in 1547 in Spain.

The first book in English about chess was written in 1756 by William Payne.

The first International Match was played in 1905.  Great Britain beat USA.

In 2007, the computer Chinook solved checkers.


Masters at checkers and chess include Newell Banks, Rashid Nezhmetdinov, and Edward Lasker.