Great Men like Checkers

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Great Men like Checkers

Postby liam stephens on Wed May 26, 2010 4:29 pm

Many famous men were fond of checkers which was introduced into Europe from Egypt about the beginning of the Sixteenth Century.

From monumental inscriptions it appears that the game was familiar to the Egyptians as early as the year 200 B. C.

Its antiquity is attested 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 makes frequent mention of it by way of illustration.

Roseville Citizen (Quoted in Boland's Famous Positions).
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Re: Great Men like Checkers

Postby Ingo_Zachos on Wed May 26, 2010 6:50 pm

In Germany, the chancellor Otto von Bismarck was an ardent admirer of the game of draughts.
He said he preferred it to chess.
I am not aware, however, which style of draughts he played.


Greetinx from rainy Dortmund, Germany

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Re: Great Men like Checkers

Postby liam stephens on Wed May 26, 2010 7:22 pm

In Russia, Tolstoy was a keen player.

And in the Introduction page of Move Over, Derek Oldbury wrote:

"He goes on but you don't listen.Not even when he quotes the beautiful prose of Edgar Allen Poe which says that chess is kids' stuff compared to draughts; nor when he tells you that Lady Hamilton used to show Lord Nelson some good moves, 'twixt battles. You do not faint, even when he divulges that Rameses III played with Cleopatra, while slaves built the Pyramids around them, which is possibly not strictly true."
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Re: Great Men like Checkers

Postby Ingo_Zachos on Wed May 26, 2010 8:07 pm

Well, there are also games in draughts 100 that were played, allegdly, by Napoleon Bonaparte.
But like the chess games he allegdly played, they are likely to be "inventions" of some historians.
It is however well know, that he knew the rules for both games and played them occasionally.

So a lot of these celebrities may bot be "strictly true" checker players.
Among more recent celebraties, Robbie Williams once said in an interview that he used to play checkers with Bono from U2.

Greetinx from Germany at night,

Ingo Zachos

P.S: Stay away from the monitor, as I caught a really bad cold that leaves me sleepless.
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Re: Great Men like Checkers

Postby john reade on Thu May 27, 2010 2:04 am

Ingo,

The game Bismark played is most likely to have been Damespiel as described by Dufresne in his book published in 1884. The rules are identical to the rules of Pool Checkers as played by the blacks in America today.

Have you got a copy of Dufresne's book? If not I'll send you one.

John.
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Re: Great Men like Checkers

Postby jaguar72 on Thu May 27, 2010 9:19 am

From an American perspective, Millard Hopper (Checkers, 1941, fourth printing) lists George Washington, Benjamin Franklin (also a chess player), Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Carnegie, and Teddy Roosevelt as checker players. He further mentions Poe, baseball pitcher Christy Mathewson, and Samuel Johnson (the only non-American on his list) who, he says, "considered the game superior to all educational pastimes."

He also mentions Thomas Edison, Harry Houdini (Eric Weiss), and Will Rogers and says of these three that "I played all of them during the years I played professionally in Luna Park, Coney Island."

Tom Wiswell, who served in the China, Burma, India theatre during World War II mentions General Joseph ("Vinegar Joe") Stilwell as a player in one of his books. If so, he was probably good.

Don't know if any game scores exist for any of these great men.

I also wonder if any contemporary or current leaders and/or celebraties play the game? I rather doubt it. Not, ah, "trendy" enough probably; current leaders are, above all else, image conscious. Their loss.

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Re: Great Men like Checkers

Postby liam stephens on Fri May 28, 2010 10:16 am

Ingo Zachos wrote:
P.S: Stay away from the monitor......


Good advice there Ingo. I believe that condition is known as Blogarrhoea or Twitteritis.
(Always a danger once the number of one’s posts exceeds the 500 mark :) )
Time now, I think, to leave the Trivia column and get back to the beauty and intricacies
of the Great Divide. A rewarding and productive field in which to engage one’s energy on.


P S : In a book, former U S President Jimmy Carter refers to:

“…checker players and other loafers...” (See Oldbury’s Ency page 120)

Oh how I love to be in that number
(When the Saints go marchin’ in)
- Satchmo
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Re: Great Men like Checkers

Postby jaguar72 on Fri May 28, 2010 1:05 pm

[
liam stephens wrote:P S : In a book, former U S President Jimmy Carter refers to:

“…checker players and other loafers...” (See Oldbury’s Ency page 120)


Ah, well, that's unfortunate...in some ways he rather seemed like the kind of man who would enjoy the game... .

He writes poetry (after a fashion); I wonder if he considers that "loafing"?

V/R,

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Re: Great Men like Checkers

Postby tommyc on Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:34 pm

[quote="john reade"]Ingo,

The game Bismark played is most likely to have been Damespiel as described by Dufresne in his book published in 1884. The rules are identical to the rules of Pool Checkers as played by the blacks in America today.

Hmmmmmmmmmm...blacks?? is that a racist remark or what?//?
Always read "Cannings Compilation 2nd Edition" every day.
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Re: Great Men like Checkers

Postby john reade on Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:51 pm

Sorry Tommy. What should I say?
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Re: Great Men like Checkers

Postby Alex_Moiseyev on Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:00 am

tommyc wrote:The rules are identical to the rules of Pool Checkers as played by the blacks in America today.

Hmmmmmmmmmm...blacks?? is that a racist remark or what?//?
Racism - saying that only blacks play Pool Checkers in USA. This is totally wrong and discriminate other players.

The fact is that Russian immigrants dominate in this game and always win National when attend.

American players are well behind. And not all of them are black indeed
I am playing checkers, not chess.
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Re: Great Men like Checkers

Postby Ingo_Zachos on Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:53 pm

I have my doubts that Bismarck played pool checkers according to the APCA rules (I am sure, like the ACF, they are open for everyone), or according to the rules of the Dufresne book from 1884, that was published during the heights of his potitical career.

I think he was a keen player when he was much younger, as described in several biographies.
And as older German books about draughts then the one from Dufresne describe different rules, but do not agree on one set of rules, I think that, as Dufesne pointed out in his 2nd book "Der Freund des Damespiels", several draught styles and rules were applied in different regions of Germany.

Bismarck btw. is reknown as the man who unified Germany for the first time in 1871.
Before that there were over 50 states and independent cities that had almost no tight connection to each other and were engaged in bloody wars before the Prussians finally achived the aim of a unified Germany.
Napolean had destroyed the "Roman Empire of German Nation" in 1806, but that empire was a weak body indeed, only with one unified king/emperor, and there were times when more then one person claimed to be king of Germany, and his authority was close to zero.

I think that Germany, divided into several states, also was divided into several draught styles, much like it is even today.
In that sense, Germany very much mirrors the state of draughts wordwide.

BTW: Is there any cooperation between the ACF, APCA and the draughts 100 players in the USA?
Looks like draughts/checkers is not unified in the USA as well. Not as an organisation or as one game/sport.

Greetinx from sunny Dortmund, Germany

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