How old is the game of draughts?
Two of the oldest games played by man are chess and draughts. They are related in some ways, but since draughts is simpler in the form it is assumed that it came first.
Draughts was played in the early history of Egypt, which means it's at least 5,000 years old. Plato and Homer mention the game of draughts in their works, so it was known in ancient Greece. The Romans are believed to have taken the game from the Greeks.
The earliest records of the game seem to indicate that the kind of board used was similar to what we use today and that it was played with twelve men on each side.
The first book on draughts was published in Spain in 1547. In 1620 another book of draughts was published in Spain, that contained sample games and traps that would still be useful to know today. It is believed that the Spaniards may have learned about draughts from the Moors, who brought it from Arabia.
In England, the first book on draughts appeared in 1756. In 1800 another book by a man called Joshua Sturges became a guidebook for playing draughts that everyone followed for more than 50 years.
Today draughts is played by millions of people all over the world. It is also recognized by educators as a good way to help people develop foresight, judgment and concentration.
Many people who are house-bound and people who are recovering from illness are urged to play draughts by their doctors, who feel it has therapeutic value.