Today’s Vintage Chess Humor
Why did Checkers Die Off?
I have a confession to make: before I joined my High School chess club I played more checkers than chess. Then I never looked back…chess is so much more fascinating compared to checkers!
While checkers (draughts) is still played, there is no single ‘fixed’ way to play: the board might vary from 8+8 to 10+10 to 12+12 depending on where you live or play. You just need to read THIS to see the great variety of ways of playing checkers.
But very few people play it compared to chess. Perhaps it is the board game with least prestige today. In reality, checkers is on life support and fading quickly. When was the last time you saw checkers in a film? Literature and the theatre always use chess as a prop.
Curiously, checkers did not require computers to demonstrate the limitations of the game: the best players already realized the limitations of the game long ago.
Before you get the wrong idea, I am not shitting on checkers. It is just that checkers can not compete with other games in today’s world. It hasn’t for a very, very long time, truth be known. While I really love chess, I also recognize that chess is losing prestige, and eventually will simply ‘disappear’ in the same sense as checkers has.
If Dvorkovich and the Russians have their way, that might be sooner than you think. The ‘chess’ wiki page will then resemble the ‘checkers’ wiki page and list a large, embarrassing variety of chess variants (Classical, Rapid, Blitz, Fischer-Random, Armageddon, Women’s Chess, Knock-out, etc) and future generations will probably think that checkers must be very similar to chess because they suffered the same fate…
Take the best players today, including the World Champion Magnus Carlsen: they often play 3 or 4 varieties of chess in the same tournament. Witness the FIDE Grand Prix that began today in Jerusalem.
This is a ‘knock-out’ event, and one of the most popular strategies is to draw quickly your first 2 ‘classical’ games, and then to exhaust your opponent at the rapid and blitz games, before reaching the Armageddon tragedy. And FIDE loves it! Why else would they allow it?
As of this writing, all of the games have ended in draws. But the most ‘professional’ one was this brilliant 21 mover where the two players thrilled all of ChessCom’s 32 million members (humans and bots included!) as they rushed to exchange pieces….
gm Harikrishna — gm Karjakin
Jerusalem Rd1. 11.12.2019
Perhaps Kramnik might propose a new rule where 3 pieces can be exchanged on one move (instead of the current 2), subject to Dvorkovich’s approval, of course! It would speed up the game and sounds a bit more reasonable than giving up the right to castle. (I like to castle!)
Or we can just go back to playing checkers…