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Why Chess Is Better Than Checkers - Or Is It?

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Is chess better than checkers, or is checkers better than chess? This debate has been around for a long time, and I see it everywhere. At my school, on clubs, and forums. So today on the Saxly Pirate, I want you to join me in finding out what game is better, chess or checkers. I will be talking about statistics, facts, my personal thoughts. In the comments put which one you think is better!

How Checkers Work

Before deciding which one is better, I think that it is a good idea if I explain how the game checkers work so you can understand it. Checkers is played on a board that has 64 different squares. This board is the same thing as a chess board. You set up your pieces like this:

Unlike chess, black goes first, not white. When you move a piece, you move it diagonally one square, much like capturing a piece with a pawn. Then your opponent moves, and you always move diagonally. To capture a piece, you must be able to jump diagonally over your opponent's piece. Here is a picture to help:

When one of your pieces reaches the other side of the board, you stack two pieces together. This allows you to move back and forth diagonally. To win the game, you must get rid of all of your opponent's pieces. For a better explanation of how to play checkers, watch this video:

Now that you know how to play checkers, let's find out which game is better.

History

The history of both games are crucial, so we can see how long they have been around, and how popular they have also been throughout the years. While it is not exactly clear when both were invented, people used artifacts to approximate when they both became games! Since this is a chess website, let's look at chess first.

Chess

The game chaturanga was believed to have been played 1500 years ago. Chaturanga evolved and later turned into what we now know as "chess".

While they look a little different, for the most part, they look similar. Believe it or not, chess evolved from this game. If you want to learn more about chaturanga, click here, if you want to play chaturanga click here. This will take you to a variant on chess.com.

Then, around the 19th century (1800s), clocks and the "official" looks of the pieces were introduced. In the late 1800s, the first world champion title was created. This was a long time ago, but many don't realize how old chess is. Even though I could go on and on about chess history, I am going to stop here.

Checkers

Checkers, however, is much older than chess, so it is hard to find out the origins of it. The first form of checkers was believed to have been in 3000 B.C.E. or around 5,000 years ago! It was played in a city called Ur, in Iraq. This makes sense, Iraq is known for having early signs of civilization. The Cradle of Civilization, a very historic place, is found in Iraq.

Then later, a form of checkers called "Alquerque" was found in Eygept around 1,400 B.C.E, or 3,000 years ago! This is how the setup of Alquereque looks:

While it does not look as similar to checkers than chess and chaturanga, you can point out a few similarities. If you want to read and learn more about Alquerque, go here, and if you want to play it, go here.

Then modern-day checkers came around the 12th century, or 11,000. But it wasn't called checkers at first. A French person had the idea of playing checkers on a chess board, and they called the game Fieges.

Comparison

Which one has more history? Well, it would be checkers, but that does not mean that chess is less interesting than checkers. Both have a unique, interesting, and fun history! I mean, I know I had fun and a few jaw dropping moments while researching: I don't know about you, though. Since checkers is older, it has managed to behave been popular for thousands of years. That must mean that it is a good board game.

Popularity

Popularity is a key component in determining which game is better. If one game is more popular than the other, then that game is most likely better. So, is chess more popular than checkers, or vice versa? It is nearly impossible to find out how many people play checkers, but I will be comparing chess.com to 247checkers.com, both popular websites. Let's take a look at them.

Chess

📷Credit to similarweb.com

On this screen, we can see that chess.com has been visited by a staggering 245.3M only through their website. Also, chess.com is ranked as the number one game in the category of Board and Card games.

Chess has many different federations, with the main one being FIDE. FIDE is world-wide, so that means that a Russian player and a Mongolian player could both be in there. Additionally, most countries have their own federation. The U.S. federation is USCF (United States Chess Federation) and the federation for India is the All India Chess Federation.

Checkers

Here we see that 247 checkers has been visited only 887.5K times. That means that chess.com has been visited around 244,412,500 more times than 247 checkers. 247 checkers is also ranked 1202 in the board and card game sections, which is the same category as chess.com.

FMJD (World Draughts Federation), as you guessed, is for the whole world. This is like FIDE, but for checkers. There are around 50-ish countries that have their own checkers federation. One of them would be the ACF (American Checkers Federation).

Comparison

By using this information, I think that it is safe to say that chess is more popular than checkers. Although this does not fully mean that chess is better than checkers, it proves that there are more people who enjoy chess.

Complexity

Popularity does not decide which one is better, there are other things to consider. One of those is complexity, or how complicated it is. If something is complicated, that does not mean that it is not fun. Actually, it makes it more fun because you have to think through more things. So which one is more complex, chess or checkers?

Chess

Let's start with chess, at the very beginning of a game. For the first move of a chess game, white has 20 different possible moves, as seen below:

White can move either of his knights, or one of his pawns up one or two squares. This is just the first move; now let's go on to openings. An opening in chess is a set of moves that make up the beginning of the game. So how many openings are there? Well, there are 1,327 openings. That is a crap ton of openings, which is why chess is very complex. Not to mention that almost each piece does something completely different.

Then there are special moves in chess like castling, en passant, and promotion. If you want to read more about these special moves, go here. Each has its own rules, and pros and cons. Sometimes you want to castle, and sometimes you would lose if you did.

Sometimes, to get a checkmate, you have to do hard to find moves to win. An example of this would be:

The best move was moving the bishop. Why? Well, there is a mate, no matter what! If black makes a random move, then you can mate with Qg7. If Black does Qg4, then white can do Ne7#. Then, as you saw in the puzzle, if black takes the bishop, then white can move its knight to Nf6+. Black is forced to move its king to h8. Now white has the choice of two different mates, Qf8 or Qh7!

To play a game of chess, you have to take into consideration all the things I just talked about. Plus many more. That is really hard to do, which is why chess is pretty complex.

Checkers

Checkers is also complex in its own way. One reason why it is complex is because of the openings. There are seven possible first moves, as shown below:

Only seven possible moves! This means that if you start, you have to know what you are doing because there is not a lot of wiggle room to make mistakes. The same goes for white; they have to know all the counter moves so they don't mess up.

Then it gets even more complex if you want to sacrifice a piece so you can gain your opponent's pieces or even kinging a peice. If your opponent gets to king you need to calculate all the possible moves, or else you will lose the game.

Unlike chess, where you can lose all your pieces and still get a draw, if you lose all your pieces in checkers, it is game over. Literally. That is how a game of checkers ends.

Comparison

So as we can see, they are both very complex. In my opinion, I would say that the complexity is equal for both of them. Why? Because in chess, there are many things that go into consideration when making one move, and you also have a variety of moves to chose from. On the other hand, checkers is limited to what you can move. There are less squares to go to, and you have to watch out for pieces that can go forward and backward.

Overview

After comparing chess and checkers, it is time to make a difficult choice. Both games have a very long, rich, and exciting history. I mean, checkers was created in the 12 century, while chess was invented in the 19th century. Both games evolved from a different game a long time ago!

Both games are also very complex. Chess is complex because of how many pieces there are and all the special moves. But checkers is complex in its own way. There are not many places to move, so you have to be very careful. Even more careful when your opponent has multiple kings!

Both games are popular. Chess is a lot more popular than checkers. People play chess from all over the world, and people watch games from all over the world. With chess.com and twitter, people can enjoy chess events from the luxury of their homes. You can do the same with checkers, but there are not as many people watching checkers as chess.

Conclusion

So which game is better? Chess or checkers? Well, looking back at all the things I just talked about, it is really hard to choose which one is better. Actually, neither will be better than the other! While I personally think chess is better, people could definitely bring up reasons why checkers is better. I like chess more because it is a little bit easier for me to understand, and many of my friends play it, so we all have a common topic. This does not mean that chess is actually better than checkers, though. Like Colin Powel said:

You can't make someone else's choices. You shouldn't let someone else make yours.

So which one do you like more? Also, feel free to criticize it as much as you want, thanks for reading!

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Hey there, welcome to my blogs! I am an average blogger hoping to compete and move up high in blog champs. I also one day want to have one of my blogs show up on the main blog tab. Although it would be cool to be a top blogger, it doesn't matter that much as long as I try my best. If you want to help support me follow my profile and read my blogs so I know that there are people out there that actually look and read my blogs.

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