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Checkers, Anyone?

Two Brides Too Many Slanted

A checkered board with rounded game pieces—here in the United States, we know it as checkers, a timeless table game.

While waiting to be seated at a restaurant in Phoenix, I watched a family of five gathered around a table. A father and daughter were engaged in a playful, but intense game of checkers. The opponent’s game pieces were being captured, kings were crowned and granted special battle privileges. All the while engaged family members sat on the sidelines cheering and advising.

Checkers is a game with roots that date back to Ancient Egypt, perhaps as early as the time of Queen Hatasu (1400 or 1500 BC). Kings and Pharaohs may have sat about the palace in royal garb engaged in a patteia competition, their version of draughts. Modern checkers dates back to 12th Century Europe. Today, checkers is still a game of choice in countries across the globe, as well as in the United States. However, outside the United States, you’re likely to hear the game referred to as draughts.

Stone Town, Zanzibar, East Africa

Two years ago, while walking the narrow, congested streets of Zanzibar, I encountered many sights that made my jaw drop and my eyes widen. Intricately carved wooden double doors with polished brass fitments and adornments. Portuguese castle walls, the remnants of the slave trade into Europe and Asia. The port filled with fishing dhows. The evening open air seafood grill stands and tables. But one sight in particular tickled me. Two Tanzanian Nationals seated on rough cast cement benches huddled over a cement table that held a thin wooden plank checkered by a felt marker. Coke and Fanta bottle caps served as their game pieces.The game of checkers was an Olympic sport at the 1896 games.

Book 1

In my Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series, set in the late 1890’s, checkers is a favorite pastime. A Sinclair family tradition, the sisters (and brothers-in-law now) engage in checkers tournaments on Sunday afternoons as part of their Sabbath rest.

The series opens with one such scene in the first chapter of Two Brides Too Many and the tournament thrives in the subsequent books—Too Rich for a Bride, The Bride Wore Blue, and Twice a Bride.

Book 2

 

 

Book 3

19 responses to “Checkers, Anyone?”

  1. mary hagen says:

    I had no idea checkers was such an ancient game. Thanks for the informative article.
    Mary Hagen

  2. Amy C says:

    Nell was the checker champion!

    Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

  3. Kaye Whitney says:

    Thank you for the history of the game of checkers. I have read books in which people were playing draughts, and I had no idea what the game was.

  4. THE DRAWING FOR A SINCLAIR SISTERS NOVEL, ANSWER ONE OF THE QUESTIONS BELOW:Which Sinclair Sister was crowned the Sinclair Checkers Champion in Two Brides Too Many? Nell

    In Too Rich for a Bride, which sister struggled with queasiness while preparing to play a game of checkers? Kat

    Which Sinclair Sister said, “I just hope your husband is as good at preaching as you are at playing checkers.” in The Bride Wore Blue? Vivian

    Put me in for TWICE A BRIDE please!! Would love, love, love a print copy to follow up the first three books. Here are the answers to all three: 1) Nell, 2) Kat, and 3) Vivian.
    Kathleen ~ Missouri
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

    • Yes, Kathleen! The Sinclair Sisters and I appreciate your commitment to them and their trivia. This drawing is for a copy of Two Brides Too Many, Too Rich for a Bride, or The Bride Wore Blue. But . . . next Monday, August 27th, the Sinclair Sisters have fun surprises for us here on Hindsight. Who knows…maybe Twice a Bride in the giveaway? 🙂 Blessings!

  5. Jen Lunde says:

    Vivian said “I just hope your husband is as good at preaching as you are at playing checkers.” in The Bride Wore Blue. 🙂

  6. mary ellen ashenfelder says:

    Wow — lots of info about checkers 🙂 Nell was crown the Sinclair checkers champion in Two Brides Too Many.

  7. Bonnie Taylor says:

    Havent read any of them yet, but wrote down the titles and plan to download the first one!

  8. oldentimes says:

    Nell was the champion.
    We have ‘game night’ about once a week. Grandson and I drag out the games and choose one to play. Sometimes it is checkers.
    Thanks for the information, I had no idea
    majik47(at) hotmail(dot)com

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