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Checkers vs Chess: Differences and Gameplay

By October 6, 2022March 26th, 2023No Comments

Checkers vs Chess

Chess and checkers are two board games usually thought to be one and the same. But the reality is far from it. Chess and checkers are totally different from one another. In this article, we will discuss the characteristics of these popular games and analyse their essential themes.

The chief difference between chess and checkers lies in the fact that in the latter, the primary objective is to get rid of all your opponent’s pieces. In chess, however, the target is to capture or ‘check’ the rival king.

Image Credits: Wooden Earth

Checkers vs Chess Board

The chief connection that the two top board games have is the way the boards on which they are played look. For chess and checkers, we use a 64-square board with alternating blocks/tiles/squares.

One more similarity that chess and checkers share is when a piece gets promoted to a higher piece upon reaching the last square of the board. In the case of checkers, you may get your pieces promoted to a ‘king’. Chess pawns can be upgraded to a queen, a bishop, a knight, or a rook upon reaching the last square of the chess board.

How to Play Checkers?

Checkers is also called ‘draughts’ and is played in almost every part of the world. It is a strategy game that requires skill and expertise in equal measure. The final goal while playing checkers is to eliminate all your opponent’s pieces from the board.

Only two players can play checkers at any given time. This aspect of the game is similar to that of chess. In checkers, each player takes turns making a move just like in chess.

If you look at the checkers playing board, you will find two types of tiles- light-coloured and dark-coloured. The dark tiles are meant to remain filled with pieces, and the light ones are supposed to be kept empty. 

Unlike chess, pieces in checkers can be moved only in a diagonal direction. Each player begins the game with 12 pieces, and all pieces of one player are of the same type.

With these 12 pieces, competitors aim to finish the game with the most pieces left on the board. To capture pieces in a game of checkers, a player has to make one of their pieces jump over the rival pieces by one or more tiles.

In chess, a convention says black makes the first move in every game, and however, in checkers, it is the direct opposite. Here, the player with the black/dark pieces will make the first move.

Chess vs Checkers Online

Both chess and checkers are played by millions of people every day on the internet. While chess has its online playing dedicated portals such as ‘’ and ‘’, checkers too can be played on sites like ‘’, ‘Mathsisfun’, and ‘Chessandcheckersio’.

The increase in the number of online players in chess and checkers took a sharp turn in early 2020. This happened due to the spread of the Covid-19 virus and consequent lockdowns in many parts of the world.

As people were locked inside their homes, they turned their attention more toward the old classic board games of chess and checkers. Several online surveys have revealed that from the middle of 2020 to the beginning of 2021, there was an unprecedented rise in online chess and checkers registrations. 

Is Chess or Checkers Older?

It is widely believed that checkers existed much before chess found its way into the lives of human beings. Scholars of history and archaeology have estimated checkers to have been present as weary as 3000 BC.

According to some studies, people living in the ancient city of Ur, Mesopotamia (located in present-day Iraq), had board games resembling the modern version of the game.

Conversely, chess is considered around a millennium and a half years old, and it originates in India’s subcontinent in the middle of the second millennium AD. In its earliest form, chess was known as ‘chaturanga’ – an ancient Indian board game.

From there, it began its evolutionary journey to reach its modern version sometime in the middle of the nineteenth century. The current rules and regulations of chess were recognised and ratified in the 1850s.

Checkers vs Chess Complexity

It is not true that checkers is the easier one out of the two. Both chess and checkers have dimensions that are hard to master. Like in chess, a checkers player must remember an infinite number of calculations to get to that perfect move.

Some observers say that checkers is less interesting than chess due to its inherent monotony. However, as many would know, a variety of checkers’ versions played around the world have little to no differences, and this indeed takes care of the tediousness.

If we consider the difficulty level of chess and checkers, most observers would say the former is the tougher one out of the two. This is because chess has more variant pieces to begin with, and chess pieces can also move more than one way.

People who are competent in both chess and checkers have stated that it takes more time to master chess. But that does not count out the fact that becoming good at checkers also takes time.

To conclude this piece, we can say that both chess and checkers are fantastic strategy board games that give contestants and audience members a high dose of entertainment. These games have been around for centuries owing to their ever-increasing popularity.

At the end of the day, learning both chess and checkers is always beneficial to stay sharp and mentally clear. Scientific studies have pointed out that playing chess or checkers or both at regular intervals keeps the human brain healthy for a longer period of time.
To expand your chess knowledge, click on our other article titled ’41 Terms of Chess to Get You Started