Checkers Championship History from 1847 to 1900

Before the turn of the 18th century what was happening in the checkers world scene? Here is a summary of events that led to the ushering of world checkers to the 19th century.

The year 1847 was special to checkers world history. It was the time when the very first checkers world championship was held and where Andrew Anderson of Scotland won that very first international bout. He bested another Scotland native that time, the daring and tough James Wyllie, after a series of 4 games. Thus, Anderson ended up the world's first checkers champion, claiming superiority in the game for Scotland.

After Anderson retired undefeated, the title was automatically passed on to Wyllie. Then, 12 long years after the first world championship a certain Robert Martins of Great Britain appeared on the scene and dramatically defeated the reigning champion Wyllie in 1859.

However, just 5 years after, Wyllie made a great comeback. He fiercely fought for the title and won it back in 1864. Moreover, as if to crown his revenge he defeated Martins again in 1872 to prove his reign in world checkers.

But Wyllie would not be contented with just a title regained and a proof beyond doubt of his superiority over Martins. In 1873, a year after demolishing Martins' checkers career, he won a match against America's W.R. Barker. And in the following year he again lambasted Barker through another checkers bout.

However, the title was grabbed by a young American, Robert Yates, in 1876. But Wyllie rebounded and took back the title sometime before his defeat to another Scottish player.

Meanwhile, the youthful Yates, who won the title in 1876, met an untimely death at age 24 while travelling at sea. That was the time Wyllie won the title again. However, after a string of wins he lost the title to James Ferrie of Scotland in the year 1894. In a series of events, Ferrie lost to Richard Jordan and in 18979 Jordan lost to Robert Stewart—all of Scottish descent.

Draws kept happening in the bouts. So a new ruling was enforced restricting the first two moves of every game to a random selection. This effectively reduced the incidence of draws. Then, 6 two-move openings were further eliminated from use on the board.

In 1900, American Charles F. Barker and Scotland's Richard Jordan had a tie. Jordan later won a match against Harry Freedman of Scotland. Then, Jordan resigned and later met death. The world checkers championship title rested on James Ferrie of Scotland.