Checkers as Le Jeu Plaisant De Dames

One of the main developments in checkers history is the introduction of the forced capture ruling. But checkers without the forced capture ruling is still enjoyed today in many parts of the world. Here is how this came to be.

From Alquerque checkers took one step further in the 12th century when Alquerque was applied on an 8 by 8 chess board. This was first propagated in France but later found followers in different countries. In the 15th century it became know as Jeu De Dames. Around this time checkers began to have stricter observance of rules. It was also at this time when the forced capture ruling was first implemented in the game, especially in tournaments.

Later, the forced capture ruling became a permanent part of a checkers type called "Jeu Force." This type found its way to England and some parts of Europe and America. But France was enjoying a different checkers type. It preserved the free option of not capturing enemy pieces available for capture. According to checkers history, the French variant, called Le Jeu Plaisant De Dames, or simply Plaisant, did not recognize the forced capture ruling and became popular in the 18th century.

Plaisant introduced an innovation to the checkers board. Instead of the 8 by 8 board, it uses a 10 by 10 with 20 checker pieces each player. Many speculate that this checkers type originated in Holland. The 10 by 10 Plaisant boards are used in the so-called International Draughts. Some call it Continental Draughts. The term "checkers" remains popular mostly in America.

The term "Dames" remained popular in other countries. Like in some parts of Europe the game was fondly called Dames, especially in Germany where it was also called Damenspiel. In Canada, Jeu De Dames Canadien checker pieces are played on a 12 by 12 board with 30 checker pieces each player. The Plaisant variant is sometimes tried with these types, disregarding the forced capture ruling.

In some games crowned pieces or "kings" jump over several squares at a time and are sometimes termed as "flying kings." In some parts enemy kings can only be captured with kings. Some players allow kings to jump in any direction on the board but take only one square at a time. All these may be incorporated with Plaisant checkers.

Checkers history regarding the development of the Plaisant type can be traced back from Alquerque to modern checkers. Plaisant introduced a lot of alternatives to checkers.




Close