Imagine that games are treasures of different nations, countries, and continents. India had brought Chess and many other games to the world. Go and Mahjong may be seen as the great wealth of China. Europe has developed Checkers and Chess in its modern, western form. And what Africa gave to the world? Mancala of course! A real jewel of Africa. Extremely beautiful. Raw and sophisticated at the same time.
Have you ever heard about Backgammon? Even if you do not know the rules, maybe you just know what it is. A game with dice, played on board with “teeth” on which players move their numerous pieces. This game is really extraordinary, so it’s good to know its rules and rich history.
Why do wee need games? To enjoy them of course! And it may be a joy of more subtle kind, similar to this coming from sciences and arts. Improving your skills in particular game can be also a mean of improving yourself. If we want to really enjoy games, we have to see their complex nature.
I love trick-taking card games in which you have to win certain cards to earn points. They are popular in my part of Europe – Thousand in Poland and Ukraine, and 66 (or Schnapsen) in Germany and Austria. Both games have a common ancestor, an old game called Mariage (in Polish: Mariasz).
I have already wrote on basics of International Draughts strategy, but these basics are not enough to be a good player. You have to analyze a lot of situations and find some recurrent patterns in them. To achieve this goal you have to learn International Draughts notation system.
It is believed that popular game of Ludo is very old, but is it? It was patented in 1986, but it was a modern variant of really old game called Pachisi. And I must tell you this older game is more strategic and has a unique, ancient nature.
Is there really any timeless game? Some people say chess or checkers are timeless, but these games are not as old as they seem. Others talk about “timeless” computer games like Pac-Man or timeless tabletop games like Monopoly. But they are are still young. In my opinion there is one special game that deserves to be called “timeless”. It is Nine Men’s Morris also known as Mill. It is still popular, it can surprise next generations of players and many people have no idea how old this game really is!