When you hear “chess”, you think about the intellectual duel of two people. Therefore you may be surprised by the fact, that one of the Chess ancestors is a game for 4 players and with an element of luck. The goal of the game was no to checkmate but to score points, however, this old game is still “chessy” . The name of this game is Chaturaji.
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 described many different types of draughts (checkers) stressing that draughts is not one game. It’s a family of games with common features! In compare to draughts Chess seem to be a single, complete and polished game. But… it only seems to be. In fact there are many chess games which grown in parallel with the so-called classical chess. Understanding the common characteristics of chess games will be easy if you look at the ancestor of these games – the Indian game of Chaturanga.
In my country (Poland) Chess is called a “royal game” while the Checkers are known as “Chess of proletariat”. Such terms clearly classify the first game as noble and worthwhile and the second as silly or worse. Many people think they sound like experts when they speak about the superiority of the Chess over the Checkers (Draughts). In fact, such people show only their ignorance. Chess is not harder than Checkers … and vice versa. In the case of non-trivial games, you should generally avoid speaking about a superiority of one game over another.
There are many games with an element of luck – games with dice, cards, dominoes or letters. Some people believe these games are “worse”, unworthy of study and you can’t by a true master in such games because everything depends on luck. I would like to refute this image. Games with the random element can be very interesting and they can build your brain, but in a different way than purely strategic games. Besides in practice, even in games with no random elements, there is some element of luck.