Sunday, 18 March 2012

Of Dyke Squares and Dog Holes

Reading books on subjects that you're not interested in is, in itself, pretty interesting. Recently I read two books about Draughts (or Checkers), "The Wonderful World of Checkers and Draughts" and "The Science of Checkers and Draughts" and I was surprised at the colourful jargon that has grown up around what is – at first glance – a simple game.

While I read, I came across evocative terms such as Dyke Squares ( a square which forms a line of your pieces when you move into it) and Dog Holes (a square which you cannot move out of once you've moved there).

At times, it felt more like I was reading about Poker, with the player Jules Leopold being described as "... strictly a "crossboard" player and, like the late "Sunset" Bell, enjoys playing for strokes and traps."

Add to these phrases like the "delayed steal", the "American position", "Payne's draw", having "the move", being "game up" or "man down", the "in-and-out shot" and the "big theft." I think that Draughts could be one of the more peotic board games I've come across.


T. Wiswell, J. Leopold, "The Wonderful World of Checkers and Draughts", 1980, A.S.Barnes and Co., Inc

T. Wiswell, "The Science of Checkers and Draughts", 1973, A.S.Barnes and Co., Inc

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