Figures with a double stroke have an advantage in racing games if the number of transverse rows of fields is odd (the echo provides acceleration in moving the figures to the extreme row of fields in the enemy’s camp), but they have a lack of military content, as the fields missed at double running.

Of the games of “military” content, Chinese chess (fig. 15) and shatrang are known. The first mention of Chinese chess is found in the Chinese dictionary "A Sea of ​​Words", which says that chess is carried to China from India during the reign of Sovereign Woody (502-550).

The first mention of the game "Shatrang" is found in the historical novel "Karnamak" (600) in the Middle Persian language, but it is believed that the game originated a hundred years earlier.

In each of these games, the idea of ​​a battle between two armies headed by kings was clearly expressed. The armies consisted of figures that differed in strength from the very beginning, in contrast to checkers games, where the figures did not differ at first. In both games, there are figures with a double stroke.

The names of the figures are given in the modern concept, if the moves do not differ from the current chess pieces, or according to the old names used in the shatrang. The figures that are not in the Shatrang are given by the author in connection with their purpose in the game. Such names are given in quotes.

So, the figures standing in the fields a1, i1, a10, and 10 are rooks; in the fields b1, h1; B10, Z10 - horses; on the fields b1, g1; B10, W10 - Alfili; in the fields d1, d10 - kings; on the fields r1, e1; G10, E10 - the guard of the king; in the fields b3, h3; B8, З8 - guns (It would be more accurate to call such a figure a catapult); on the fields in the ranks 4.7 at the intersection with the rows a, b, d, g, and pawns.

The goal of the game is to win by building pieces with a threat to remove the enemy's royal next move. If this threat cannot be repulsed, the game is lost (the king is declared mate).

In the construction of the board noticeable use of dotted checkerboard 5 x 9, mentioned in the Egyptian and Greek games. The section of the board where the king and his guard stand is called a fortress. It coincides with a drawing board for a simple “mill”. A king in a fortress runs in all 9 fields, but only in the orthogonal direction, and his guard - in 5 fields in the diagonal direction. These three figures are not allowed to go beyond the fortress, which indicates a defensive strategy in the game.

The same tendency is manifested in the addition of an obstacle between enemy camps in the form of a “river” (the strips without cells in Fig. 16). On both sides of the fortress there are figures with double passages: the alfil is diagonal, the horse combines the orthogonal and diagonal directions. - Due to the use of the “river”, the number of cross rows of fields became even and the opponents lost the ability to fight with each other. The same fate would have befallen a figure with a double stroke, in the orthogonal direction, that is, a jumping boat.

But in this game, the rook is entitled to walk in all cells of the rows in the orthogonal direction - the rook has become a long-range one. In the unstressed moves, the “cannon” resembled a rook, and in the shock moves it jumped over a figure (its own or someone else's) and ended this move, replacing the killed figure. It is possible that jumping “guns” (from any distance, from an obstacle) had an impact on the character of the striking stroke of the checker woman, when it became a long-range one. Pawns have similarities in the moves with the chips from the “Turkestan checkers”.

In the Shatrang (Shatranj), a cellular board of 8 x 8 was taken. The king has the right to walk on the adjacent field in orthogonal and diagonal directions. The “Alferetsi” figure was introduced, having the right to bypass 32 cells across the board along the diagonals. Due to the even number of transverse rows of fields on the board, the Alferets of opponents standing in the same vertical row cannot attack each other: their zigzag paths do not coincide, as in the game “chupur” of chips starting from the extreme, the other middle tongue. The rook in the shatrang was long-range.

Even in backgammon games with a favorable coincidence of the points scored, the figure had the right to become not only on the adjacent field, but also on the third, fourth field from itself; but at the same time she had to mark her entry on every line that she passed before becoming on the final field, and not just jump over it.

A similar phenomenon can be noted in the calculation of checkers in shock. In the case of a complex strike, the checker should mark all the intermediate fields on which it entered when making a strike by touching the board. Jumping immediately to the final field was not allowed.

But it is quite clear that the property of a long-range piece to stand on any field in the row on which it stood, manifested itself in a long-range boat in the shatrang (shatrange). Therefore, D. Sargin came to the conclusion that in those countries of Europe where shatrang penetrated (and then underwent development) and where the ancient Roman game “Latrunculi” was known, the woman in checkers became long-range.

The appearance of such a woman during the Middle Ages in Europe is well known in Spain and in Russia. In the VII century. Arabs conquered a number of countries in Western Asia and North Africa and formed a caliphate with its center, first in Damascus, and then in Baghdad. Arabic was the official language.

In the work of Abulfaradz, it is mentioned that the poet Akvaz (who died in 728), when visiting Mecca, went to the house where the guests had fun playing chess, in a back-track and a “mill”. It was, apparently, about Shatrang, Nord and some other game. After the invasion of the Arabs in Spain, a collection was compiled there, where several games were described under the name “The Mill”, in Arabic - “al-Cherk”. Among them were two games on the board 5 x 5. On the odd rows (a, b, d, g, and; 1, 3, 5, 7, 9) of the checkers (Fig. 12) there are 25 fields where the lines of the diagonal and orthogonal grids, in which only chips (12 white and 12 black) went to adjacent fields. At the beginning of the game, the d5 field is free, and the fields in rows 1 and 3, as well as a5 and b5, are occupied with white chips, while the rest of the fields are black. The goal of the game is to beat the opponent’s chips. Beat the chips with a jump through the batted chip. The same kind of game is possible on a 5 x 5 cell board.

There was another game on the above 5 x 5 ball game. White chips were on the same fields as above. On d5, there was a black chip that retained all the movements (walk and hit), as indicated above, while White could walk (but not beat) forward and to the sides (but not back). The goal of the game is to lock up the black checker by analogy with locking the “wolf” in the “wolf and dog” task game.

Games of this kind (with the locking of more powerful chips, but simpler) were later known as the “fox and geese” in England and the “wolf and sheep” in Germany.

The appearance of a long-range queen in checkers was probably influenced by the presence of a long-range rook in the shatrang.

The essence of the game described above on a 5 x 5 board is incorrectly conveyed by the word alkerk. Because of this, the game was not recognized for checkers in the descriptions of games in collections.


K VI century. The first mention of the people grew, or rus. The distant southern campaigns of the Slavic teams brought them to the international arena.

And, of course, the checkers in their ancient form (latrunculi) were supposed to be famous in Russia. The extensive contacts of the Slavs with the Greeks for hundreds of years could not but affect all sides of everyday life, including games.

No written monuments about drafts in Russia of the 9th-12th centuries. not preserved. There are only mentions in later epics and finds of chips during excavations. So, bone bombs were found during the excavations of Mount Mithridates on the territory of modern Kerch, glass - within the boundaries of Sevastopol. In the Middle Dnieper, glass drafts were found in one of the graves of the 3rd-4th centuries AD. er in the vicinity of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky, Kiev region. The earliest checkers in Kiev are known from the IX-X1I centuries. In ancient Kiev, checkers were made of various materials - glass, bone, clay.

More on drafts left lines epics.

In the epic "Ilya and Kalin the Tsar", the Russian warriors "sit in a white tent ... they play chess and checkers, and gilded gold in their stores." Bogatyr Mykhailo Potyk is also drawn in bylinas by the warrior of Kiev Prince Vladimir. When he, the prince's ambassador, the king of Bukhara asked what they were having fun in Russia, Potyk replied: “We have in Russia. . . play checkers, chess. In some versions of the epics, Mikhail Potyka, instead of chess, is often said to be “playing maple checkers”. In the epics, recorded in the Cossack villages, it says only about the drafts, shashiltsah, tavlei.

The mention in epics of chess and checkers at the same time occurred, apparently, because in those times there was no sharp distinction, as now, between chess and checkers figures. Perhaps the effect of Shatranj on the transformation of the ladies in checkers in Rus.

With the formation of the Moscow state, later heroes began to be included in the epics of the Kiev period, for example, Yermak Timofeevich; There were links to relations with Western European nations (“German steel”). With the growth of the Moscow state grew and the rich people of the city. But the drafts games from ancient times flourished among the urban population.

Ancient Roman latruncules underwent changes in Russia: the woman became a long-range one, a simple piece got the right to beat back, if it was possible to take in different directions, she was given the freedom to choose a direction. Idle when entering the Kings with a shock stroke is given the right to continue the kick on the rights of the Kings on the same turn (“taking on the aisle”).

The introduction of a long-range dam most likely occurred either in the Caucasus or among the southern Slavs who lived along the shores of the Black Sea, but perhaps the reform originated in Persia itself.

The idea of ​​giving a simple right to beat back could arise from Turkestan drafts. Consider the example in fig. 13: checker d5 makes a shock stroke to the fields a9, a5 and d9 through the field b7. By analogy with the shock moves of checkers with orthogonal direction of moves, d5 has the right to beat in both directions with a turn on d9 or a5 from v7, but directions v7 - d9 and v7 - a5 are directly opposite: first - forward, second - back.

With the advent of writing, the Russian people in the description of games appeared terms: leka, whitefish, strength, shegi, and taverns. It is difficult to answer the question when these terms refer to drafts, and when it is to other games.

The word "tavlei" (plural) was transferred to the game in simple checkers. In the famous notes of A. Bolotov in the XVIII century. Checkers called Tavlei are mentioned more than once. In the magazine "Rainbow" (1885) there is an article, the author who claims that the word "Tavlei" is the name of the German game Tkkadili, whence the name "Velyi German", and this name is found only in Moscow monuments. It is possible that in this particular case, the author of the article is right. But the word “tavlei” was used not only in Moscow documents: checkers at the Peter I. assemblies were called tavlei.

The lack of clear written information about drafts cannot serve as an argument to deny the existence of a drafts game in Russia. In neighboring Poland, as can be seen from E. Gizycki’s book “With chess through centuries and countries” (1964, 3rd ed., P. 63), checkers have had numerous admirers from time immemorial, and, as will be seen from the next chapter, Russians shared information about drafts with neighboring Poland.

The guesswork of Sargin about borrowing a checkered game by our ancestors from the ancient Romans must be admitted to be quite justified.

The development of the drafts game in Russia was probably influenced by the drafts games of the peoples inhabiting the territory of the modern Central Asian socialist republics.


The first stage (until 1827)

Its beginning dates back to the middle of the 17th century, the end to the first quarter of the 19th century. It is known that at this stage the game was widespread among the people, but there was no checkered literature in Russian.

You can judge how they played at that time, according to information from A. D. Petrov's “Guide” and according to his “Memoirs”: a certain number of games were played on a bet by condition. The pace of the game is fast. At the same time, inexperienced players fell into the traps of a more experienced partner or were punished for failing to comply with the rules of "fuke". Good players "fukami" not used. Some players tenderly knew the rules of the game: “... they did not allow the checkers to take back; but only forward, they limited the course of bringing "(Damians. - AK).

It was considered particularly shameful to get locked checkers: “Whoever loses the game and his checker remains locked, this is imputed to the prejudice and it is conditional special payment for each locked checker”. In the case when the game took a protracted nature and it was impossible to determine the outcome of the game, a rule of 30 codes was provided: “At the end of the game, when the player finds it difficult to win, for example, with three losses against one and so on, then after 30 moves the game is announced on both sides draw.

At a meeting of players of unequal power, the more skilful one gave odds - for the equation of the game he shot one or two checkers from the front line. In a word, we can assume that checkers in Russia were during the reign of Alexei Mikhailovich (1645-1675) and were very widespread, and even in modern form, received under Peter I (1689-1725).

In his book, K. Kruisvik gives a table of names for elements of drafts games in different languages ​​in the XVI-XVII centuries. It says that in Russian a game figure is called a checker, a lady - bring it. Apparently, information about the drafts in Russia from visiting foreigners began to appear abroad.

Y. Reitenfeld, who visited Moscow in 1670-1676, writes that there "at the game of robbers (or chess), all the time and old people and children in the streets and squares are now spending ..." Mentioning the game of robbers indicates on a checker game.

On the distribution of drafts in Russia in the XVIII century. can be judged by the monuments of fiction. For example, G. R. Derzhavin in the ode to “Happiness” speaks of three games: checkers, cards, and chess, as a usual lesson “when meeting a beauty”; A.S. Pushkin in the poem “Winter, what should we do in the village” informs that “we have to ... sit at the drafts”; N. V. Gogol in Dead Souls perfectly described the checkers duel between Chichikov and Nozdryov. The popularity of the checkers among the people is evidenced by the information about the game of checkers by A. V. Suvorov, E. Pugacheva.

The famous Polish poet A. Mickiewicz (1798-1855) wrote a whole poem about drafts on a 64-cell board, which he called “Checkers”. The great Polish poet considered this game an entertainment “for serious, intelligent people” and tried “to glorify it so that the checkers would be honored everywhere”. Judging by the text of the poem, Mickiewicz knew about the peculiarities of the drafts games in Spain, in France and Poland, precisely on the 64-cell, and not on the 100-cell board.

The second stage (until 1887)

Its beginning is determined by the date of publication of the Guide by A. Petrov, and the end by the termination of the publication of the magazines Raduga and Chess Herald, in which the latest works of M. Gonyayev, an eminent theorist of the time, were published.

This stage is characterized by the appearance of a notation for recording moves and placing checkers on the board. Checkers appeared in a number of magazines. Then the digital checker notation was transformed into alphanumeric (close to modern), a detailed charter of the game was developed (a prototype of the modern drafts code), the composition (especially the problem one) was greatly developed, and its theory began, a great contribution was made to the analysis of the game ends . Began to enter the practice of the game of correspondence. Written first work on the history of drafts. Revealed wonderful nuggets craftsmen in a checker game of the people.

In 1827, the small book “Guide to a thorough knowledge of a drafts game, or the art of beating everyone into simple drafts” was published. Its author was the famous chess player and expert on checkers A. D. Petrov (1794-1867). It was the first book about drafts in Russian. It described how to catch one queen by three, occupying a long way, indicated the inapplicability of the rules about "fuke" in a serious game, about ways of marking a queen, about the rule of 30 moves at the ends of games, gives examples of "tricks of the game", of which subsequently a checkered composition developed, etc.

In the years 1859-1863 The Chess Sheet magazine was published as a free supplement to the Russian Word magazine. Occasionally it contained materials about checkers. In the May 1861 issue it was reported that various checkers games, known in Western Europe under the name “Polish”, “German”, are almost completely unknown in Russia, but ordinary checkers are “in high gear” - it was about Russian checkers.

In the same year, the interesting “Memories” of A. D. Petrov were published:

“I played fairly well in simple checkers and in giveaway, but I met players stronger than me ... Andrei Petrovich Popov was stronger than all. I got to know him in the thirties ... A full, healthy man ... with a smart face, 45 years old, silent. He always played strong with him. At first he beat me mercilessly. Out of 10 games, I barely managed to win one ... Having played with him for two months, I finally achieved that out of 3, igor won one, and lost two, not counting any draws. He also played chess, but weakly: I could give the rook ahead ...

Simple checkers have their subtleties that are inaccessible to chess players. Sometimes, you think that you have gone well, and you look, Andrei Petrovich has set such a double trap, that you inevitably fall into one of them. He played surprisingly well and fluently ...

In 1847 I received from him (Popova.- A.K.) a letter of the following content:

“I had a chance to see glorious players in Moscow and tried to get acquainted with the first of them in short. This is Moscow Petty bourgeois Ivan Petrovich Seleznev. We played with him igor for 30 cents every time, and I, having drawn a draw from him, lost to him in the celled one (each game was a silver coin for me, and that for the rich, he plays a golden game), because it is rarely very to win a draw ... Of the whole of Moscow, only two do not take a draw from him, but they cannot keep up with him. But he did not dare to give me a check. ”

In his memoirs, Petrov bequeathed that the names of such players as Seleznev and Popov be kept in the annals of drafts history.

From 1870 to 1887, the World Illustration magazine was published. In the drafts departments of the journal many drafts problems were published with original finals, singled out by M. Gonyaev especially in his theory of drafts composition. The article “Memories of Chrome and Yakovlev” was published in this journal according to information received from amateur A. S. from Kiev:

“At the beginning of the 1850s, they died in Moscow ... soon one after another the two strongest drafts players who ever lived in Moscow. One was called Ivan Petrov Lame (he limped heavily), the other - Dmitry Yakovlev. In one of the rooms of the Russian Word for 1861, 1862, I don’t remember well, several stories about Yakovlevich were placed (it seems that was his name, if I’m not mistaken), who on his own behalf said that he often played with chess player Petrov in checkers, and at first Petrov was much weaker than he, and then almost equal with him. Then he says that in 1830 he was in Moscow, where he attacked such a player, who of 10 igor could barely make one or two draws, but there was nothing to think about winning.

This enemy was Ivan Petrov, and in 1850 he himself told me about this fight with a Petersburg player. At that time, that is, in 1850, both of them, Ivan Petrov and Dmitry Yakovlev, had 65 years each. Until 1812, Lame had a small shop in Gostiny Dvor, and Dmitry Yakovlev was a wealthy tradesman, but because of his passion for checkers, he first bargained for his shop, and the other one also lived through, and in 1849, when I recognized them both, they, as they say, have already fought for existence.

In the game, they were equivalent, and in the final positions, I think Dmitry Yakovlev was even higher, but the original play of the games at Lame was better developed ... so after 4 or 5 moves your game seems good, but it goes after .. what ... what option you play ... lost everywhere ... Ivan Petrov himself refers to Dmitry Yakovlev's game with respect and calls him a "stronghold player".

A lot of valuable materials were printed in the drafts department of the magazine “Chess Piece”, published by Chigorin from 1876 to 1881.

In 1877, the first article by M. Gonyaev from the “Sketches on drafts” series was published. The author complained that the literature on drafts is extremely small - only 3 editions in Russian. Gonyaev saw the reason for this phenomenon in the fact that in Western Europe the game on a 100-cell board is widespread and that checkers occupy a “plebeian” social position compared to the “royal” game of chess.

Gonyaev was the first to pay attention to the beauty of drafts combinations, which was manifested especially vividly in tasks and etudes, and called this area “drafts poetry”. He formulated a number of requirements for the compilation of tasks so that this “poetry” manifested in them: the final must be economical and original, the number of locked checkers in all variants should not exceed the tasks, the origin of the initial position can be proved.

In 1878, Gonyaev published the second article in the “Drafts Sketches” series, where he outlined a concise list of game rules and competition rules, the so-called “rules”. There he also analyzed in detail the contents of Petrov’s Guide and noted a number of advantages of this manual on drafts.

In 1879, he published the third article from Drafts Sketches, where he gave an overview of the published drafts problems and outlined the basics of the theory of task preparation and principles for assessing their quality.

In 1881 and 1883 published magazine "Spectator". They published an analysis of the debut “Wicked Beginning” by M. Gonyaev and N. Pankratov (the game was played by correspondence).

From 1881 to 1884 a checkers department was led in the newspaper Gattsuka. To this department, D. Sargin wrote a special brochure - “Report on the first competition of drafts problems in the A. Gattsuk newspaper, 1883”. In it, Sargin continued Gonyaev's work on the theory of compiling wheel problems and recommended alphanumeric notation. This brochure is the first book in Russian about drafts composition.

From 1884 to 1887, a fairly large drafts department was conducted in the magazine "Rainbow". In 1884, an essay by M. Gonyaev on the history of drafts was published there.

Gonyaev reduced all types of drafts games to three main types: a) Russians (and Germans) - a 64-cell board, a long-range lady, simple back and back, freedom to choose the direction of the blow, the lady formed by the shock course has the right to take "; b) English - the same board, the lady goes and beats as simple, but can beat back, the choice of the direction of the blow is free, the lady “on the aisle” does not take; c) Polish - a 100-cell board, a long-range lady, be sure to beat most of the pieces, a simple one hits backwards, a lady on the aisle does not take.

In the same journal, Gonyaev published the “Charter of the Drafts Game” developed by him (in the development of the “Rules” he had written earlier) and three parties were played, played by correspondence in 1881 between D. Sargin and M. Gonyayev against N. Pankratov, for the analysis of the "wicked beginning."

In the summer of 1884, the first (out of print) tournament behind the board was held with the participation of E. Lebedev, A. Popov, D. Sargin, V. Erdelyi and P. Bobrov.

From 1885 to 1887 the magazine Chess Herald was published. In 1885, Gonyaev described a new way to win with three queens against one who did not own the big road. This is the now known “Gonyayev method.” Then Gonyaev investigated the ends of games at a ratio of two queens with a simple versus a lady and a simple one.

How to play checkers in this period? Here is what the press reported: “Despite the tremendous play of drafts in Russia, we can bring few facts into the drafts chronicle. The reason for this lies in the fact that intelligent circles began to engage in drafts game relatively recently, the middle class, between which the game is common, is interested in the game not to develop its theory, but only its process (sometimes achieving high perfection in the game) ... to draw playing a more or less profitable commercial, and sometimes even gambling ...

Most of all they play checkers in Moscow. The game is mainly distributed among the merchants of the so-called "city" (Nikolskaya, Ilyinka, Varvarki streets). There are certain meeting places for members of circles. There ... play a lot and a lot. "

Of the strong players of the time, it should be noted S. Komarov, who was the first mentor of S. Vorontsov, V. Vorontsov, I. Serkov, I. Chistyakov and S. Romanychev.

“The theory of the beginning of a checker game does not exist yet, nevertheless it exists, and such players as S. Romanychev could have been its real founders, but because of their interest exclusively in practical money games, instead of recording their games they developed, they are jealous cherish them in reserve, and there is almost no opportunity to get anything useful for them from our business. ”

In St. Petersburg, the drafts game was less developed, and there were no drafts players of such strength as Muscovites. V. Filippov was considered the best player of the Apraksinsky market.

One of the most talented propagandists of drafts was Mikhail Konstantinovich Gonyaev.

A lawyer by education and occupation (legal profession in Elisavetgrad), Gonyaev wrote a solid research in his specialty. But his range of interests was much broader. He was interested in games of chess and checkers, especially their history. After studying French, German and English on his own, he translated articles for lovers who corresponded with him and sent them manuscripts of translations with a request to send them further to others for familiarization. Willingly shared information about rare books that came to him. He did not shy away from any, even draft, work. Sargin somehow got a book about drafts in Spanish. Gonyaev sat down for the translation, not knowing Spanish, and after two weeks achieved a good subscript translation. According to Sargin, “this highly gifted man took a lot of knowledge with him to his grave”.

The third stage (1887-1917)

The game of correspondence, which was promoted by various periodicals with drafts departments, was greatly developed.

From 1887 to 1889, the first in Russia drafts tournament by correspondence, organized by the editor of the drafts department in the magazine “Picturesque Review” P. Plotitsin, was held. Among the participants of the tournament were mostly drafters drafts tasks. The winners were P. Plotitsin and V. Saratov.

From 1889 Vasily Ivanovich Shoshin (1864-1941) was actively involved in the correspondence game. He was "the most energetic representative of the Petersburg checkers game."

From 1891 to 1893, the magazine Chess Review was published (the first year - under the name "Shashechnitsa"). It contained an informative checkered section, where parties, tasks, chronicles were printed; he also organized pen tournaments.

These tournaments greatly contributed to the popularization of checkers. A prominent place was given in the journal bibliography. In particular, in 1891, the book "Checkers, a complete collection of rules and tasks, 1891" was analyzed. Neither the author nor the publisher is unknown. Sargin argued that the author of the book in checkers understands almost nothing, but has extracts from foreign books.

In the same place, Sargin reviewed the contents of German textbooks on drafts and showed that the Germans used Spanish, Scottish and Polish drafts on a 64-cell board, and therefore the identity of German drafts with Russians is out of the question.

The World Illustration, which we mentioned, was resumed in 1892 and was published until 1898. Not only tasks, but also games with notes by V. Shoshin were placed in the drafts department.

Correspondence tournaments, competitions for solving problems and etudes in journals, the development of the “drafts of the drafts game” set the stage for All-Russian competitions. In 1894 and 1895 Pavel Nikolaevich Bodyansky (1857 - 1922), an outstanding drafts propagandist teacher (and then director) of one of the Kiev gymnasiums, organized the first two Russian championships in Moscow. In the first one (July 1894), 8 players played in two rounds. The winners were two Muscovites: S. Vorontsov (1856 - 1933) and F. Kaulen (1854 - 1914), 3rd place was taken by A. Ovodov from Epiphanius (1856 - 1912). In the second championship (July 1895) there were already 14 participants playing among themselves in four rounds. S. Vorontsov became the champion, F. Kaulen took the 2nd place, the 3rd - the strongest player of Warsaw D. Fishbin.

In 1896, the game began in the All-Russian correspondence tournament, also organized by Bodyansky; 44 participants were divided into three semifinal groups. By April 1897, all games of the semifinals were played. The winners in the groups were: in one - V. Shoshin, in the other - A. Ovodov, and in the third - Muscovite N. Kukuev (1875-1951). The strongest players of the semifinal groups reached the final (“the tournament of the best forces”).

In 1899, the final is over. A. Ovodov became the champion among external students, V. Shoshin took the 2nd place, on the 3rd came the Varshavian S. Indyh.

From July 1897, the first in Russia special checker magazine “Checkers” began to appear. Publisher - P. Bodyansky. The magazine was published until the end of 1901. It published many parties, sketches, endings, analyzes of the most important games, biographies of the strongest drafts players, stories about various types of drafts games in Russia and abroad, information about numerous competitions at the board and by correspondence, content reviews. drafts departments in other editions, etc.

In July 1898, P. Bodyansky organized the third championship of Russia in Moscow. 12 participants played in four circles. S. Vorontsov did not participate in the tournament. F. Kaulen became the champion, 2nd and 3rd places were shared by A. Ovodov and A. Shoshin (1878-1906).

In 1901, the fourth (and last) Russian Championship took place in Moscow. 15 participants played in two circles; S. Vorontsov became the champion, A. Shoshin took 2nd place, F. Kaulen was on the 3rd place. During the tournament, matches of A. Shoshin against S. Vorontsov and F. Kaulen were organized. Both matches were won by A. Shoshin, who proved that he was the strongest Russian drafts player at the time (although he did not have the official champion title). An indicator of the outstanding strength of A. Shoshin’s game is the winning of an absentee match in S. Vasiliev with a result of + 3-2 = 2; This match was played at a bet of 100 rubles on a call from S. Vasiliev. “Vasilyev was assisted by many amateurs with F. Kaulen in charge. Sargin found in the shop of V. Vasiliev a whole committee of players who, at the arrival of Sargin, threw down the analysis of the games. It can be said that “A. Shoshin beat the whole of Moscow ”(D. Sargin).

In 1901, P. Bobrov resumed the publication of the journal Chess Review. But this magazine could not replace the magazine "Draftsman" by Bodyansky, the issue of which the publisher stopped "because of the difficulties of publication and the costs that were not reimbursed by a subscription to the magazine." The publication of magazines with the unification of chess and checkers in one edition is explained by the fact that it was difficult to provide a strong contingent of subscribers on one type of games. D. Sargin wrote: “A durable chess journal in Russia is hardly possible without checkers. P. Bobrov informed that the magazine can exist if the number of subscribers is no less than 250, and in 1901 there were only 140, and, for example, there were only 4 subscribers from St. Petersburg, and they were all drafts! ”

The publication of the magazine was not only unprofitable. It was not easy to get the right to publish: a certificate about the “reliability” of the publisher was required. In addition, the police were extremely suspicious of the checker cipher, fearing that it would be used for secret correspondence.

In 1903 Shoshin brothers published the magazine "Checkered Sheet". The message to the readers said: The purpose of our publication is to establish a strong and lively connection between lovers of the game of drafts.

With the termination of the magazine “Checkers”, which has been published for more than 4 years, this connection was maintained only by two or three sections in publications that could not satisfy the lovers ... A large checkered section in the Chess Review could replace a special checkered organ, but for interested in a checker game only, a 7-ruble edition in which no more than 1/7 of each issue is given to checkers is too expensive. ”

The journal has completed its task: it has published many tasks and etudes, analyzes of the parties, an important article on the history of drafts was published; the statute of the game, organized a lot of tournaments and matches by correspondence were placed notes from the field. In one of them (Volzhsky Vestnik, 1903, March 30) it was reported: “At the meeting of the Cheboksary society of sobriety, the question of allowing a drafts tournament in the people's house was discussed. Among those who sat, there were such figures who believed that the people's house would be “more immoral than the club” from admitting the Shashishists there. I had to turn to the governor for permission to hold the tournament. Such permission in labor, but was obtained. "

At the end of 1903 the publication of the journal ceased. The supposed continuation of the publication by Sargin was not realized due to the outbreak of the war with Japan.

In 1904, the publication of P. Bobrov's Chess Review was also stopped.

Five years have passed, and the activists of drafts tried to renew the drafts publications. From October 1908 to August 1909 (nominally, and in fact until the beginning of 1910), V. Lokotyanov published a small magazine, The Leaf of the draftsman.

In 1910, after the release in March-May, the publication of “Chess Review” ceased.

In 1911, A. Zenchenkov (Yuriev) tried to publish a small magazine “Checkered leisure activities”, but stopped publishing after the 4th issue. In the years 1911-1912. V. Lokotianov published a number of materials for readers in the drafts department of the “Pupil” magazine.

In 1913, V. Lokotianov and V. Ivanov managed to publish part of materials from the archive of A. Shoshin and D. Sargin in “Waves” - an appendix to the newspaper “Kopeyka”.

Of course, these short-term publications could not help unite the fans of the game of Russian checkers. Only the drafts department in the Literary and Popular Scientific Applications (to the magazine Niva), which was edited by V. Shoshin from 1900 to 1917, played a large role in the development of the game.

In pre-revolutionary Russia there was no generally accepted system for the distribution of players according to the strength of the game. In Moscow in the mid-nineties, all players were divided into 4 categories. In matches between themselves, the players of the second category received a draw from the players of the first category (i.e., a draw was considered to be the winner of the weakest). A similar handicap was given by players of the second category to players of the third, and players of the third category - to players of the fourth. At meetings through the category, the cottage ahead increased; for example, players of the first category gave players of the third category a draw for two wins. The players of the fourth category, the first players gave forward a piece.

The players of the first category were: S. Vorontsov and F. Kaulen, the second - A. Serkov, G. Belov and M. Ivanov, the third - brothers S. and V. Vasilyev, D. Borovkov, I. Lebedev, K. Vorontsov and N. Kukuev.

I. A. Serkov did not fit into this “table of ranks”. He played a little weaker than S. Vorontsov and F. Kaulen, but they could not give him a draw in advance. By the end of the XIX century. M. Ivanov (1860-1939) became stronger. Judging by the results of the 3rd and 4th championships of Russia, he played stronger than the players of the second category.

The Moscow “Table of Ranks” described above had to be resorted to later, since the Rossig Championships were not held after 1901. The "Checkers List" reported on the success of the St. Petersburg player A. Egorov, who played S. Vorontsov with the result of + 8-12 = 17, as well as the appearance of a new strong player in Moscow V. Medkoz, who played at the level of the second category.

There were also local tournaments with a strong composition. So, in 1909, a tournament of 14 checkers players took place in Moscow, a kind of unofficial championship of Moscow. The 1st place was taken by S. Vorontsov, the 2nd by V. Medkov, the 3rd and 4th places were shared by M. Ivanov and N. Kukuev. In 1910 another tournament was organized in Moscow, interesting because many participants of the Russian championship of 1901 played in it, won M. Ivanov, V. Medkov and F. Kaulen, 4, shared 2nd and 3rd places. th N. Kukuyev took, and S. Vorontsov remained only in 5th place.

In the same year, a big tournament was held in St. Petersburg, 18 participants played in two rounds. A. Egorov won in ney, V. Stolyarov and A. Tuvalyev shared 2nd and 3rd places, 4th took 3. Sakharov, veteran V. Filippov was on the 5th.

Among the checkersists of pre-revolutionary Russia, there were genuine enthusiasts who understood the place that checkers occupy in national culture. However, the dismissive attitude of privileged circles to the folk game and the absence of popular literature prevented the proliferation of drafts among the working people. Only after the Great October Revolution, the game of Russian checkers became one of the means of raising the national culture.

And so:

The history of the game of checkers

Checkers: terms

Checkers and Chess

International Checkers

The benefits of a game like Russian checkers

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