Thursday 16 April 2020

Chess and Draughts

Many authors have combined the teaching of chess and draughts in one book. Here are brief details of a few of these in the English language:

Chess: its Theory and Practice; to which is added a Chapter on Draughts, by Captain Crawley, London 1858. Betts 10-11

This book by Captain Crawley, pseudonym of George Frederick Pardon, went through thirteen editions up to 1880, but the first edition of 1858 is particularly hard to find. Douglas Betts could find nothing earlier than the 4th edition for his Bibliography, and the LN catalogue of 1955 also only lists the 4th edition onwards. (Probably the book examined by Betts). The Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague still does not have the first edition of this book.

Betts's Bibliography states that the 4th edition has 191 pages and includes 32 games; the first edition has 180 pages and 31 chess games and was one of the first books to include games by Morphy.

The examination of chess takes up 163 pages while the final chapter on draughts is just 17 pages long.

Captain Crawley's book was substantially revised and brought up to date in 1876 for the 10th edition onwards and the treatise on draughts was entirely new. Chess 156 pages, draughts 32 pages.


Everybody's Guide to Chess and Draughts, by Henry Peachey, London 1896. Betts 10-57.

The author devotes 208 pages to chess but only 18 to draughts.

The book was reprinted in 1899 by a new publisher W. R. Russell.

In addition to the usual history/rules/instructions/openings/endings/problems, the chess section of this book includes a chapter on the author's personal observations of contemporary chess masters, taking as his subjects fifteen of the leading players from the Hastings Chess Tournament of 1895.

An Elementary Guide to the Scientific Games of Draughts and Chess, by Albert Belasco, London 1912. Betts 10-83.

The first six editions of this work included draughts only. Seven of the 38 pages in this book are full-page adverts, page one is the title page, leaving 18 pages for draughts and 12 for chess. The book includes brief biographies of Emanual Lasker and Joseph Blackburne, and the draughts players James Wyllie and Alfred Jordan.

In 1916 Belasco brought out a revised work; Chess & Draughts: A Complete Guide, and this was published in at least 38 editions into the 1960s with updated material. The 60 pages were divided approximately equally between draughts and chess.  


A Complete Guide to the Games of Checkers and Chess, by Maxim La Roux, Baltimore 1916. Betts 10-93.

Maxim La Roux's book has a heavy emphasis on the game of draughts which is discussed in the first 95 pages, with coverage of Polish, Spanish, Italian and Turkish draughts, in addition to the standard game. The final 32 pages deal with chess.


Chess and Checkers: the way to Mastership, by Edward Lasker, New York 1918. Betts 10-97.

The extensive chess tutorial occupies the first 222 pages, while the section on checkers covers the final 62 pages and was written in collaboration with Alfred Jordan, world champion from 1912 to 1917. 


Chess and Draughts: How to enjoy them, by Charles Platt, London 1933. Betts 10-131. Chess - pages 1 to 114, draughts - pages 115 to 130.

Note the randomly placed draughts pieces which should all be on squares of the same colour.

This book was re-issued in 1941 with minor revisions and a new title: Complete Guide to Chess and Draughts. In this edition, chess takes up 107 of the 125 pages.


Thanks to Owen and Kathy Hindle for the image of Chess and Draughts: How to Enjoy them.

Other books combining chess and draughts include the following: (up to 1950)

The Whole Art of Chess & Draughts (Draughts and Chess for the Millions), London circa 1844.

Chess & Draughts Made Easy, by J. Bishop, London circa 1855.

The Hand-book of Chess and Draughts, by R. Wormald, London 1866. 

How to Play Checkers and Chess by S. Walker, Cleveland circa 1920s.

Guide to Chess and Checkers: A Complete Course of Instruction for Beginners, by D. Mitchell and L. Held, Cleveland 1941. 


                                          © Michael Clapham 2020


No comments:

Post a Comment