Halma and Chinese Checkers


HalmaMen.jpg (25257 bytes)halma3.jpg (17877 bytes)Halma was invented by the Victorians in around 1880. The objective is to move all your pieces from your corner into the opposing corner. Each turn, a piece is moved to the adjacent square or, if possible, a piece can be moved by hopping over an adjacent piece into the hole the other side from where it can hop over another adjacent piece if such exists and so on. The game starts to get interesting when there are lots of pieces in the centre as a turn then will usually consist of a single piece making multiple hops over several pieces and moving some distance.

To the left is shown a box for holding Halma pieces owned by the author's parents'.
Next, a commercial board from the 1930s, 1940s. Picture by kind permission Kidds Toys.
Below, a wooden Halma game owned by the author set up as for the start of the game. The origin of this board is unknown - anyone have any ideas?
Below right - the earliest American board that the author has come across was a simple cardboard version without the pieces. A sticker on the board read "Halma Pat. May 29 1888. Published by E.I. Horsman, New York. Copyrighted 1885".

Halma.jpg (31296 bytes)

wchinesecheckers.jpg (30108 bytes)

Chinese Checkers

Chinese Checkers, disappointingly, is no more than Halma transported to a star shaped board. It was first patented in the West by Ravensburger, the famous German games company, under the name Stern-Halma in Germany a few years after Halma appeared. It was later launched in the USA under the catchier name of Chinese Checkers, and this is the form that is most well-known today. J Pressman is believed to be the person who introduced the game to the USA during 1928 although several other manufacturers started to make it thereafter including Milton Bradley whom, an unconfirmed report has it, patented the game in 1941.

In Chinese Checkers, which can be played by 2, 3, 4 or 6 people, each person starts with a set of uniquely coloured pieces in the point of one of the stars. The objective is simply to be the first to move all the pieces across the board and into the star point opposite. Pieces move a single point or else hop over as many other pieces (including those of the same colour) as is desired in order to fulfil this aim and the middle part of the game becomes quite a challenge as the options for hopping vary rapidly as the game changes shape. The player who can best create and take advantage of hopping opportunities will tend to win.

To the right is an attractive wooden board with wooden pegs bought by in Switzerland.

The Online Guide to Traditional Games Home


Copyright 1997-2001 by AGames.
Используются технологии uCoz