Most of us have very fond memories of the various childhood games we played, and some still live on, not only in our memories, but have been passed down to our children and grandchildren.
Do we ever stop to wonder, however, where these games started? Who were the masterminds behind these games? How many generations have they travelled down? Did the designer create them merely for their own children, or did they have plans of making their millions by creating a new craze?
Let’s take a look at a few of these games and puzzles, and consider the history behind them. We may be surprised at what we find.
Chess has been around for some 1500 years. The first official world chess championship was held in 1886, but it’s beginnings had started well before this time. Its roots can be traced back to India, from where it spread to the Middle East and then to Europe. It was in Europe that it evolved into its current form.
Many of the great chess players are from the former USSR, but individuals such as Bobby Fischer, who was the first US-born citizen to win the world championship, and Capablanca, have had their names go down in history also.
While there are many ancient board games, and it is uncertain as to which is indeed the oldest, Mancala is an old traditional game that is known the world over. With many different variations, one may be surprised to find that the skill challenge involved in the more complex versions of this game is on par with the level of chess. Whereas board games are available for Mancala, in certain places in Africa, this game is played with stones in dug out holes in the ground, making this one of the worlds popular games and puzzles. Stone tables with Mancala holes carved into it have been found from ancient times.
Jumping forward in history, let’s take a look at the popular Sudoku puzzles and how they came into being. The history of Sudoku actually reaches further back than may be thought, knowing that the phenomenon of Sudoku puzzles became a hit in 2005. In 1892 a number puzzle, akin to the modern Sudoku, appeared in a French newspaper ‘” its major difference was the use of double digit numbers, and it was based mainly on mathematics rather than pure logic. A modified puzzle, almost a modern Sudoku puzzle, began to be published and appeared for about a decade prior to the First World War. The first modern Sudoku puzzle was published in 1979, supposedly created by American, Howard Garns. It was later introduced in Japan in 1984 where it became known as Sudoku.
These games and puzzles have all morphed from their original beginnings into what we know today as very popular games. Now that you know some of the history of these games and puzzles, why not go and dig out some of those board games from your cupboard and experience a little more history?