Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chinese Checkers

I have always wanted a picture of my family playing Chinese Checkers painted by one of my daughters. But someone has painted this beautiful picture already.

In the 60's and 70's Sibu was often under curfew because of the political upheavals of the time. And being young and active then and having a lot of time in our hands we would have been very bored if we did not have Chinese Checkers to play . Although we also have other card games and toys to amuse us Chinese Checkers remained our favourite.

When it comes to imagination,I am just wondering why we never thought of this giant Chinese Checkers for our playgrounds. Now so many years later the Americans invented it.

(see also description below)

We played Chinese Checkers during the long curfew days of Emergency during the 60's and 70's in Sibu. And many of us could spend hours just trying to beat one another. Some times in the thick of the game we could not even hear our mother calling us for dinner.

It was also admirable when someone had a personal set of his own. Even though the box was always cardboard and the checkers coming from China, we were always careful when we played and the box sometimes would last. Many of us have been keeping our sets for more than 30 years!!

As students we also played Chinese Checkers in competitions organised by schools, unions, and even churches.

Good parents liked to teach their children to play the game so that they could learn to concentrate on a simple game, and strategise. So one can usually find a box of Chinese Checkers in a Foochow home. I wonder if De Bono always won in Chinese Checkesr Games. What about Bill Clinton? Would Chinese Checkers be too boring for him?

Furthermore,this game also taught us how to be good losers, good winners and even good on lookers. It also taught us to be patient. What was very pleasant was when an opponent would suggest a move so that the game would not jam. Today whenever I get stuck in a traffic game I always think of someone coming to move a silly marble(vehicle) out of the route so that we could move on. That is just being wishful. Many adults still park three cars side by side (triple parking) so that their kids could get into their car in the afternoon school jam. Their big cars still jam up the traffic. These parents remind me of the days when we had players who only wanted to win by hook or by crook.

Have you ever been cheated by a friend who would deliberately roll a few of your marbles away by distracting you to look at something else?

Of course we did come across players who would cheat. But then winning was not everything. We also had people who stole our marbles. Well they were forgiven. Mother always said that we could also buy extra marbles. But we can never buy trust.

Here's a nice description from Wikipedia, in case you do not know how to play it.

Chinese checkers or Chinese chequers is a board game that can be played by two to six people. It is a variant of Halma; the objective of the game is to place one's pieces in the corner opposite their starting position of a pitted hexagram by single moves or jumps over other pieces.

The Chinese checkers board has 121 holes or indentations arranged to form a six-pointed star much like a regular hexagram, with ten such spots within each triangular star-point of the hexagram, and 61 within its hexagon. The game pieces are usually six sets of colored pieces (typically marbles), ten of each color. Each set of ten pieces begins placed in the spots of one of the star-points. Play rotates amongst contestants in fixed order, each player making one move before the next player. A move advances a piece towards a opposite corner, either to an adjacent spot or, by a “jump” over an opponents piece, to a spot two places removed. The objective of the game is to place one's pieces in the corner opposite their starting position of a pitted hexagram by single moves or jumps over other pieces.

Despite being called “Chinese checkers”, this game does not actually originate from China or elsewhere in Asia, nor is it a variation on checkers. The game itself was invented in Germany in 1893 under the name “Stern-Halma”, as a variation on the older American game of Halma. The “Stern” (German for star) refers to the star-shape of the board (in contrast with the square board of Halma). The name “Chinese checkers” originated in the United States, when an American tried to make the game sound more exotic.

(The game was mostly introduced to Chinese-speaking regions by the Japanese.

Source : Wikipedia.

(description of Giant Chinese Checkers...)

Enlarge ImageGiant Chinese Checkers
Price: $99.95

Prices are in US Dollars

Great for the gym or outdoors! This huge Chinese Checkers set keeps the fun going for hours. The object of the game is to place one player’s pieces in the corner opposite their starting position by moving them through jumps over opponents’ pieces. Includes 24 soft, 6 1/2"H cone-shaped nylon “pieces”, 8 each in red, green, blue, purple, yellow, and orange, and a durable 82" x 82" vinyl mat with colorful board game design.

0 memories:


web statistics