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Chess is believed to have originated in India or Persia in the fifth century. It eventually spread through Europe where they named the pieces as we know them today. Chess has now been studied for centuries and has amassed more literature describing and analyzing it than any other game.
The earliest records of Checkers being played start with the Egyptians 3,500 years ago. In more recent times it has been favored by the USA and Scotland, the only two countries to provide World champions in this game. In England and Scotland this classic board game is known as Draughts.
Backgammon is an ancient game played throughout the world. It is particularly popular throughout the Middle Eastern territories, and possibly derives from an ancient Egyptian or Oriental board game where piece movements are decided by the roll of dice. Backgammon is a two-player game of both strategy and luck.
Four in a Line is several centuries old and was especially popular aboard ship where the unique board helped contain pieces which might otherwise be thrown around by the movement of the sea.
It has been suggested Reversi may have originally developed from a game called "Fan Mian" in China but there is no solid evidence of this. In England, Reversi first appeared in the late 19th century, from "The Game of Annexation" by John W. Mollet in 1870 (similar to Reversi but played on a cross-shaped board) and then in a form we are more familiar with, Othello.
Contributed by Xoleras (66310) on Dec 26, 2005.