De evolution of the chess board

 Originally chess was played at this unchequered board of 64 squares. 



 For our reconstruction of the evolution of draughts, we presume that chess reached Europe about 1000 AD. Not long after the introduction of chess in Europe, chess players painted 32 squares of the board in some dark colour. A 11th c. manuscript mentions it as an improvement which some chess players had adopted because it simplifies the calculation of moves and is a ready means for preventing the occurrence of false moves [Murray 1913:452]. Also Spanish chess players switched over to the chequered board, see the plate below from the 13th c. Alfonso manuscript. And so did players in France and England.

 In some parts of Europe, however, chess players held to their traditional unchequered board. A miniature in the "Shah namah", the book of the kings, Persia 14th c. for instance, depicted chess players at such a board [Grünfeld 1994:64]

 Knowledge of the age when chess players in these lands made the transfer to a chequered board allows us to determine how old orthogonal draughts might be. If chess players, to give an example, made this step in the late 14th century, this is an indication that orthogonal draughts might be born in this time.