Draughts, or a similar game to it has been played for thousands of years. A board extremely similar to a Draughts board was found and dated back to three thousand BC. These very early games involved similar 'jumping' movement in order to take pieces but did not have the pieces move in diagonal directions only.
It is believed that the game was played in Africa (as well as in other ancient civilisations) using stones and shells. There are even carved boards which have a criss-cross pattern which were etched into the stone slabs on temples - in particular the temple of Luxor (Egypt).
The Draughts game board (sometimes called a checkerboard due to its pattern) has been found to be used as far back an Ancient Egypt as many boards were found buried with some Egyptians in their tombs.
The International Draughts game is the most popular game and is played on a 10 x 10 game board - the English variant which is the same as American Checkers uses an 8 x 8 board. There are also other varieties which use a board which is 12 squares wide and 12 squares in length.
The game was mentioned by both famous Greek philosopher's Plato and Homer as it was 'borrowed' by the Ancient Eqyptians as did the Romans.
Draughts was talked about by philosopher's and poets, it was played in ancient Rome by many reputable citizens and many centuries later was considered to be a Gentleman's game.
Years later, in the 20th century the game was overtaken in popularity by Chess and in belgium and germany was no longer considered to be a game for gentlemen but moreso a game more suited to children as a passtime or hobby.
It may be because the game has been 'solved' that it it seen as a simpler game to play and therefore chess rose in popularity as it has more of a mystry and difficulty that poses more of a challenge to many.
Either way, it appears that Draughts is still a popular game - it is quicker and requires less deliberation so allows people to have a game in a shorter amount of time than chess. It is also simpler to learn as all the pieces do the same thing so it gives children a fairer chance at learning the game and being able to play it properly. Draughts and checkers still gives people the same amount of enjoyment as it alway has done so it is worth getting a set and trying for yourself.
Big Game Hunters do an amazingly good quality set of Giant Garden Draughts which withstand all extremes of weather so can even be left outside. It allows more people to view the game as it is being played and will give your family and friends a great game to keep them entertained for hours.