How to Play
is the same as Halma (the forerunner of Chinese Chequers) but is simplified to make it
a one person puzzle.
The aim is to move all your red pieces from one corner of the board to cover the red
rings on the opposite corner in the minimum number of moves. You can hop from one square
into an empty square in any direction or jump over a piece into an empty square beyond,
again in any direction. Hint: Creating diagonal chains of pieces allows you to jump along
and move pieces swiftly across the board. The target is to cross the board in no more
than 35 moves.
The idea probably
originated with an English puzzle called ‘Hoppity’ from around 1854. However
in 1883/4 an American surgeon at Harvard Medical School, George Howard Monks, came up with
‘Halma’, a two-player game, where two camps of 19 men on opposite corners of a
16 x 16 square board have to change places. In 1892 ‘Star Halma’ appeared in
Germany using a six pointed star-shaped board and in the US in 1928 this was rebranded as
‘Chinese Checkers’ by J. Pressman & Co. although it has nothing to do with
China or checkers. Chinese Chequers can be played two, three or four-handed.