Recreation HomePage
Suspected History
Nobody knows for sure how the game 12x12 draughts came to Sri Lanka. I suspect it during the dutch period. Sri Lanka was under a dutch colony before the British.
Netherlands(dutch) call this game "DAM". Sri Lankans also call the game "DAM". But in Netherland it is played on 10x10 but in Sri Lanka it is played on 12x12 on an interted borad.
Probably the one who started the game couldn't remember the number of squares and the orientation of the board. One cannot expect more from a soldier at that time.
Further ...
For anybody so keen on draughts history this info might be helpful(from : Peter Michaelsen [email protected])
My information about 12x12 being played in other countries than Canada and Sri
Lanka comes from a book by my Dutch friend Arie van der Stoep: A History of
Draughts, Rockanje 1984, page 110-111.
He mentions the distribution of International checkers and includes here the
game on the 12x12 board:
I quote from these pages:
Indonesia (named dam-blas) (blas is derived from Dutch blazen = huff) 100+144
cells);...Malaya (144 squares, game-name: dang, board-name: papan-dang; taking
and taking the most is obligatory, the huff (name: blaas) still exists (Het
Damspel 1930 p. 16-7), rules described by H.O. Robinson, Cheltenham Examiner,
19, 28 november 1903: the man cannot take backwards, and taking the most value
is obliged (H.J.R. Murray: A History of Board Games other than Chess, Oxford
1952, p.81);
Singapore (144 squares) (Het Damspel 1965 p. 50, reported by R.C. Bell); South
India (name: dam), 12x12 squares (The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1910), Sri Lanka
(name: dam), with a variety on 144 squares: the man also move backwards (Het
Damspel 1929, p. 144, Het Damspel 1925, p. 109, H.Parker, Ancient Ceylon, London
1909 p. 584)."

In Erwin Glonnegger: Das Spiele-Buch, Uehlenfeld 1999, there is a photo on p.153
showing "Tams", a draughts variant in Malaysia and Singapore. Game plan with
12x12 squares, 24 stones for each player. This is my translation of the German
text under the photo. It shows two boys playing on a home-made 12x12 board with
bottle tops. But one of the two boys has in fact 27 bottle tops, while the other
has at least 22 - as he is just going to move a piece his hands may cover some
further bottle tops. I think that it is safe to conclude that they did both
start with 2x30 pieces, like in Sri Lankan/Canadian checkers/draughts, which
means that the photo text may be wrong. - Special Photo Effects on your Snapshots !
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