Chinese Checkers: Beautiful Fun

Stephen Coles

My only extracurricular activity in high school — other than the newspaper and ‘B’ team tennis — was the Chinese Checkers Club. We went to old folks’ homes and played board games and lost because old folks cheat surprisingly often.

Chinese checkers is misnamed. It isn’t really from China, and its not really much like checkers, but it is one of the more entertaining board games, especially with six players in on the action.

The game is most often played with marbles on cheap tin or plastic, but marbles are simply too volatile: one errant elbow or frustrated slam on the table and the game is over. No, in my family (who is very serious about the game) wooden pegs are the only way to go. And when its not in use, a quality board with multicolored pieces makes for lovely decor — the perfect showpiece for your mid-century modern wall unit or credenza. I’ve logged hundreds of games on the large David Levy board pictured above. Levy is known for his beautiful handcrafted furniture striped with various hardwoods. His game boards and cutting boards are most marvelous.

A couple of years ago, I returned from Manufactum in Berlin with this simple little number, perfect for taking games on the road (or the BART). Sadly, it looks like Manufactum doesn’t list the board on their website. If anyone knows the manufacturer, please drop a line.

Thanks to Janean for the photos. Note how hilariously pleased I am with my night of wins. You, too, can experience this level of satisfaction. Get yourself a chinese checkers board today.

» Chinese Checkers on eBay
» David Levy on eBay

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  1. 09.27.07 — stefan

    Here it is. It’s called “Halma” in Germany.

  2. 09.27.07 Stephen Coles

    Thank you, Stefan! Strangely, these games don’t seem to be available on, the English version of the site.

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