It is not known who invented checkers. The Encyclopedia Britannica states that checkers is one of the oldest games in the world. The modern form of checkers emerged by the 16th century.
The rule compelling capture is a distinguishing feature of modern checkers and is not present in versions of the game from before the 16th century. The use of a 64-square chessboard for the game occurred by the 12th century. The earliest forms of checkers were played as early as the time of the Egyptian pharaohs, circa 1600 B.C. The Ancient Greek poet Homer and philosopher Plato mentioned similar games in their works.