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Top 5 Ancient Board Games

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These games are the classic classics -- board games that have been played for centuries. They have elegant rules, deep strategy, tactical opportunities, and they all continue to delight modern-day gamers.

1. Go

First played in China more than 3000 years ago, Go is so popular in Japan today that newspapers run columns about the game. Known as Wei Ch'i in China and Baduk in Korea, Go is truly the grand-daddy of all board games.

2. Chess

Chess can trace its roots to a game called Chaturanga which was played in India around 600 AD. Chinese Chess (Xiangqi) and Japanese Chess (Shogi) came into existence by 800 AD. Near the end of the 1400s, the bishop and queen were added to Western Chess.

3. Checkers or Draughts

Although it appears to be a much simpler game than Chess, Checkers offers plenty of strategic considerations for those who choose to look for them.

4. Mancala

The word "Mancala" means "to transfer" in Arabic. This game, which by some estimates is 7000 years old, challenges players to move pieces from bin to bin. Many rule variations exist, and Mancala is played in some form in almost every African country.

5. Mah Jongg

With roots dating back to 800 AD, Mah Jongg is the youngest game on this list. Originally a card game, Mah Jongg today is played with beautifully etched tiles. The modern version of Mah Jongg probably was first played sometime in the 1800s in China.
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