The earliest known version of draughts was found during an archaeological dig in Ur, southern Mesopotamia, today Iraq, dating from 3000 BC. A similar game using a 5x5 board, called alquerque is known to have existed in ancient Egypt as far back as 1400 B.C. This Egyptian version was so popular that man played it for thousands of years, and about 1100 was brought to Spain by the Moors, then gradually migrated into the south of France. Some game scholars believed that a hybrid of alquerque and chess was developed in the early Middle Ages, in France, which was the direct ancestor of draughts. This modified game was called Fierges or ferses, but it was more appropriately called Le Jeu Plaisant De Dames.
As early as the mid 1500s, books were written on the game and in 1756, an English mathematician, William Payne wrote a treatise on draughts. Now, with its own written rules, the game settled in England where it was known as "Draughts" and in America, where people who emigrate took game with them, it was called "Checkers." The game steadily rose in popularity as the years went by. The World Championship in English draughts began in 1840. The World Championship in international draughts began in 1885 in France. The World Draughts Federation (FMJD) was founded in 1947 by four Federations: France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. The first Women's World Championship was held in 1973.