FMJD – Uniting Checkers Organizations around the World
The FMJD–known in the English speaking world as the World Draughts Federation–is the international organization that serves to unite the different countries’ national draughts federations. The federation was founded in 1947 by the national federations of four countries: France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.
The FMJD has recently become a member of the GAISF, and is currently working for Olympic recognition. The FMJD membership represents part of a larger effort by the federation towards the integration of Mind Sports in sports, which they feel is a crucial component of the playing experience.
The FMJD is currently a member of the General Association of International Sports Federations or GAISF, and the International Mind Sports Association or IMSA.
The main goal of the World Draughts Federation was originally to regulate competition in the world checkers championship. While there have been numerous world champions proclaimed in France and the Netherlands over the years prior to the establishment of the World Draughts Federation, the steady increase in the number of countries and the need to have more regular competitions brought about a corresponding need to establish an international checkers organization.
Over the years, the membership of the World Draughts Federation grew to almost fifty national federations. With its induction into the ranks of the GAISF–which serves as the main organization for all international sports, including Olympic and non Olympic sports such as checkers–the World Draughts Federation has managed to gain an even greater visibility and renown in the international sports arena.
Over the years since it was founded, the World Draughts Federation has steadily widened its range of activities. In 1973, checkers championship events for women were introduced, with championship events for juniors following suit in 1971, championship events for cadets in 1988, and championship events for girls in 1989. In 1967, Team championships called "Olympiads" were started for senior checkers players, and in similar events were organized for juniors in 1987.
With its headquarters located in Europe, the World Draughts Federation has been involved in organizing European checkers championships since 1965. With the increase in checkers activities in the other continents, the championship events federation has since begun to hold continental tournaments in Africa, Asia and America as well. For checkers tournaments in regions outside of Europe, the FMJD has established continental confederations to manage competitions at the continent level. The individual championships for seniors and for the youth in Europe have recently been complemented with international club competitions.