In 1882, George S. Parker began work on an abstract strategy board game named Chivalry.  His goal was to invent a game not so difficult as Chess, but considerably more varied than Checkers.  Parker created a game that was a tactically complex, but easily learned and quickly played mixture of American Checkers (British Draughts) and Halma (Chinese Checkers).  When finally published by Geo. S. Parker & Co. in 1887 (and then by Parker Brothers in 1888), Chivalry won the raves of Chess and Checkers experts, but the game that Parker called "the best game in 2,000 years" did not catch on quickly with the general public.


Parker never lost his enthusiasm for the game, though, and in 1930 he made a few changes to the game, and Parker Brothers published the game under the name of Camelot.  A few rules changes followed in 1931.  Camelot enjoyed its greatest popularity in the 1930s.  There were over 50 different editions of Camelot sets issued, including a gold-stamped leather edition and a mahogany cabinet edition.  There were tournament editions, regular editions, and low-cost editions.  There were different game variants, too.  Point Camelot, a tournament variant that counted and scored points, was released in 1931.  Three-handed Camelot, Four-handed Camelot, and Grand Camelot, a variant for four players on a special large board, were released in 1932.  Cam, a variant played on a miniature board, was released in 1949.  There was even a variant called Camelotta, of which no known information survives.  Camelot players included such famous individuals as Jose Raul Capablanca, World Chess Champion from 1921 to 1927, and Frank Marshall, U.S. Chess Champion from 1907 to 1936.  Sidney Lenz and Milton Work, two world famous bridge players, also played the game.  John F. Kennedy, thirty-fifth President of the United States, is known to have played Camelot as a boy.  After enjoying substantial popularity in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, Camelot was eventually discontinued in 1968, then reissued as Inside Moves in 1985, and finally discontinued again in 1986.


The World Camelot Federation, an international non-profit organization, was formed in 1999 in an attempt to preserve and popularize this wonderful old game.  The WCF has clarified and modified a few rules.  The WCF Website was created in 2000.  The variants of Camette, Tri-Camelot, Cam 3-D, Anti-Camelot, and Grand Cam have been introduced in recent years.


Click on the following links to learn more about Camelot's history.