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Checkers Rules

Description of the rules for the game of checkers

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There are several varieties of Checkers. GameColony offers you the most popular Anglo-American checkers (called draughts in England). The oldest known checkers rules book was published in 1549! The present-day rules are presented below.


Moves in checkers game

Starting with Red, the players take turns moving one of their own pieces. A 'piece' means either a 'man'--an ordinary single checker or a 'king' which is what a man becomes if it reaches the last rank (see kings).
A man may move one square diagonally only forward--that is, toward the opponent--onto an empty square. Thus, on the diagram on the right-hand side, the red pieces can move 12-16, 11-16 or 11-15. Similarly, the white pieces can move 24-20, 24-19 or 23-19.

checkers move example

Captures ('Jumps')

Checkers rules state tht captures or 'jumps' are mandatory. If a square diagonally in front of a man is occupied by an opponent's piece, and if the square beyond that piece in the same direction is empty, the man may 'jump' over the opponent's piece and land on the empty square. The opponent's piece is captured and removed from the board. Thus, on the diagram  on the right-hand side red can 'jump' 14-21, leaving square (where white man used to stand) 17 empty. Similarly, if it were white turn to move, the white man could 'jump' over its red counterpart 17-10, leaving square 14 empty.

If in the course of single or multiple jumps the man reaches the last rank, becoming a king, the turn shifts to the opponent. No further 'continuation' jump is possible

checkers capture example


The kings

When a single piece reaches the last rank of the board by reason of a move, or as the completion of a 'jump', it becomes a king; and that completes the move, or 'jump'

A king can move in any direction and 'jump' in any direction one or more pieces, as the limits of the board permit. The king can only jump diagonally over one adjacent piece at a time, in any of the four diagonal directions. Multiple jumps are possible.



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