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All About Checkers Rules

Many people learned checkers rules from one of their grandparents. That's where many of us anyway first got acquainted with this wonderful game. Checkers, called Draughts in England and in many other countries, is a very ancient game. Some say it is the oldest game presently played. According to the American Checker Federation, the game is at least 4000 years old, played by the Egyptian kings, and mentioned in the writings of Homer and Plato.

While we might not have thought too much about it when playing against a grandparent, after all it was an enjoyable pastime, checkers is more complex than commonly believed. One estimate is that there are something like 10 to the 20th power legal moves in the game. This is just under a billion - trillion moves. Chess is more complicated, having an estimated million-quintillion legal moves, or 10 to the 42nd power. Large numbers, covered by a few straightforward rules. With so many possible moves, and so few checkers rules to cover them, it becomes rather obvious that checkers is a game of great subtlety and depth, and requires years of playing experience to master, if indeed mastering is the correct word.

The Basic Rules Of Standard American Checkers - Checkers is a game played between two players, and is played on a board with 64 alternating red and black squares, an 8 by 8 board. Only the black squares are used during the course of the game. Each player has 12 pieces to start the game, with one player having 12 red pieces and the other 12 black pieces. Traditionally, the player with the black pieces makes the first move.

At the start of the game, each player's 12 pieces occupy the 12 black squares making up the first three rows at that player's side of the board. The first row, nearest to the player, is called the "King's Row". Checkers pieces may either be designated as kings or as men. At the start of the game, all the pieces on the board are men, and we'll start with the rules applying to the men.

Men may only move in two ways, both forward and diagonally among the black squares. A piece may be moved forward to an adjacent diagonal black square that is unoccupied by another piece. The other permissible move is to jump an opponent's piece if it is occupying an adjacent black square, but only if there is a vacant square on the opposite side of the piece being jumped.

If the option exists to jump and opponent's piece, that option must be taken. When a piece is jumped it has been captured and is removed from the board and from play. If more than one jump is possible, all possible jumps must be made and the pieces captured.

If you are successful in moving one of your pieces, one of your "men" to your opponent's king's row, your piece is "crowned". A crowned piece has the added option of being able to move backwards, capturing pieces in the process when possible. A piece once crowned however, may not make its initial move backwards until the opponent has made his/her move. A crowned piece is most often designated by placing a second checker on top of the first; however any designation that makes it possible to distinguish between kings and men is permissible. Checkers pieces are often designed to enable easy stacking of one piece on another for the purpose of crowning.

The end of the game is reached when all of one player's pieces have been captured, or a player has been put in a position of not being able to make a legal move. If neither player can make a legal move, then the game ends in a draw. (continued...)



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