I already described 16 draughts games – 7 types of diagonal draughts, 3 variants of orthogonal draughts and 6 variants of draughts on increased boards. But I’m, still far from describing all variant of draughts. Even if we take only the game on the 64-square board with international (brazilian) rules there is still a space to invent new variants. You can just change the initial setting of pieces, board orientation, moves direction or goal of the game. Below I describe several games with such twists.
The term “diagonal draughts” can be misleading. It is used to describe a group of draughts games in which pieces move diagonally. But there is also one particular game called Diagonal Draughts.
This game is Brazilian Draughts variant played on a 64-square board, but with a different initial setting. At start 12 White and 12 Black pieces are arranged diagonally as shown on the picture below.
Setting of pieces doesn’t change rules of moving. Normal pieces (men) can move one step diagonally forward as shown below.
All the rules are the same as in Brazilian Draughts.
- Pieces move one space diagonally forward (with the exception of capturings).
- Captures may be made diagonally forwards and backwards.
- Capturing is absolutely mandatory. If you missed a capture, you have to undo your move and you have to make move consistent with game rules.
- If a player has several capture options, it is compulsory to capture the maximum amount of the opponent´s pieces.
- A piece reaching the last row becomes King (it is “crowned”).
- There’s so called “flying King”. it means King moves any number of squares diagonally forwards or backwards. After completion of the capturing King can land on any field behind the captured piece.
- Piece is crowned (it becomes King) only if it finishes his move in the last row.
Despite the similarity of rules this game varies greatly from Brazilian Draughts. Some pieces are very close to the last row so they can be crowned early. Secondly, there is only one row of free fields between two fighting armies so first attacks also come early. This game is fast, and one mistake at the beginning can be very expensive.
This variant is unique because it combines features of orthogonal and diagonal draughts. The game is played only on the dark squares (as in diagonal draughts), but pieces move vertically and horizontally (as in orthogonal draughts).
This game uses 64-square board and 12 pieces on each side. Pieces are initially set just like in diagonal draughts but board is rotated by 45 degrees clockwise. This is shown on the image below.
The fun lies in the moving rules. Pieces can move one square forward or sideways as shown on the picture below.
Pieces can also perform jumps (captures) forwards, backwards or sideways. Keep in mind that capturing is absolutely mandatory.
There are Kings in corner draughts. A man is crowned when it reaches one of two fields in the opponent’s corner. Picture figure below shows these fields marked with red color.
King can move any number of squares horizontally or vertically
This variant of draughts has some specific features (apart from unusual setting of the board). Attacks comes early. The shape of the board and the moving rules make it hard to “store” pieces at the edge. Shots can be really interesting.
I have to emphasize this variant of draughts is very little known. I read about it only once in the leaflet added to the cheap draughts set produced by ZTS Plastyk – Polish factory of articles made of plastic. This inexpensive kit came from the 80s or 90s. I only know that 260 thousand copies of this particular leaflet were issued. I have never found other sources of information about this game.
This variant also uses 64-square board and 12 men on each side, but the board should be set in front of the players, not between them. Initial setting of pieces is shown on the picture below.
Fun lies in the fact that both White and Black checkers move in the direction indicated by red arrow. Black and White pieces can be crowned after reaching the same last row. We could say that players race to the last row and they try to fight at the same time.
Brazilian rules are used in this came so men can capture forwards and backwards. Kings are flying Kings – they can move any number of squares diagonally (as in Brazilian Draughts).
In this variant of draughts attacks can come immediately. Men can be crowned early, but initially they don’t have a room for attack. This game can be very surprising.
Giveaway or suicide draughts
Because in draughts capturing is always mandatory it is possible to reverse the goal of the game. You can simply determine that the winner of the game is the first player whose pieces are lost or blocked. Such game is called Giveaway Draughts, Anti-Checkers, Suicide or Losing Draughts. It is most often played with Brazilian or Russian rules.
Other articles on draughts (checkers)
Read my other articles on draughts games. Links below:
- Diagonal draughts on 8×8 board – Brazilian draughts, Russian draughts, English checkers, Thai draughts, Italian draughts, pool, Spanish draughts
- Orthogonal draughts on 8×8 board – turkish draughts, croda and dameo
- Diagonal draughts on larger board -international (Polish) draughts, soviet checkers, Canadian draughts, Frisian draughts, Ghanaian draughts, Malaysian draughts
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