International Draughts tutorial p. 1. Strategy basics

Would you like to play International (Polish) Draughts better? If so, I think you already know the rules of the game. But maybe you want to win or just better understand mechanics of this beautiful game.

I decided to write a series of articles about  International Draughts for people like you. For those, who want to better know Draughts strategies and tactics.

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Nine Men’s Morris (Mill) – truly timeless game!

Is there really any timeless game? Some people say chess or checkers are timeless, but these games are not as old as they seem. Others talk about “timeless” computer games like Pac-Man or timeless tabletop games like Monopoly. But they are are still young. In my opinion there is one special game that deserves to be called “timeless”. It is Nine Men’s Morris also known as Mill. It is still popular, it can surprise next generations of players and many people have no idea how old this game really is!

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Twisted checkers – Diagonal, Corner, One-way and Giveaway Draughts

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.

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Chaturanga – progenitor of the chess family

I described many different types of draughts (checkers) stressing that draughts is not one game. It’s a family of games with common features! In compare to draughts Chess seem to be a single, complete and polished game. But… it only seems to be. In fact there are many chess games which grown in parallel with the so-called classical chess. Understanding the common characteristics of chess games will be easy if you look at the ancestor of these games – the Indian game of Chaturanga.

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16 soldiers, Peralikatuma, Cows and leopards and Kotu ellima – cousins of Halatafl and Draughts

When I wrote about Halatafl I mentioned that there are many similar games in different countries and on different continents, though played on different boards. It’s amazing how the same game concepts pop out in different cultures. Today I describe few games known in India that are clearly relatives of Halatafl, but also Alquerque (ancestor of draughts). Interestingly all of these games use the same board.

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Camelot – you can charge in this game

Recently I wrote that Chess and Checkers are two very different games with no common roots. Despite this, there were people who tried to merge this games and results were fascinating. One of those people was George Swinnerton Parker (1866-1952), who created a fantastic game of Camelot. It’s not popular today, but believe me – it’s an underestimated jewel of board games.

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Diagonal draughts on larger board -International (Polish) Draughts, Soviet Checkers, Canadian Draughts, Frisian Draughts, Ghanaian Draughts, Malaysian Draughts

I wrote about 64-square  draughts variants and about three games from orthogonal draughts family. Every time I mentioned that “draughts” is not one game. It’s a group of games with some common features. So far I described only games played on a 64-square board, although with very different rules. Now it’s time to present games on larger boards with 80 squares (8×10), 100 squares (10×10) and even 144 squares (12×12).

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Teeko – a game and a masterpiece of John Scarne, the Wizard of Games

Teeko is a wonderful game, although today is almost forgotten. Too bad. Not only the game is interesting, but also its creator – John Scarne. He was a prominent expert on gaming, gambling, and card manipulations. He knew both the techniques of cheating on mathematical issues related to games. He was earning money as a magician, but because of his extensive knowledge we can call him “The Wizard of Games”.

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