Napoleon Bonaparte was an outstanding strategist but he also had a need to test his strategic skills in games. He played chess but rather badly. Usually, he sought weaker opponents. He also liked draughts and maybe he was quite good in this game. We can guess so because one of the classic shots in international draughts is named after him. We do not know exactly whether he invented it, but learning this shot is another important stage of my draughts tutorial.
In my previous posts on draughts variants I described diagonal draughts, orthogonal draughts, draughts on enlarged boards and “twisted” draughts. But still I’m far from describing all checkers variants. The next chapter of this story is a game of Towers (called Bashni) and modern game called Laska.
Impressive shot is a dream of every draughts player. This is the moment when you make ostensibly silly moves, and at some point you surprise your opponent with multiple jump that gives you a win, superiority or at least a King. Unfortunately making shots is not easy. To learn “shooting” you have to see how others did it in the past.
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.
In my country (Poland) chess is called a “royal game” while the Checkers are known as “Chess of proletariat”. Such terms clearly classify first game as noble and worthwhile and the second as silly or worse. Many people think they sound like experts when they speak about the superiority of the Chess over the Checkers (Draughts). In fact, such people show only their ignorance. Chess is not harder than Checkers … and vice versa. In the case of non-trivial games you should generally avoid speaking about a superiority of one game over another.
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).
There are many games with an element of luck – games with dice, cards, dominoes or letters. Some people believe these games are “worse”, unworthy of study and you can’t by a true master in such games because everything depends on luck. I would like to refute this image. Games with the random element can be very interesting and they can build your brain, but in a different way than purely strategic games. Besides in practice, even in games with no random elements, there is some element of luck.