I have already wrote on basics of International Draughts strategy, but these basics are not enough to be a good player. You have to analyze a lot of situations and find some recurrent patterns in them. To achieve this goal you have to learn International Draughts notation system.
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.
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.
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.
In my country (Poland) Chess is called a “royal game” while the Checkers are known as “Chess of proletariat”. Such terms clearly classify the 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.