Understanding The Basics of English Draughts

English draughts or American checkers is played in an 8 x 8 board using 12 pieces we side. The movement and capture is only forward. Here we will look at the basic rules of straight checkers.

Like in any other variation of draughts, American checkers is played by two people located on opposite ends of the playing board moving alternately. One player plays with the dark pieces while the other uses the dark pieces. Usually the board has red and black squares. The movement of the pieces is diagonal and capturing is done by leaping over the pieces.

This variation of Chinese checkers is played on an 8 x 8 grid checkerboard with alternating dark and light squares. However, only the 32 dark squares are used for play. As a result, every player would have to use varying strategies in the left and right sections of the board.

English draughts uses flat and cylindrical wooden pieces. The usual colors of the pieces are red and white. There are two varieties of pieces namely "men" and "kings." The latter is different from the former since it consists of two regular pieces bunched together. They have additional indentations to facilitate stacking.

For each player, they position their pieces on the three most adjacent rows on their end. The nearest row to the player is called "crownhead" or "kings row". The black pieces make the first move. The game ends when any of the players captures all the pieces of their opponent or when the opponent has no legal moves left.

In tournament draughts, the three-move restriction rule is more preferred. The initial three moves are randomly chosen from a group of legal openings. A couple of games are played using the selected opening. Each player will have a turn at either end. As a result, the number of draws is minimized and paves the way for exciting matches. Since 1934, the three-move restriction has been utilized in United States tournaments. Prior to that, the 1900s saw the use of two-move restrictions. Prior to the 1900s, championship games utilized the go-as-you-please approach which puts no restriction on the number of moves.

A rule that is no longer applied in modern day draughts is "huffing." Under this rule, leaping is not required; however, a piece that could have hopped but did not may be taken by the opponent before they make their next move. After huffing their opponent's piece, the other player may take their normal turn. This rule has been abolished by the American Checker Federation as well as the English Draughts Association.

So if you are looking for an alternative to Chinese checkers, try English draughts for a change.


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