International draughts

From Academic Kids

Missing image
The starting position

International draughts (also called Polish draughts or international checkers) is a board game, one of the variants of draughts. It is played on a 10x10 board with alternatingly dark and light squares, of which only the 50 dark ones are used. There are two players on opposite sides, with 20 pieces each, light for one player and dark for the other. In conventional diagrams the board is displayed with the light pieces at the bottom and dark at the top and in this orientation the lower-left corner square must be dark.

The game is popular in the Netherlands where it is known as dammen ("dames"), and in other places. The World Draughts Federation maintains a ranking, which as of 1 January 2003 is headed by Alexei Chizhov with the former champion Ton Sijbrands in second place.



The general rule is that all moves and captures are made diagonally. All references to squares refer to the dark squares only. The main differences with English draughts is the size of the board (10x10) and the rule that pieces can also capture backwards, not only forwards.

Starting position

  • The game is played on a board with 10x10 squares, alternatingly dark and light. The left down square field should be dark.
  • Each player has 20 pieces. At the starting position (see picture) the pieces are placed on the first 4 rows closest to the players. This leaves two rows in the middle empty.

Moves and captures

  • The player with the light pieces makes the first move. The two players make moves alternately.
  • Ordinary pieces move forwards one square diagonally to a field that is not occupied by another piece.
  • Opposing pieces can and must be captured by jumping over the opposing piece, two squares. If one has the possibility to capture a piece then this must be done even if it is disadvantageous.
    • If there is one unoccupied square before or behind opposing pieces then jumps multiple times over opposing pieces in a single turn forwards or backwards can and must be made, making angles of 90 degrees. It is compulsory to jump over as many pieces as possible. One must play with the piece that can make the maximum captures.
    • After the piece has jumped over the opponents piece or pieces, the jumped over pieces are taken from the board.


  • A piece is crowned if it stops on the far edge of the board at the end of its turn (i.e., not if it reaches the edge but must then jump another piece backwards). Another piece is placed on top of it to mark it. Crowned pieces, sometimes called kings, can move freely multiple steps in any direction and may jump over and hence capture an opponent piece some distance away and choose where to stop afterwards, but must still capture the maximum number of pieces possible. In contrast to popular belief in the Netherlands, captures by crowned pieces do not have priority over captures by ordinary pieces.

Winning and draws

  • A player with no valid move remaining (typically with no pieces left) loses. A game is a draw if neither opponents have the possiblity to win the game.


Each of the fifty dark squares has a number (1 through 50). [1] ( Number 46 is at the left corner seen from the player with the light pieces. Number 5 is at the left corner seen from the player with the dark polskie nl:Dammen da:Dam (brtspil) de:Damespiel es:Damas et:Rahvusvaheline kabe ja:チェッカー tr:Dama


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