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Russian Checkers

Russian Checkers
Russian checkers is a variant of draughts played in Russia and some parts of the former USSR, as well as parts of Eastern Europe and Israel.

Russian draughts is played by two people, on opposite sides of a playing board, alternating moves. One player has dark pieces, and the other has light pieces. Pieces move diagonally and pieces of the opponent are captured by jumping over them.

Rules of the Game

The Russian Checkers variant is played on an 8 x 8 board with 64 squares and the double corner is on the right side of each player. Players have 12 pieces each and pieces can capture diagonally in a forward or backward direction. If a piece reaches the king row in the course of a capture sequence, it becomes a king but it continues to complete its capture sequence. The player with the lighter-colored pieces makes the first move.

Moves of the Men

The checkers pieces known as men can move to one empty square at a time in a forward diagonal direction. If they reach the last rank, they are crowned as kings. If they reach the king row in the course of a capture sequence, they become kings just the same but they shall continue jumping until the capture sequence is completed.

Moves of Kings

The crowned pieces can move along multiple squares along the path of the diagonal lines that cross their position provided that there is no piece lying between the kings and their touch down square.


The maximum quantity capture rule is not mandatory in Russian Checkers. So, if confronted with at least two possible capture sequences the player may or may not choose the sequence that will result in the most number of captured pieces. Since captures are mandatory, the piece can only stop on an empty square where there is nothing more to capture.

Capture by the Men

The men can capture in either forward or backward direction by jumping over an opponent's piece adjacent to it provided the square immediately behind the captured piece is unoccupied. If the opportunity to capture is present on the arrival square, the piece must continue to capture.

Capture by a King

The king can capture a piece that lies along the diagonal path that crosses the capturing piece provided that there are empty squares between them and the square immediately behind the captured piece is empty. The piece can stop on any square along the diagonal, but if a new capture is possible from one of these squares, the piece must continue to capture.

The Winning Player

The player who captures all of his opponent's pieces or blocks all opposing pieces such that the opponent is unable to make a move wins the game.