Italian Checkers Variant

Known as "Dama Italiana," the Italian Checkers variant is not known so much outside of Italy and in some North African countries where it is played. It looks a lot like the American Checker-British Draughts variants, but if you look closely, the game board of the Italian checkers variant is a mirror image of the American and British variants, which means that the double corner is at the player's left. The main difference between the Italian and American-British variants is that ordinary pieces or men in the Italian Checkers variant cannot capture kings.

Rules of the Game: This variant is played on an 8 x 8 checkers board of 64 squares where the double corner is on the left side of each player. Each player has 12 pieces placed on the dark colored squares of the first three rows. The player with the light colored pieces makes the first move.

Moves of the Men: Regular pieces, or men, can only move forward one square at a time in a diagonal direction to an empty square. When the men reach the last line, they are crowned by the opponents as kings.

Moves of Kings: Crowned pieces can move diagonally forward or backward on the empty square adjacent to the kings.

Captures: Maximum capture is compulsory. If confronted with different choices to make a capture, it is mandatory to make the move that captures the most number of opposing pieces. Given different options to capture the most number of pieces, captures by kings has a higher priority than captures by regular pieces. Quality capture is compulsory, which means that when confronted with a choice, you must capture the pieces with the most number of kings. If there is more than one way to capture the most powerful pieces of the opponent, the capture that results in a king being captured within the earliest sequence of jumps should be chosen.

Captures by Men: Regular checkers pieces or men can only capture diagonally forward. Neither can they capture a king nor capture backward. Capture is obligatory and is made by jumping over the piece adjacent to it provided the following square is unoccupied. If they can jump again from the square that they land on, they must continue with the capture.

Captures by Kings: Crowned pieces or kings can capture both men and kings of the opponent in a forward or backward direction.

The Winning Player: The checkers player who is able to capture all of his opponent's pieces or successfully blocks his pieces so that his opponent is unable to make a move wins the game.

Conditions for a Draw: The game reaches a draw upon mutual agreement of the players. A drawn game also results if the same position is encountered three times or if after doing 80 king moves an a row without advancing any man or making any capture.