Russian Checkers Variant

Also known as "Shashki Checkers" or "Russian Shashski," the Russian Checkers variant used to be mainly played in Russia; in some countries in the former Soviet Union; and, in Israel. Now, it has become popular in many countries around the world. Its rules are very similar to Brazilian and Pool Checkers variants except that when a piece reaches the king row from a capture sequence, it becomes a king and it must continue to capture jumping backwards until it has completed its capture sequence. Like Pool and Brazilian Checkers, kings are "flying kings."

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.

Captures: 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.

Conditions for a Draw: Players may agree to a draw. A draw is also declared if the same position is encountered three times, or if there are 3 kings playing against a single king and the player with the three kings cannot win within 16 moves.