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Basic Rules of Draughts
DRAUGHTS BOARD AND MEN
- At the commencement of play the red men occupy squares 1 to 12 and the white men occupy squares 21 to 32.
- Each player starts with 12 discs, or “men”, all of equal size. One player has dark coloured men (called red) and the other has light coloured men (called white)
- The draughts board is square in shape and is divided into 64 squares of equal size, alternately light and dark in colour (technically called green and buff).
- The board is placed between the two players such that the bottom left-hand corner square is green.
- The game is played on the green squares, which for the purpose of reference are assigned numbers from 1 to 32.
ORDER OF PLAY
- The first move in each game is made by the player with the red men, thereafter the moves are made by each player in turn.
- To start the first game the players decide by the toss of a coin which colour they will play. In subsequent games the players alternate colours.
There are fundamentally 4 types of move: the ordinary move of a man, the ordinary move of a king, the capturing move of a man, and the capturing move of a king.
ORDINARY MOVE OF A MAN
- When a man reaches the farthest row forward (the king-row or crown head) it becomes a king, and this completes the turn of play. The man is “crowned” by the opponent, who must place a man of the same colour on top of it before making his own move. (It may be necessary to borrow from another set if no captured man is available for the purpose).
- An ordinary move of a man is its transfer diagonally forward left or right from one square to an immediately neighbouring vacant square.
ORDINARY MOVE OF A KING
An ordinary move of a king (crowned man) is from one square diagonally forward or backward, left or right, to an immediately neighbouring vacant square.
CAPTURING MOVE OF A MAN
A capturing move of a man is its transfer from one square over a diagonally adjacent and forward square occupied by an opponent’s piece (man or king) and on to a vacant square immediately beyond it. (A capturing move is called a “jump”). On completion of the jump the capturing piece is removed from the board.
CAPTURING MOVE OF A KING
A capturing move of a king is similar to that of a man, but may be in a forward or backward direction.
CAPTURING IN GENERAL
- All capturing moves are compulsory, whether offered actively or passively. If there are two or more ways to jump, a player may select any one he/she wishes, not necessarily that which gains the most pieces. Once started, a multiple jump must be carried through to completion.
- If a jump creates an immediate further capturing opportunity, the capturing move of the piece (man or king) is continued until all the moves are completed. The only exception is that if a man reaches the king-row by means of a capturing move it then becomes a king but may not make any further jumps in the same turn. At the end of the capturing sequence, all captured pieces are removed from the board, in the order in which they were jumped.
TOUCHING THE PIECES
- If a player on his/her turn to move touches a piece he/she must play the piece, unless he/she has given an adjustment warning. If the piece is not legally playable, rule 19.2 applies.
- Either player, on intimating his/her intention to his/her opponent, is entitled to adjust his/her own or his/her opponent’s pieces on their squares at ant time during the course of the game.
- If any part of a playable piece is played over a corner of a square on which it is stationed, the move must be completed in that direction.
FALSE, IMPROPER OR ILLEGAL MOVES
- On his/her turn to play touches an unplayable piece.
- A player who refuses to adhere to the rules shall immediately forfeit the game.
- Moves an uncrowned man backwards.
- If any of the pieces are accidentally displaced by the players or through any cause outside their control, the pieces are replaced without penalty and the game is continued.
- When capturing, inadvertently removes one or more of his/her own pieces.
- Omits to capture or to complete a multiple capture (this supersedes the old “huff” rule).
- A player making a false, improper or illegal move shall be cautioned for the first offence, and the move recalled. He/she shall forfeit the game for any subsequent false, improper or illegal move made in that game. This applies, for example, if a player:
- Moves a piece when it is not his/her turn to play.
- Continues a capturing move through the king-row with a man not already crowned.
- When capturing, removes an opponent’s piece or pieces not in a position to be captured in that move.
- Moves a piece, either in an ordinary move or in a capturing move, on to a wrong square.
RESULTS OF THE GAME
There are only two possible states to define: the win and the draw.
DEFINITION OF A WIN
The game is won by the player who can make the last move, that is, no move is available to the opponent on his/her turn to play, either because all his/her pieces have been captured or his/her remaining pieces are all blocked.
A player also wins if his/her opponent:
- Resigns at any point.
- Forfeits the game by contravening the rules.
DEFINITION OF A DRAW
- Note: For the purpose of this rule, a move shall be said to consist of one red move and one white move.
- The game is drawn if at any stage both players agree on such a result. (This usually occurs when neither player can force a win)
- 40- Move Rule. The game shall be declared drawn if, at any stage of the game, a player can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the referee that both of the following conditions hold:
- No pieces have been removed from the board during the previous 40 moves.
- Neither player has advanced an uncrowned man towards the king-row during the previous 40 moves.
© NorthWest Draughts Federation 2002