This game is probably the best known in the world, and when you speak about checkers, a lot of people thinks to that kind of rules.

In USA, this game is known as checkers game. In Great Britain and in some other countries, it is known as draughts.

The rules

This game is played on a 8x8 board (64 squares).

Double corner is on the right of each player.

The player who has black pieces begins.

Moves of the men

The men can move on each empty forward left and forward right if it is empty. When they arrive on the last line, they become kings.

Move of the kings

The kings can move on each empty square around them (forward and backward).


If you have the choice between several captures, you can choose the one that you want (maximum or not maximum) ; but you can only stop in a square where there is nothing more to capture.

Capture by the men

The men can capture forward only, by jumping over the opponent piece (man or king), if the piece is near it, and the following square is empty. If they can jump again from the arrival square, they must continue the capture. You will see easily that the higher number of pieces that they can capture in a row is 3 .

Capture by the kings

The kings can capture like the men, but forward and backward.

Who wins, who loses ?

The loser is the one who cannot move any more (no piece or all pieces blocked). The winner is his opponent, of course.

There may be draw if :

- opponents agree for a draw

- the same position is encountered 3 times

Some history

I will not try to write here about checkers origins and Edgar Alan Poe, but just mention that American checkers is the first game where the computer began to contest human brainpower in games.

From 1954 to 1994 (with a long break between these dates, when he stopped playing for working) , USA had a very great champion, Marion Tinsley.

Nobody could win against him (he lost only 7 championship games in 30 years).

In 1992, a program born in 1988, Chinook, was admitted to play in the USA championship. It won all the players and was admitted to play against Marion in the final games. Marion won (4 games won, 2 lost, 40 drawn).

In 1994, the same opponent played again the final games. Marion was ill and had to leave. So, Chinook played against Don Lafferty : 20 games, 18 drawn, 1 won, 1 lost for each player.

In 1995, Chinook finally won the championship, against Don Lafferty : 32 games, 31 drawn, 1 won for Chinook at the 31st game.

This champion title to a computer made people understand that computers could be better than human on a field where humans thought to stay the first ones : pure cleverness in sophisticated games.

The victory of Deep Blue against A.Kasparov 4 years later was only a remake.



Rules Comparison







Give Away



Russian Poddavki

Russian Shashki


Sri Lankan



How do programs « think » ?