Orthogonal draughts on 8×8 board – turkish draughts, croda and dameo

I have already described basic draughts variants and by the way I explained that draughts (checkers) is not one game. Draughts is a huge family of games, and all games in this group have some common rules.
In most draughts games pieces move diagonally, but there are also variations where pieces move in straight lines (orthogonally). Today I would like to show you three variants of orthogonal draughts – turkish draughts, croda and dameo.

Orthogonal draughts retain all of the common rules of draughts games. Ordinary pieces (men) move slowly forward. When they reach the last row, they are “crowned”, they become Kings and  gain new powers. Capturing is always mandatory, and this is one of main features of draughts games. Moreover, all games described in this article are played on 8×8 board (ordinary chessboard).

Orthogonal draughts have all typical draughts features but they are in some way different from the basic diagonal draughts. In orthogonal draughts usually each piece has three possibilities of move (instead of two). Kings seem more powerful, and game is played on all fields of the board (not just white or black).

Let’s move on to the rules of specific games.

Turkish draughts

Turkish draughts (checkers) is variant also known under the names dama, dama oyunu and türk damasi. The game is popular in Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and other Middle East countries. It is  considered a mind sport. There is a federation of Turkish checkers, and since 2014 world championships take place annually.

The game is played on a 8×8 board. In European casual play normal chessboard is used and the pieces are same as in the other variants of checkers. In the Middle East board is not checkered (all fields of the same color) and pieces resemble chess pawns.

To play turkish draughts you need 16 white pieces and 16 black pieces. Before starting the game, pieces are arranged in two rows in such a way, that behind them there is one single row. This is shown on the picture below.

Warcaby-tureckie

Rules of the game are as follows.

  • Ordinary pieces (men) can move one square forward or sideways. You can not move diagonally and you can not make moves backwards. The image below shows possible moves of men.

Warcaby-tureckie-ruch

  • Ordinary piece (man) capture opponent pieces by jumping over them, forwards or sideways, and landing on the free square beyond them. You can perform two or more captures at the same time, as shown on the picture below.

Warcaby-tureckie-bicie

  • Capturing is mandatory.
  • If there are several possibilities of capturing, the player is obliged to  capture the most number of pieces (men or kings).
  • Turning 90 degrees between jumps is allowed.

croda-bicie-podwojne

  • When ordinary piece (a man) reaches the last row, it promotes to a king (we say its crowned). King can move any number of squares horizontally or vertically (like a rook in chess). The diagram below shows possible king’s moves.

Warcaby-tureckie-damka

  • Man is crowned just after reaching the last row. If a piece reached the last row during a capture move, it may continue this move as a king (just like in russian draughts).
  • King capture enemy piece by jumping over it and landing on any field beyond captured piece along a straight line. King can capture a few times in one move. Double capture is shown on the image below.

Warcaby-tureckie-ticie-damki

  • A characteristic feature of Turkish draughts is that pieces are removed from the board immediately after jumping over them, and not after the completion of the capture. It means the field occupied by a captured piece may be crossed many times. Sometimes it opens way for additional jumps..
  • The game continues until one player lose all pieces or he is blocked so he can’t make legal move.
  • Game can lead to a situation where there is one king and one man standing on the board. In this case, the player with a man is considered to be a loser, even though he could avoid capture forever.

Turkish draughts are very interesting. I can recommend them to those who believe that traditional variants of checkers are too simple (they are not, but some people think this way).

Interestingly, Turkish draughts have given rise to two more complex games – croda and dameo.

Croda

Croda is a draughts variant developed in 1995 by the Ljubljan Dedić (1056-2010). Dedić was Croatian mathematician and champion of Yugoslavia in international checkers. He wanted to create draughts variant immune to “draw disease.” In mental sports draws can be very frequent, if the game is played between strong players during the top tournaments.

Croda combines the features of Turkish draughts with some elements of international draughts. There is diagonal movement in this game, but  moves in straight lines are more important. Therefore Croda can be classified as kind of orthogonal draughts.

Rules of the game are as follows.

  • The game is played on board with 64 fields (ordinary chessboard – 8×8)
  • 24 white pieces and 24 black pieces are on the board at the beginning of the game. Each player’s pieces are set on the first three rows on his side of the board. This initial setup is shown on the diagram below.

Warcaby-croda

  • Ordinary piece (a man) can move one square forward or one square forward diagonally. The diagram below shows possible moves.

croda-ruch

  • Man can capture opponent pieces by jumping over forwards or sideways, and landing on the free square beyond them
  • Note: Capturing is always performed orthogonally – it takes place only in in a straight line (vertical or horizontal). Capture can not be made diagonally!
    Note that the capturing man can move horizontally, and such horizontal move of man is not possible without capturing. The diagram below shows examples of captures.

croda-bicie

  • You can perform two or more captures in one turn, as shown in the picture below. Turning 90 degrees between jumps is allowed.

croda-bicie-podwojne

  • Capturing is mandatory (as always in draughts).
  • If there are several possibilities of capturing, the player is obliged to  capture the most number of pieces (men or kings).
  • When ordinary piece (a man) reaches the last row, it promotes to a king (its crowned). King can move any number of squares horizontally or vertically (like a rook in chess). The diagram below shows possible king’s moves.

Warcaby-tureckie-damka

  • King capture enemy piece by jumping over it and landing on any field beyond captured piece along a straight line. King can capture a few times in one move. Double capture is shown on the image below.

Warcaby-tureckie-ticie-damki

  • Piece is crowned (it becomes King) only if it finishes his move in the last row. If man is “bounced back” from the last line in the result of capturing move then it is not crowned.
  • The game continues until one player lose all pieces or he is blocked so he can’t make legal move.

Dameo

Dameo is another modern variant of draughts. It was designed by one man – Christian Freeling, the Dutch game designer born in 1947. Freeling was clearly influenced by Croda, though he developed quite original new game.

Dameo was invented in 2000. Freeling improved croda by introducing trapezoidal initial setting (it increased game dynamism). He also introduced special move called “linear movement”. Strategy of dameo is more “fluid” than strategy of other draughts games. This is undoubtedly a variant of checkers, but it gains a new level of complexity.

Rules of the game are as follows.

  • The game is played on board with 64 fields (ordinary chessboard – 8×8)
  • 18 white pieces and 18 black pieces are on the board at the beginning of the game. They are arranged in a trapezium shape on the first three rows, as shown in the diagram below.

Dameo.png

  • Ordinary piece (a man) can move one square forward or one square forward diagonally (as in croda). The diagram below shows possible moves.

croda-ruch

  • Man can capture opponent pieces by jumping over forwards or sideways, and landing on the free square beyond them.
  • Capturing is always performed orthogonally (in a stright line). You can capture forwards, sideways or backwards, but you can’t capture diagonally!

croda-bicie

  • Capturing is mandatory (as always in draughts).
  • You can perform two or more captures in one turn, as shown in the picture below. Turning 90 degrees between jumps is allowed.

croda-bicie-podwojne

  • If there are several possibilities of capturing, the player is obliged to  capture the most number of pieces (men or kings).
  • There is special linear movement in Croda. It is a move of a straight unbroken line of men of the same color, one square forwards, straight or diagonally, along the line of squares they occupy.
    Note: linear motion is always performed along the lines of occupied fields.
    Note II: Linear move does not apply to Kings.
    The diagram below shows examples of linear movements.

dameo-ruch-liniowy

  • When ordinary piece (a man) reaches the last row, it promotes to a king (its crowned). King can move any number of squares horizontally, vertically and diagonally (like a queen in chess). The diagram below shows possible king’s moves

dameo-ruch-damki

  • Although king can move diagonally it can capture only vertically or horizontally. So normally king moves like a queen in the chess, but when capturing it moves like a rook. In dameo capturing is always performed orthogonally.
  • King capture enemy piece by jumping over it and landing on any field beyond captured piece along a straight line. King can capture a few times in one move. Double capture is shown on the image below.

Warcaby-tureckie-ticie-damki

  • Pieces are removed from the board after completion of the capture. You can’t jump more than once over the same piece, while you can repeatedly pass through the same empty field.
  • Piece is crowned (it becomes King) only if it finishes his move in the last row. If man is “bounced back” from the last line in the result of capturing move then it is not crowned.
  • If the line of men reaches the last row (in result of linear move), only leading piece is promoted. Let me remind you that the linear movement is always performed along the lines of pieces, so there is no possibility that the entire line is suddenly promoted.
  • The game continues until one player lose all pieces or he is blocked so he can’t make legal move.

Beauty of orthogonal draughts

I observed that orthogonal draughts are better tolerated by people who have experience in other games (like chess) but do not like ordinary checkers due to the limited moves of ordinary pieces or too few combinations at the start of the game .

Of course this does not mean that orthogonal checkers are in some way better than the diagonal. No. These variants of draughts are just different. All draughts games are worth a try, and the diagonal and orhogonal draughts will have their supporters and opponents.

You can read my other articles about draughts:

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