English draughts (British English) or checkers (American/Canadian English) is a form of the board game draughts. It is played on an 8×8 square board (with sixty-four total squares) with twelve pieces on each side. The pieces move and capture diagonally. They may only move forward until they reach the opposite end of the board, when they are crowned and may thereafter move and capture both backward and forward.
The player with the darker coloured piece moves first. Both players start with twelve pieces on the dark squares of the three rows closest to that player's side. The row closest to each player is called the crownhead or kings row.
A simple move consists of sliding a piece one square diagonally to an adjacent unoccupied dark square. Uncrowned pieces may move only diagonally forward; kings may move in any diagonal direction. A jump is a move from a square diagonally adjacent to an opponent's piece to an empty square immediately beyond it, in the same line (jumping over the square containing the opponent's piece). Uncrowned pieces may jump only diagonally forward; kings may jump in any diagonal direction. A jumped piece is considered "captured" and removed from the game. Any piece, whether crowned or not, may jump a king. Multiple jumps are possible, if after one jump, another piece is immediately eligible to be jumped—even if that jump is in a different diagonal direction. If more than one multiple-jump move is available, the player may choose which piece to jump with, and which jumping option or sequence of jumps to make. The jumping sequence chosen is not required to be the one which maximizes the number of jumps in the move turn; however, a player must make all available jumps in the sequence chosen. Jumping is always mandatory: if a player has the option to jump, he must take it, even if doing so results in disadvantage for the jumping player.
If a player's piece moves into the kings row on the opposing player's side of the board, that piece is said to be crowned (or often kinged in the U.S.), becoming a king and gaining the ability to move both forward and backward. If a player's piece jumps into the kings row, the current move terminates; the piece cannot continue on by jumping back out (as in a multiple jump), until the next move.
A player wins by capturing all of the opponent's pieces or by leaving the opponent with no legal move. The game ends in a draw if neither side can force a win, or by agreement (one side offering a draw, the other accepting).
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