Freeware Checkers - Russian Draughts

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Play Russian Draughts:

Welcome to Russian Draughts, a freeware checkers game. Play against the computer or with a friend in the same room (local multiplayer)!

This game is part of the free online brain games collection.

To begin, click the Small, Medium, or Large button under the picture of the game. This opens the game in a pop-up window.

If you like this game, you might enjoy the other free online board games on this site.

Freeware Checkers - Russian Draughts Instructions

To play against the computer, click the "Play" button on the game window. To play against another person in the same room, click the "Local Multiplayer" button.

Russian draughts is a checkers board game also known as shashki or Russian shashki. This is the most popular version of checkers in Russian, Eastern Europe, and Israel.

There are a couple differences between American checkers (also known as English draughts) and Russian draughts:

1) in Russian draughts, the men can move in a backwards direction when jumping, when a backward-direction jump is available.

2) in Russian draughts, kings can move as far as they want on a diagonal, similar to how a Queen moves in chess.

How to Play Russian Draughts. In Russian draughts, you and your opponent play on an 8×8 board with alternating dark and light squares.

You start with 12 pieces on the three rows closest to your side, and the row closest to you is called the "crownhead" or "kings row". You move first if you have the white pieces.

The goal of the game is to capture all of your opponent's pieces or block them so they can't make any more moves.

Here are the rules you need to know:

Board: The game is played on an 8×8 board with alternating dark and light squares. The left down square field should be dark. That's how the board is set up in this freeware checkers version.

Starting position: You start with 12 pieces on the three rows closest to your side. The row closest to you is called the "crownhead" or "kings row". Usually the colors of the pieces are black and white, but other colors can be used.

Pieces: There are two kinds of pieces: "men" and "kings".

Men: Men move forward diagonally to an adjacent unoccupied square.

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Kings: If your piece moves into the kings row on your opponent's side of the board, it becomes a king. Kings can move both forward and backward and can choose on which free square on this diagonal to stop.

Capture: If an adjacent square contains your opponent's piece, and the square immediately beyond it is vacant, you can capture your opponent's piece by jumping over it.

Jumping can be done forward and backward. Multiple-jump moves are possible if, when you land after a jump, there is another piece that can be jumped.

Jumping is mandatory and cannot be passed up to make a non-jumping move. When there is more than one way for you to jump, you may choose which sequence to make, not necessarily the sequence that will result in the most captures.

However, you must make all the captures in that sequence. A captured piece is left on the board until all captures in a sequence have been made but cannot be jumped again (this rule also applies for kings).

If a man touches the kings row during a capture and can continue a capture, it jumps backwards as a king. You can choose where to land after a capture.

Winning and draws: You lose if you have no valid moves remaining because either you have no pieces left or your pieces are obstructed from making a legal move by your opponent's pieces. A game is a draw if neither player has the possibility to win or if the same position repeats itself for the third time with the same player having the move each time.

Board games like this freeware checkers game Russian draughts train important brain skills such as concentration, visual perception, and strategic thinking. Play these games often to give your brain a boost!

Published: 09/22/2010
Last Updated: 09/26/2023

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Copyright ©
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction without permission is prohibited