Canadian Checkers Variant

Canada belongs to the new world with many legends from the old world. And, believe it or not, one of these legends is about the origin of the Canadian Checkers Variant. It is said that the game was brought into the country in the 19th century by a European traveler who was an enthusiast of a game in the old world called "Draughts." When he introduced the game in Canada, he could not recall exactly how many squares the board game had, but he reckoned that it had 12 squares on each side, creating a board game variant with 144 squares instead of the European board standard of 10 x10 with 100 squares.

"Le Jeu de Dames Canadien," or Canadian Checkers, which was also known as "Montreal" or "Quebec" checkers, came into being and was played extensively in the French speaking communities of Quebec, New England and Ontario. Interest on the game eventually spread throughout Canada, as the other checkers variants did all over the world.

Rules of the Game: This game is played on a 12 x 12 board with 144 squares where the double corner is on the right while a dark square is on the left side of each player. Each player has 30 pieces which are placed on the dark squares of the five rows nearest the players. The player with the light colored pieces makes the first move and players alternate moves thereafter.

Moves of the Men: Only one move forward at a time can be made in a diagonal direction to an empty square. When a piece reaches the last line on the opponent's side and stops on it, the opponent crowns the piece to make it a king.

Moves of the King: Crowned pieces can move forward or backward across multiple squares on the 2 diagonals that cross their positions provided there is no piece between them and the square they will land on.

Captures: All captures are obligatory and maximum captures are also mandatory. This means that given the choice of capturing two pieces and three pieces, the move that will capture the three pieces should be made. If the capturing piece lands on the king row and an opportunity to jump other pieces are still present, the capture must continue and that piece cannot be kinged unless it stops on king row.

Captures by Men: Checker pieces can capture in a forward or backward direction by jumping over an opposing piece for as long as that piece is adjacent to it and the following square is empty. If the capturing piece can jump again on the arrival square, then it must continue capturing the opposing pieces.

Captures by a King: Kings can capture from any distance forward or backward along the 2 diagonal lines that cross its position. When there is an option to capture the greatest number of opposing pieces, that option must be chosen even if it's not beneficial to the player making the capture.

The Winning Player: The player who captures all the pieces of the opponent, or successfully blocks all the opposing pieces such that the opponent is unable to move, wins the game.

Conditions for a Draw: The players may agree to a draw. A drawn game also occurs when the same position occurs thrice or when there are three kings playing against one and each player have made 16 moves without making any capture or promotion.