Dama or 'Turkish Draughts' is the main representative of the traditional 'straight' branch of Draughts games.
The rules mention men and kings. A king is a promoted man. If the difference doesn't matter, they may also mention pieces, for instance 'the number of pieces on the board'.
|The diagram shows the board and the pieces in initial position. There are two players, black and white. White begins. Players move, and must move, in turn.|
Capture has precedence over a non-capturing move. If the player to move has no capture to make, he has two options:
A man moves one square forwards or sideways. If it thus reaches the opponent's backrank, it promotes to king. This marks the end of the move.
- Moving a man
- Moving a king
A king moves any number of unobstructed squares horizontally or vertically, like the rook in Chess.
All capture is orthogonally only. Majority capture precedes, counted by the number of captured pieces (regardless of these being men or kings).
A capturing piece in Turkish Draughts is like a vacuum cleaner, sucking up the pieces in the process of capture. In case of a capturing king, it can even capture a piece that it wouldn't be able to capture if the move were to be completed before removal of the pieces: by eating away its cover first and then returning for the piece. In principle a king might get more out of a capture that way, than would be possible in International Draughts and its derivatives.
- A man may capture forwards or sideways only, a king may capture in all straight directions.
Captured pieces are removed immediately upon jumping them, like a vacuum cleaner.
- If a man is on a particular rank or file, and next to it is a square occupied by an opponent's piece, then the man captures the piece by jumping over it to the square immediately beyond, which must be vacant for the capture to take place.
If the man can proceed in a similar way in another direction it must do so, taking care beforehand to establish the route that brings the maximum number of captured pieces. A captured king counts as one piece.
If there's more than one way to meet this criterion, the player is free to choose.
- If a man ends its capture on the back rank it is promoted to king. A man may reach the backrank in a capture next to an undefended opposing king. It must then proceed to capture this king before it is crowned itself.
- A king looks along open ranks or files. If it sees, at any distance, an opponent's piece and immediately beyond one or more subsequent vacant squares, it captures by jumping the piece and landing on one of these squares.
A king is subject to the same rules regarding majority capture: if it can proceed in a similar way in another direction, except a 180 degrees turn, it must do so, taking care beforehand to establish the route that brings maximum number of captured pieces. A captured king counts as one piece.
If there are more than one way to meet this criterion, the player is free to choose.
Note: the expression "... it captures by jumping the piece and landing on one of these squares", does not necessarily imply choice. In fact, during the capture the king will usually have no choice because it is subject to majority capture. After jumping the last piece it may choose to land on any of the subsequent vacant squares.
In the International Draughts section we've argued that this method of capture, reminiscent of a dog on a cookie trail, is lacking style, not to mention preventing a beautiful combinatorial principle ironically called 'turkish capture'.
If a player has no legal move he loses the game. This may come about either by being eliminated or being blocked completely.
The game may end in a draw by 3-fold or mutual agreement. Draws are less common in Dama than in International Draughts, because two kings are sufficient to capture a lone one. This endgame is not entirely trivial.
YouTube is one of the few sources for Turkish Draughts games. Here's a couple of those.
Two kings versus one
The nice little shortcut in Armenian and Dameo, based on diagonal movement, is not possible in Turkish and Croda. We will therefore cover two initial positions, black king on A1 (trivial with diagonal movement) and black king on H1.
If and when we find one ...