Checkers is a game of pure skill played between two opponents who, following a fixed set of rules, take turns in moving pieces on a square board to achieve game objectives.





1.         The checkerboard is composed of 64 squares, alternately light and dark, arranged in a square array of 8 rows and 8 columns and bounded by a neutral border.

2.         The official checkerboard of the World Checker/Draught Federation (WCDF) shall be of Green and Buff (or off white) colors for the dark and light squares. The squares of any official board shall not be less than 1 7/8 inches nor more than 2 1/8 inches on a side

3.         The checkerboard is placed for play between the players in such a way that a green corner square is to the left corner of each player.  These squares are called the “single corners”. The green square to the far right and the green square diagonally upward to the right of it (for each player) are called the “double corners”.

4.         The 32 green squares of the checkerboard shall be assigned numbers, though these numbers are not to be actually printed on an official checkerboard used in formal match and tournament play. These numbers are the official reference system for notations and recording games.





1.         At the beginning of the game, one player has 12 dark-colored pieces, and the other player has 12 light-colored pieces.

2.         The official WCDF checker pieces shall be of RED and WHITE colors for the dark and light pieces, respectively. The pieces shall be circular discs of a uniform diameter not less than 1 1/8 inches nor more than 1 ¼ inches, They shall be of a uniform thickness of not less then 3/16 inches nor more than 5/16 inches.

3.         The Red pieces shall be set for beginning play on the first 12 squares starting left to right, Nos. 1 thru 12 and the White pieces will be on the last 12 squares, Nos. 21 thru 32.





1.         To start a first game, players shall select colors of the pieces they will play by random draw. For subsequent games, they shall alternate colors.

2.         The two players take turns in making a move with their pieces. With official colors, the player with the Red pieces always starts the game by making the first move, and then White replies. (With unofficial colors, the darker pieces start first.)

3.         The pieces are moved only on the green squares, never on the buff or off white. The checkerboard has only 32 playing squares.

4.         An ordinary move of a piece is the transfer of the piece from one green square to another vacant green square, diagonally adjacent and forward. Such ordinary move may only be made one square at a time diagonally forward, left or right.

5.         A capturing move of a piece is the transfer of the piece from one green square over a diagonally forward green square occupied by a piece (or King) of opposite color and on to a vacant green square immediately beyond in the same diagonally forward direction. This capturing move is called a “jump”, and the opposing piece has been “jumped” and is removed from the board by the captor-player as the move is completed. (A piece or King is never allowed to jump over a piece or King of its own color.)

6.         A multiple capture must be made when the first capture creates an immediate similar opportunity.

7.         Capturing moves or jumps, by either a piece or a King, are absolutely forced. And any jump, which creates a multiple jump opportunity, must be completed; there is no option to stop during any part of the jumps. When a player is presented with the opportunity to capture, he must capture. If you refuse to capture you forfeit the game. However, when there are two or more ways to jump, the player may select any jump; he is not required to jump capturing the most pieces. Multiple jumped pieces are removed after the jump is completed.

8.         Upon reaching its farthest forward row of the board by either an ordinary move or capture, a piece becomes a “King”, and this promotion completes the turn of a play. That is, a piece jumping into the “King” row may not continue jumping out on the same turn to play even though an opposing piece lies exposed to the new King. The new King must wait the next turn to play.

9.         The King is designated by placing a second piece of the same color on top of the first piece, and the stacked pile of two thereafter move together as a unit (the “King”). This promotion is called “crowning” and is performed by the opposing player when the promoted piece first reaches the King-row. This crowning action shall be made before the opposing player makes his own move in reply.

10.       The ordinary move of the King includes the power of backward moves. The King may move diagonally forward or backward, left or right, one vacant square at a time.

11.       A capturing move of a King includes the power of backward captures. Like the capturing move of the piece, a capture by a King is the transfer of the King from one green square over a diagonally adjacent square (left or right, forward or backward) occupied by a piece of King of opposite color, and on to a vacant green square immediately beyond in the same diagonal direction. As with the capturing move of the piece, the opposing piece having been jumped is removed from the board by the captor-player as the move is completed.

12.      As with the piece, multiple capture may be made, and any capture creating a multiple capture must be completed. Note that the King does not pause for a turn at the King-row; it continues its jump on the next turn to play.






1.         If he first warns his opponent, “I am adjusting”, either player may adjust any of the pieces or Kings (of either color) properly on their squares.

2.         If the player whose turn it is to move touches one or more of his pieces or Kings without giving the adjusting warning, he must move the first piece or King touched. And if he starts the move over a corner, the move must be completed in that direction.

3.         If it is not possible to play the first touched piece or King, or opponent’s piece or King has been touched, or the forced capture rule does not permit the play of a touched piece or King, the play is retracted and the player is warned by his opponent of an “impossible” move. The next such impossible move in the same game shall require the offending player to forfeit the game.

4.         If in capturing, a multiple capture is not completed, or the player removes one of his own pieces or Kings, the player shall retract the move, and make the correct capture. The offender is again warned by his opponent for an impossible move, and shall forfeit the game for the next such offense in the same game.

5.         If the moving player makes an impossible move (or refuses to capture or capture properly) that he will not retract to the proper position upon being warned, he must forfeit the game immediately for a “false or improper move”.

6.         A player without the turn to move who touches a piece or King of either color without giving an adjusting warning shall be warned by his opponent of the first such offense and shall forfeit the game for the next such offense in the same game.

7.         A player without the turn to move who makes a move out of turn shall be charged with a false or improper move and shall immediately forfeit the game for the same offense in the same game.

8.         As a move or capture is completed, the moving player must immediately remove his hand from the piece of King and away from the board. If he continues to touch the moved piece of King after moving it, he shall be warned by his opponent and shall forfeit the game for the second such offense in the same game.

9.         Any move not permitted by these rules is a false or improper move, the penalty for which is immediate forfeiture of the game for the same offense in the same game.





1.         In informal games the general rule on time for making a move allows up to 5 minutes and 1 minute’s grace for an ordinary move or for a capture that can be made in more than one way – and up to 1 minute and another minute’s grace for a capture that can only be made in one way.

2.         Players in informal games are expected to play within these time limits on their own, and a forfeit may be claimed for exceeding these limits.

3.         Official Tournaments are played with time clocks usually at 30 moves per hour and Championship matches are usually played at 24 moves per hour or as decided by contract.





1.         The game is won by the player whose opponent resigns or concedes.

2.         The game is won by the player who can make the last move; that is, no move is available to his opponent either because the opponent has no more pieces or Kings or because all of the opponent’s pieces or Kings are blocked and unable to move

3.         The game is won by the player whose opponent is required to forfeit by any of these rules.






1.         A game is drawn when both players agree to terminate play with a drawn (“tie”) result.

2.         When one player proposes a drawn game, and the other does not agree, the first player may request a "40-move” count. The count starts with the attacking player’s first move after the request and counts only the moves of the attacking side. The attacking side must demonstrate a strengthened position (in these 40 moves) to the satisfaction of an impartial third person, experienced in the game, or concede the draw. The 40-move count is restarted any time when-

a.         The player claiming the draw concedes there has been some strengthening of attacker’s position;

b.         Any uncrowned piece of either side makes any advance toward the King-row; or

c.         Any capture is made.

3.         After the 40-move count is completed showing a strengthened position, the attacker must, of course, still complete the win. And the other 40-move counts may still be requested later by the player claiming the draw.

4.         When the same position (identical as to move, pieces, Kings and colors) occurs two or more times, a “see-saw” draw may be beginning. It is customary for the side desiring the draw to point out these repeated positions and suggest a draw. The other side is then expected to start a new attack or concede the draw.


Checker/Draught Countries, Associations and Federations, which hold Annual Open Tournaments, may be eligible to join The World Checker/Draught Federation.


For information e-mail ICHFCHECKERS@AOL.COM

Write or call:

Charles C. Walker, President, World Checker/Draught Federation

Director, International Checker Hall of Fame

Post Office Box 365

Petal, MS 39465-0365

Phone (601) 582-7090

Monday – Friday  9am – 4pm