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Rulebook - Checkers

National Veterans Golden Age Games

Event 4: Checkers

Age Groups

  • 55-59
  • 60-64
  • 65-69
  • 70-74
  • 75-79
  • 80-84
  • 85-up


The National Veterans Golden Age Games host will provide standard and adaptive checkerboards and checkers.

Other Equipment: drinking water, tables, chairs, score sheets, and first aid kit.


Any appropriate area designated for the event by the National Veterans Golden Age Games host. Adequate lighting should be a consider­ation. The host will provide 12 four-foot square tables for this competition. If possible, one table, separate from the competition, should be set up for photographs.


The competition will be set up in a single elimination tour­nament format. Whenever possible, competitors from the same medical center will not be matched against each other in first round matches. All matches will be played as a best two out of three games. Third place games will match the two losers of the two semi-final games against each other.


Rule 1:00 The Piece

Each competitor commences with 12 pieces, which are arranged on the three ranks nearest him/her. All the pieces are alike in physical structure and bestowed powers; they are single pieces.

Rule 2:00 Object of Play

A competitor wins when his/her opponent can make no move. This can happen in either of two ways:

Section 1:
The competitor has lost all his/her playing pieces to capture.
Section 2: All his/her remaining pieces are immobilized.

Rule 3:00 The Play

Section 1
The two competitors move alternately, black invariably moving first to begin the game. There are two kinds of moves, capturing and non-capturing.
Section 2
The non-capturing move is to an adjacent, vacant square (along a diagonal, since the pieces move whol­ly on black squares). A single piece may move only forward; therefore, has a choice of no more than two simple moves.
Section 3
The capturing move is a jump. If a piece (say black) stands adjacent to an enemy (say red) and the square just beyond this enemy on the same line is vacant, then black may jump over the enemy to the vacant square. The piece so jumped (red) is then removed from the board. If the jumping piece lands on a square from which it can jump another enemy, it must do so in the same turn, continuing to make capture until it runs out of victims. In any such series, the jumping piece may zigzag at will, changing directions in successive captures. A single playing piece captures only forward.
Section 4
The event official will issue the in-turn competitor a 25 second warning that he/she must make a move. If the in-turn competitor has not moved within 30 seconds, the opposing competitor will have the opportunity to select a checker to be removed from the board. The event official will physically remove the checker.
Section 4-VI
The 30 second time limit will be suspended for games with the visually impaired; however, if stalling occurs, the competitor will be warned and a checker will be removed if it continues.
Section 5
All games will have a 10-minute time limit. At the end of 10 minutes, the competitor with the most checkers remaining will be declared the winner of that game. Single pieces have a value of one and a “king” has a value of two. If each player has the same value, same number of pieces, the game is considered a drawn/tie game.
Section 5-VI
Games with visually impaired will have a 15 minute time limit. At the end of 15 minutes, the competitor with the most checkers remaining will be declared the winner of that game.
Section 6
If able to make a jump, the competitor must do so in preference to a simple move. All jumps must be com­pleted: a simple move, when the competitor can jump, is illegal and must be retracted. A king may capture forward or back­ward.
Section 6A
If a competitor makes an illegal move, (i.e., a simple move in lieu of a jump, the piece (checker) illegally moved will be replaced and the legal move (jump) must be made. The player, opponent, official or timer may alert the table to the illegal move.
Section 6B
At no time may a player remove an opponent’s piece (checker) for making an illegal move. All illegally moved checkers will be replaced and a legal move must be made (i.e., a simple move in lieu of a jump).
Section 7
The competitor may make his/her choice, where al­ternatives exist as to what piece to move in jumping and what direction to go in a series of jumps.
Section 8
On reaching the last rank, farthest away from the owner, a single piece is crowned, thereby becoming king. Placing another checker on top of it marks its promotion, the two then being moved as a unit. A competitor is required by rule to crown the enemy piece reaching his/her side of the board.
Section 9
A king may move in any diagonal direction forward or backward. As to simple moves and jumps, the same rules apply to it as to a single piece. If a single piece reached the king row by a jump, it must stop to be crowned; it may not continue capturing (as a king) in the same turn. The crown is the end of the move.

Rule 4:00 Definitions

Section 1:
Touch and move. If the in-turn competitor touches one of his/her own playable pieces, he/she must move it. If any part of a playable piece is moved over an angle of the square on which it is stationed, the play must be completed in that direction.
Section 1-VI
The touch and move rule will be liberally interpreted for the visually impaired. Once a checker is deliberately moved, it can not be moved back.
Section 2
Adjusting. Touching an unplayable piece does not constitute a move, and such pieces, if displaced, must be put back. A competitor may touch his/her own piece, for purpose of arranging, if he/she gives verbal notice of his/her in­tention and may request the opponent to adjust his/her (opponent's) pieces, but should not touch the adverse pieces for any purpose except capture.
Section 3
Leaving the table. After the first move (or selection of the opening by coin flip), neither competitor may leave the table without permission of the official, and he/she then must be accompanied either by his/her opponent or by a person appointed by the official. The purpose of this rule is to prevent a competitor from consulting books during the course of the game.
Section 4
Drawn/Tie games. A game is declared drawn when neither competitor can force a win. At this point, a new game will be started. The game following the drawn game will be played to the designated time limit. If a winner is declared after the time limit, then so be it. If the winner is not declared, then the game must be finished.
Section 5
Matches. A match between two competitors al­ways comprises an odd number of games. Choice of black side is determined at the beginning of the match by a coin flip. Thereafter, the black side rotates between competitors.

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