Official Rules (French), Official Rules (Dutch), Official Rules (Russian)
The Official Rules govern the following aspects:
A. The structure of the game
B. Simple move and capture
C. The endgame
D. The result of the game
E. Notation and time control
F. Irregularities during a match
A. THE STRUCTURE OF THE GAME
A game of draughts is played by two people, called the players, on a square board of one hundred squares, divided into ten rows of ten squares, alternating light and dark.
The dark squares are used for the game.
The dark squares are numbered from 1 to 50, even if no numbers are written on them.
At the start of the game, twenty black men stand on squares 1 to 20 and twenty white men on squares 31 to 50.
The board is placed between the players in such a way that the player with the white men has square 46 on his left.
One player plays with the white men and the other with the black men. The players take turns to move. The player with the white men starts.
Comment: A move is either a simple move or a capture. See Article 7.
B. SIMPLE MOVE AND CAPTURE
Every simple move takes a man one square forwards diagonally, with a choice of no more than two directions. A man can capture an enemy man when the position on three consecutive squares (regardless of the direction) is as follows:
man – enemy man – empty square
Capturing with a man can take place in any direction (a choice of eight) along the horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines. A man may continue its attack, if possible, along other lines.
A man can be promoted to a king if it ends up on the king row after a shot or a simple move. The white king row are the squares 1 to 5, and the black king row are the squares 46 to 50. A second man is used to crown a king.
A king can also make simple moves and captures. When making a simple move, a king can only travel along the diagonal lines, with a choice of no more than four directions. A king may move from a certain square to any empty square accessible along the diagonal line, but may not pass an occupied square. Capturing with a king can take place in any direction (up to eight) along the horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines. The position must be:
a. king – enemy man – empty square(s) or
b. king – empty square(s) – enemy man – empty square(s)
After capturing a man, a king may move to any of the empty squares behind the captured man and then, if possible, continue his shot (attack) in another direction.
Capturing is mandatory if there is an opportunity on the board. Every completed shot counts as one move. If a player does not perform a shot or performs it incorrectly, the opponent has the right (not the obligation) to point this out.
The highest shot value always takes priority. The value of a king is higher than that of a man, but is less than that of two men. If several kings are involved, then the rule is that the number of kings is of less value than twice the number of men, but more than twice the number of men minus one (for example three kings are of less value than six men, but higher in value than five men).
If both king and man can achieve an equal shot value, then capturing with the king takes priority.
When capturing several men, it is possible to pass over the same empty square several times, but it is not permitted to jump over the same man twice.
During a shot, the captured pieces may not be removed from the board. They may only be removed once the shot is complete.
Touching is performing a move; in other words, if the player whose turn it is touches one of his men, he must use that man to make his move. This rule lapses if the man cannot make a legal move or the opponent notices that the player has not implemented a shot or the highest shot value.
Until the man being moved is released, the player maintains the right to make a choice from all the squares available to him.
C. THE ENDGAME
A player with one or more kings and men may not make more than three consecutive simple moves with the same king. However, the same king may then be used to make a shot, or a shot or simple move may be made with a different king or man. The ban on the restricted king is then lifted. During the endgame, if a player only has one or more kings then he is not bound by this rule.
During an endgame with two kings against a single king, the player with two kings must win within a maximum of seven moves. If he does not, then the game ends in a draw.
D. THE RESULT OF THE GAME
The allocation of points is as follows: the winner gains one point, the loser none; a draw results in each player gaining half a point.
A player in one of the situations set out below has lost the game:
a. He has no men left.
b. He gives up the game.
c. He upsets the board.
d. He refuses to continue the game.
e. He exceeds his time limit.
f. It is his move but he cannot make a legal move.
g. He refuses to comply with the Official Rules.
1. The game ends in a draw when both players have only one king, and neither of these kings is able to make a shot or will necessarily be the victim of a shot after his next move.
2. In the endgame, both players may agree to declare a draw.
E. NOTATION AND TIMING
The numbering system discussed in Article 3 is used for noting the games and scores. A simple move is recorded with a dash (for example 46-41) and a shot with a cross (for example 46x37). If only one shot is possible, only a cross is needed for the notation.
Matches are played with a game clock where possible. The button on top of the game clock must be depressed as soon as a move is completed. The player with the white men has the clock on his right-hand side. Before the match, the arbiter announces how much time each player will have during the match.
F. IRREGULARITIES DURING A GAME
During a match, it is forbidden to signal or hint or do anything that may hinder or benefit either player.
Men that are not correctly positioned may be placed in the correct position, on condition that the opponent gives permission in advance.
If it turns out that the board is in the wrong position, the game is declared void.
Other irregularities include:
a. A player makes a move with the opponent’s man.
b. A player takes too many or two few men from the board after a shot.
c. A shot is not performed or is performed incorrectly.
d. A player places his king or man during a shot or simple move on a square that may not be reached in a way that is in accordance with the Official Rules.
In this case, and in similar cases, a player has the right to point the irregularity out to his opponent and demand that a legal move be made. Irregularities cease to be illegal once the opponent has responded by making a move.