Instructions for Checkers: How to Play the International Variant

It is surprising that checkers, with its charmingly simple game play and uncomplicated rules, has many variants that are spread all across the world. Though all of them have features that bind them together as variations of checkers, each of them has enough unique features to distinguish them from one another.

One of the more popular and widely played variants of checkers is the International version of the game. In spite of being a variant, the international version plays very much like how one would expect a checkers game would be as the game mechanics of the popular board game are intact within its game play

The international variant of checkers is a board game played by two players, who each has in their command game pieces, commonly referred to as 'men', and the objective of the game is to capture all of the opponent's pieces or render them unable to move through blocking their paths. Furthermore, international checkers also use a game board that has alternating dark and light colors. The game pieces are also divided among two colors; one side being labeled as black and the other as white. Like all other variations of the game, the game pieces in international checkers are also placed upon the dark-colored squares of the game board.

Some fundamental differences set this variation apart from other variants though. One of such distinct features is the size of the board. Boards that are used for this variant are larger as they are ten by ten squares compared to most of the other variants which only have eight by eight grids. Such a larger battlefield is just apt as the international variant also employs more 'men' than its counterparts as each player has in their twenty game pieces for a total of forty pieces all in all, sixteen pieces more than most other variants of the board game.

The movement of the pieces in this variant as the same as with most of the other alternative checkers but what sets the international version of the popular board game apart is the fact the 'men' in this particular version can capture other pieces backwards. Another distinct feature that it has concerns the issue of promotion. Crowning a piece in most of the other variants only requires the piece to reach to the other end of the board but in the international version of the game, crowning will only takes place if the move of a piece lands it exactly on the far side. Since capturing is also compulsory, and the pieces in the variant can capture backwards, it is very much likely that pieces that touched the squares on the far side will have to move backwards on the same turn particularly in cases of stringed captures.

These distinct features of the international variant of checkers make it a unique member of the family of board games that calls itself as checkers. Knowing such features will let one enjoy the popular board game in a new and refreshing way.

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