Instructions for Checkers: The Turkish Variation and How It's Played

For the most part, most variants do not deviate that much from the main concept of checkers. Despite being called variants, meaning each one of them has to be different from one another, most of them play out almost exactly the same apart from nuances such as board size, the number of pieces involved, capturing rules, etc., all of which do not really give birth to a totally new gaming experience.

It is in this context that one can see the Turkish variant as a cut above the pack as it has rule variations that can be regarded as the most divergent among all of the rule variations of most of the checkers' variants. With rules that are a clearer departure than those of the other variants, one can expect a fresher take on the popular board game with Turkish checkers.

Before delving into the stark differences, let us first take a look at the similarities that the Turkish variant shares with most of the checkers' family of games.

Like all of the other variants of the board game, Turkish checkers, also known as 'dama' or Armenian checkers, is played by two players on an eight by eight game board which has the standard alternating colors of all checkers game board. As with most variants, each of the two players has in their command a number of game pieces, which are also divided between two colors like those in other variants of the game, which they use to realize the game's objective of capturing all of the other side's pieces or rendering them incapable of making a move.

Apart from the aforementioned similarities, there are no more parallels between the Turkish variant and its brethren. Just from the initial set up of the pieces on the game board, one can already see that the variant has many differences from the other strains of checkers. Each player's sixteen pieces are lined up in two rows on opposite sides of the eight by eight board. The furthest edge of the board is empty as the pieces are lined up on the two rows next to it.

The movement of the pieces is also one aspect unique to the Turkish variant. Instead of moving diagonally, which is a staple tenet among all of the other variations, pieces in the Turkish variant move forward and sideways. 'Crowned' pieces on the other hand gain the extra ability to move backwards. Jumping is also the way capturing is done in Turkish checkers though because of the different move sets in the game, regular pieces now have three directions while kings have four directions that they can choose from when jumping over other pieces.

With all of the Turkish variant's significant difference from most of the other, more popular variants, it can be said that it is one variant that can provide a fresh and novel experience especially for those who crave for something new out of the popular board game that is checkers.

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