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Posted by bender 03/25/2009 @ 17:14

Tags : draughts, board game, games, leisure

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I Say Draft, You Say Draught, Or, The Oddest English Spellings ... - OUPblog
The word draught had a similar history. Its etymology is transparent. “Draught” is an act of drawing or that which is drawn. The meaning “design, plan” was preceded by “picture, sketch” (from draw “to describe a line”). The game known as checkers in...
Coal, Electric Industries Big Winners in Climate Bill Deal - The Washington Independent
Indeed, the United Nations issued a report Thursday indicating that the world's poorest countries, which are expected to suffer the brunt of the floods, draughts and storms associated with climate change, already require as much as $2 billion to adjust...
Brewers Guild to honour classic Kiwi beer styles - Real Beer New Zealand
Best in class trophies will be awarded to the highest rated entries in both the classic New Zealand Draught and the Golden Lager style categories. Brewed using a combination of ale and lager brewing techniques, New Zealand Draughts and Lagers are...
UN seeks 'urgent' aid to Horn of Africa - PRESS TV
The UN official added that whole populations in the impoverished region were struggling with the aftermaths of draughts and high food prices. Holmes called for an extra effort despite the current economic slowdown as it was “warranted” by "the...
Home Update 1.21 Dated and Detailed - TAWKN.com
We are assured you will not notice the changes but for those of you interested the elements updated are Draughts, Chess and Helicopter Hit. As a point of interest we are investigating ways of gathering bug reports from you in the future....
'Green Loans' for 75000 households - G-Online
"The fact is that for many households the assessor will identify simple, low-cost actions like changing light globes, sealing draughts and repairing leaking taps...However, there will also be larger-scale recommendations [such as] installing solar...
Top tips for DIY enthusiasts - Moneysupermarket.com
For example, for less than £20 at most leading DIY stores you could pick up: a letterbox cover to cut out draughts; a brush draught excluder strip for the base of a door; foam door and window draught seals; or radiator heat reflective foil to stop heat...
Efficient homes get green light - The Age
"The fact is that for many households the assessor will identify simple, low-cost actions like changing light bulbs, sealing draughts and repairing leaking taps," Mr Garrett said. "However there will also be larger-scale recommendations, many of which...
Passive Solution goes beyond with lifetime housing - 24dash
Strategic ceiling extracts respond to changes in humidity, opening and closing as required to extract moist air, without unnecessary heat loss, through ducting to a roof terminal, window or wall inlets allow gentle replacement air in without draughts....


International Draughts Board

Draughts IPA: /drɑːfts/ (British English) or checkers (American English) is a group of abstract strategy board games between two players which involve diagonal moves of uniform pieces and mandatory captures by jumping over the enemy's pieces.

The most popular forms are international draughts, played on a 10×10 board, followed by English draughts, also called American checkers, played on an 8×8 board, but there are many other variants. Draughts developed from alquerque.

Draughts is played by two people, on opposite sides of a playing board, alternating moves. One player has dark pieces, and the other has light pieces. It is against the rules for one player to move the other player's pieces. The player with the dark pieces makes the first move unless stated otherwise. Pieces move diagonally and opponents' pieces are captured by jumping over them to an unoccupied square. The playable surface consists only of the dark squares. A piece may only move into an unoccupied square. Capturing is mandatory in most official rules, however, many people play with variant rules that allow capturing to be optional. A piece that is captured is removed from the board. In all variants, the player who has no pieces left or cannot move anymore has lost the game unless otherwise stated.

Uncrowned pieces ("men") move one step diagonally forwards and capture other pieces by making two steps in the same direction, jumping over the opponent's piece on the intermediate square. Multiple opposing pieces may be captured in a single turn provided this is done by successive jumps made by a single piece; these jumps do not need to be in the same direction but may zigzag. In English draughts men can only capture forwards, but in international draughts they may also capture (diagonally) backwards.

When men reach the crownhead or kings row (the farthest row forward), they become kings, marked by placing an additional piece on top of the first, and acquire additional powers including the ability to move backwards (and capture backwards, in variants in which they cannot already do so).

In international draughts, kings can move as far as they want in diagonals like a bishop in chess. However, they cannot capture like a bishop, but jump over the captured piece, moving over as many empty fields as the player wants but jumping over only a single, opposing piece in each jump. (As with men, a king may make successive jumps in a single turn provided that each is a capture.) This rule, known as flying kings, is not used in English draughts, in which a king's only advantage over a man is the ability to move and capture backwards as well as forwards. Notice that captured pieces are removed from the board only after capturing is finished. Thus sometimes the captured but not yet removed piece obliges a king to stop after capturing at a given field where he in turn will be captured by the adversary.

In the Philippines, it is known as "derecha" and is played on a mirrored board, often replaced by a crossed lined board (only diagonals are represented).

With this rule, there is no draw with 2 pieces against 1. The board is mirrored.

The game has been played in Europe since the 16th century, and a similar game was certainly known to the ancients. In the British Museum are specimens of ancient Egyptian checkerboards.

In most non-English languages (except those that acquired the game from English speakers), draughts is called dames, damas, or a similar term that refers to ladies. Men are usually called stones, pieces, or some similar term that does not imply a gender; men promoted to kings are called dames or ladies instead. In these languages, the queen in chess or in card games is usually called by the same term as the kings in draughts.

English draughts (American 8×8 checkers) has been the arena for several notable advances in game artificial intelligence. In the 1950s, Arthur Samuel created one of the first board game-playing programs of any kind. More recently, in 2007 scientists at the University of Alberta evolved their "Chinook" program up to the point where it is unbeatable. A brute force approach that took hundreds of computers working nearly 2 decades was used to solve, the game, showing that a game of draughts will always end in a stalemate if neither player makes a mistake. As of December 2007, this makes English draughts the most complex game ever solved.

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English draughts

English draughts board

English draughts, known simply as draughts in the United Kingdom and some other countries, and also called American checkers, straight checkers, or simply checkers, is a form of the draughts board game played on an 8×8 board with 12 pieces on each side that may only initially move and capture diagonally forwards. Only when a piece is "kinged" may it move backwards or forwards.

As in all draughts variants, English draughts is played by two people, on opposite sides of a playing board, alternating moves. One player has black pieces, and the other has white or red pieces. Most commonly, the board alternates between red and black. The opponent's pieces are captured by jumping over them.

In tournament English draughts, a variation called three-move restriction is preferred. The first three moves are drawn at random from a set of accepted openings. Two games are played with the chosen opening, each player having a turn at either side. This tends to reduce the number of draws and can make for more exciting matches. Three-move restriction has been played in the United States championship since 1934. A two-move restriction was used from 1900 until 1934 in the United States and in the British Isles until the 1950s. Before 1900, championships were played without restriction: this style is called go-as-you-please (GAYP).

One rule of long standing that has fallen out of favor is the "huffing" rule. In this variation jumping is not mandatory, but a piece that could have jumped and failed to do so, may be taken — or "huffed" — by the opposing player at the beginning of his or her next turn. After huffing the offending piece, the opponent then takes his or her turn as normal. Huffing has been abolished by both the American Checker Federation and the English Draughts Association.

The first computer English draughts program was written by C. S. Strachey, M.A., National Research Development Corporation, London, in the early 1950s.

The second computer program was written in 1956 by Arthur Samuel, a researcher from IBM. Other than it being one of the most complicated game playing programs written at the time, it is also well known for being one of the first adaptive programs. It learned by playing games against modified versions of itself, with the victorious versions surviving. Samuel's program was far from mastering the game, although one win against a blind checkers master gave the general public the impression that it was very good.

In the 1990s, the strongest program was Chinook, written in 1989 by a team from the University of Alberta led by Jonathan Schaeffer. Marion Tinsley, world champion from 1955-1962 and from 1975-1991, won a match against the machine in 1992. In 1994, Tinsley had to resign in the middle of an even match for health reasons; he died shortly thereafter. In 1995, Chinook defended its man-machine title against Don Lafferty in a 32 game match where each had 1 win and 1 loss, and a record setting 30 draws. In 1996 Chinook won in the USA National Tournament by the widest margin ever, and was retired from play after that event. The man-machine title has not been contested since.

On July 2007, in an article published in Science Magazine, Chinook's developers announced that the program had been improved to the point where it could not lose a game. If no mistakes were made by either player, the game would always end in a draw. After eighteen years, they have mathematically proven a weak solution to the game of Checkers . Using between 200 desktop computers at the peak of the project down to around 50 later on, the team made just 1014 calculations to search from the initial position to a database of positions with at most 10 pieces.

The number of legal positions in English draughts is estimated to be 1020, and it has a game-tree complexity of approximately 1031. By comparison, chess is estimated to have between 1043 and 1050 legal positions.

When draughts is generalized so that it can be played on an n-by-n board, the problem of determining if the first player has a win in a given position is EXPTIME-complete.

The July 2007 announcement by Chinook's team stating that the game had been solved must be understood in the sense that, with perfect play on both sides, the game will always finish with a draw. Yet, not all positions that could result from imperfect play have been analyzed.

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

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Chinook (draughts player)

Chinook is a computer program that plays English draughts (also known as checkers), developed around 1989 at the University of Alberta, led by Jonathan Schaeffer. Other developers are Rob Lake, Paul Lu, Martin Bryant, and Norman Treloar. In July 2007, Chinook's developers announced that the program has been improved to the point where it cannot lose a game.

Chinook is the first computer program to win the world champion title in a competition against humans. In 1990 it won the right to play in the human World Championship by being second to Marion Tinsley in the US Nationals. At first the American Checkers Federation and English Draughts Association were against the participation of a computer in a human championship. When Tinsley resigned his title in protest, the ACF and EDA created the new title Man vs. Machine World Championship, and competition proceeded. Tinsley won with four wins to Chinook's two, with 33 draws.

In a rematch, Chinook was declared the Man-Machine World Champion in checkers in 1994 in a match against Marion Tinsley after six drawn games, and Tinsley's withdrawal due to pancreatic cancer. While Chinook became the world champion, it had never defeated the best checkers player of all time, Tinsley, who was significantly superior to even his closest peer.

The championship continued with Chinook defending its title against Don Lafferty when it lost one game, won one and drew 18. After the match, Jonathan Schaeffer decided not to let Chinook compete anymore, but instead try to solve checkers. It was rated at 2814.

Chinook's program algorithm includes an opening book, a library of opening moves from games played by grandmasters; a deep search algorithm; a good move evaluation function; and an end-game database for all positions with eight pieces or fewer. The linear handcrafted evaluation function considers several features of the game board, including piece count, kings count, trapped kings, turn, runaway checkers (unimpeded path to be kinged) and other minor factors. All of Chinook's knowledge was programmed by its creators, rather than learned with artificial intelligence.

Jonathan Schaeffer wrote a book about Chinook called One Jump Ahead: Challenging Human Supremacy in Checkers, in 1997. An updated version of the book was published November 2008.

On May 24, 2003, Chinook completed its 10 piece database with 5 pieces on each side.

On August 2, 2004, the Chinook team announced that the tournament opening in English draughts called the White Doctor (10-14 22-18 12-16) has proven to be a draw.

On January 18, 2006, the Chinook team announced that the 09-13 21-17 05-09 opening has been proven to be a draw.

On April 18, 2006, the Chinook team announced that the 09-13 22-17 13-22 opening has been proven to be a draw.

On March 10, 2007, Jonathan Schaeffer announced (at the ACM SIGCSE 2007 conference) that a final solution to checkers was expected within 3-5 months.

On July 19, 2007, the journal Science published Schaeffer's team's article "Checkers Is Solved", presenting their proof that the best a Chinook opponent can achieve is a draw.

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World Draughts Federation


The FMJD (World Draughts Federation) is the international body uniting national draughts federations. It was founded in 1947 by four Federations: France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.

Actually, the FMJD has more than 50 national federation members. Recently the FMJD has become a member of the GAISF and strives for Olympic recognition. The FMJD memberships is part of a more general movement toward integration of Mind Sports in the regular sports arena, a development that, in the vision of the FMJD, is to be lauded.

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Source : Wikipedia