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Checkers: Variations
Includes some games that have some elements of checkers, but may have elements of other games. Includes Hasami Shogi Classic (HS), Hasami Shogi Modern (HT), and Breakthrough (KB). NOTE: Rules for Breakthrough are near the bottom of the page.


  • read: Hasami Shogi Classic (HS)
  • read: Breakthrough (KB)
  • read: Hasami Shogi Modern (HT)



Hasami Shogi Classic (HS) Background:
Hasami Shogi originates in Japan. The word 'hasami' means 'to sandwich', which is one of the features of this game.

Object:
The object of the game is to either get 5 of your pieces in a row (in any direction-- horizontally, vertically, or diagonally), or reduce your opponent's pieces down to zero or one. The first objective is usually the one that will win the game.

Setup:
The board is a 9x9 board, with each player's pieces in the bottom two rows. The pieces in the bottom two rows cannot be used to fulfill the 5-in-a-row winning condition.


The board above shows the starting position. The bottom two rows of your board will always be highlighted, showing you the pieces that cannot be used as your 5-in-a-row victory condition.

Movement:
A player's piece can move in two different ways:
  • In one direction horizontally or vertically for any number of squares, as long as all the spaces in between are empty
  • Jumping a friendly or enemy piece horizontally or vertically, and landing on the square immediately opposite. The piece that you're jumping must be right next to yours.


On the board above, the black piece in the middle of the board can move to any space with a red dot on it, or it can jump over the white piece next to it. A piece can also jump over a friendly piece, as illustrated by the black piece on the first row.

Capturing pieces:
In addition, you can capture opposing pieces by 'sandwiching' one or more pieces between two of your own in either a vertical or horizontal position (not diagonally).


In the example above, black makes a move that captures two white pieces. The opponent's pieces are removed from the board. You can capture any number of pieces (one or more), even pieces in different directions at once.

However, a piece can move IN BETWEEN two existing enemy pieces and not be captured. For that piece to be captured, the enemy piece must move away then move back to that spot to capture the piece in between.

Winning the game:
You win the game if you have reduced your opponent to zero or 1 piece, or if you have five or more of your pieces in one row, in any direction. Remember that any pieces in your first two rows of the board (the shaded part) do not count towards the five in a row.
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Breakthrough (KB) Background:
Breakthrough was invented by W. D. Troyka and went on to win the 2001 8x8 Game Design Competition sponsored by Abstract Games Magazine and the Strategy Gaming Society.

Object:
The object is to place one of your men onto the top row of the board before your opponent does.

Setup:
The board is an 8x8 board, with each player's pieces in the bottom two rows. Black makes the first move.


The board above shows the starting position. The top (and bottom) row of the board will always be highlighted, hinting at the victory condition for this game, and distinguishing it from other games using a similar board.

Movement:
Pieces can only move forwards, either diagonally or straight forward into an empty space. They cannot move into spaces occupied by one of your own pieces. For capturing enemy pieces, see the 'capture' section below.



The diagram above shows the legal moves for one of black's pieces from the starting position (the red dots show the legal moves).

Capturing pieces:
You can only capture diagonally forwards, in either direction. You cannot capture a piece directly in front of you. The capture move is exactly like a chess pawn. Capturing is NOT mandatory-- you can decide either to capture or to move whenever you have a choice.


In the example above, the black piece can capture either of the white pieces in either diagonal direction (pointed to by the arrows), but it cannot capture the white piece directly in front of it.

Winning the game:
The first player to move a piece into the row furthest from their starting row wins the game. This is usually the row at the top of the board when the board is flipped correctly. The board is shaded both at the top and the bottom to help you remember the object of the game.
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Hasami Shogi Modern (HT) Hasami Shogi Modern is exactly like the 'classic' version, except that winning conditions of 5 in a row HORIZONTALLY are not allowed.

In our experience, it is too easy for black to win with 5 pieces in a row horizontally, on black's 3rd row. This rule change (originally created by ItsYourTurn.com, as far as we know) forces both players to place pieces in enemy territory in order to win the game. It's a more balanced game, and it's more difficult than the 'classic' version. Give it a shot!
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