Basic techniques for playing draughts
(10x10 board)

At level of school draughts

White plays from bottom to top.

gifTry to keep the center basic man (3 for black and 48 for white) as long as possible on the back row. Which this piece you have got the largest playing ground available to reinforce the left or right wind when needed. gifTry to distribute the pieces evenly over the board (see top half). Do not place all pieces at the edges (see lower half).
gifCount the pieces in 3 areas: the 3 most left columns, the middle 4 columns and the 3 most right columns. When your opponent has a surplus of 2 pieces on your right wing, you should try to play 1 or 2 pieces to that wing, perhaps by exchanging pieces. gifTry to be able to exchange pieces when needed. It may be your last chance as you can see in the diagram to the right.
gifPieces at the edge of the board could best be placed in a complete "gate" position (to the left) or a half "gate" position (to the right). This often gives goed opportunities for stroke combinations. gifTry formations of 3 pieces behind each other. This gives good attack opportunities, but defensive actions are also good possible, because of the possibility to exchange pieces.
The main rules for a draw are according to the Dutch KNDB-handbook:

- an end game with 1 king versus 3 pieces among which one king is a draw if both colors have played 16 moves (art. 9.2, 1st point).

- an end game with 1 king versus 2 pieces amongh which one king is a draw if both colors have played 5 moves (art. 9.2, 2nd point).

- repeated moves: if 3 times in a row the same position comes on the board, the game is a draw (art. 13.3a and 13.3b).

- if both colors have performed 25 moves without having taken a piece or having moved a man, the game is a draw (art. 13.3c).

At a school draughts tournament there is 20 minutes for each person for the match. To control the use of time draughts clock is being used.

Do not forget to press the clock after each move. If your opponent is thinking long, check your clock. Perhaps it is still running on your side!

Use your time well, do not play too fast. Check if you can do an even better move. Besides that: 20 minutes is quite a long time.

Also think always in the time your opponent is thinking.

If the time is almost run out, it's sometimes better to offer a draw to your opponent. It's better to have 1 point, than none at all.

gifIn this position of 1 king with 1 man for white and 1 king with 2 men for black it's best for white to give away the white man immediately and so forcing a draw. If white chooses not to do this, black has always a combination possibility and a way to win.

Therefore: Accept a draw when you can't win anymore. Prevent yourself from making a silly error.

gifAn often occurring stroke is the "heel" stroke, which gives a +1 score for white.
gifAnother often occurring combination is the "bomb" combination, which gives a +1 score. In this position, white can take it. gifSometimes it's better to be not too careful. In this position a free way to king is possible by giving away 1 man (sacrifice).
gifDe long line is important, because it gives the king the ability to block 2 men. Both black men can not run through to the crowning line. gifWhenever you have promoted to a king, keeping it is very important. Your opponent will try to exchange it at minimum costs. If not possible otherways, it's sometimes best to defense your king by placing men in front of it.
gif"The rule of the fourth line" tells you that in this position with white on the move, white can win the game.

On the other hand: if black is on the move, black can just achieve a draw.

gifIn an end game with 1, 2 or 3 pieces it is sometimes possible to win by "opposition". The pieces end opposing to each other and the color on the move will lose. In this position white is on the move and can win the game.
gifWith a king it is possible to hunt for a piece. By hunting the black piece twice, white can win that piece. gifPutting your self on stroke is always dangerous. First check if it is allowed. In this position it is wrong for black. White has a free move and can promote to king by means of Coup de l'Expresse.
gifKnow the positions by head at which you can take king of your opponent. In a position of 4 kings versus 1 king you can win always (if there is enough time).

Catching a king on the main line.

At all positions a black king will loose.

gifCatching a king on the tric-trac-line.
gifCatching a king at the edge. gifCatching a king on the main line at another way.