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Checkers Around the World Invented Checkers Variants

Lasca or Laskers Checkers Game

Another unique and little known checkers/draughts variant is an abstract checkers board game involving ‘towers’ or columns of ‘men’ called Lasca (Laska or Laskers).

Columns of men called Lasca

Lasca Game History

World Chess master, Emanuel Lasker, invented this checkers variant during the early 1900’s. The chess champion was born in Berlinchen, Germany, in 1868. Though a student of mathematics at university, Emanuel Lasker also had interests in the natural sciences, philosophy and various types of games.

World checker player Emanuel Lasker World checker player Emanuel Lasker Photo

A master of chess, Lasker is perhaps best known for his brilliant strategy against world champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, in a chess match in 1894 where Lasker won the championship and the title. During the next 27 years, Emanuel Lasker amazingly held the world champion title due to his mastery in the game and his ‘psychological’ method of play in which he considered both the subjective qualities of his opponents and the objective requirements of his strategic position on the game board. Lasker paid little attention to the opening of the game, was extremely resourceful in the middle game and was noted as playing the endgame at the highest level of expertise; however, despite his excellent skill in the chess game, he unfortunately lost his title to José Raúl Capablanca in a championship match in 1921. In 1925, Emanuel Lasker wrote “Lasker’s Manual of Chess”. This treatise became well known in chess circles for the philosophical tone of its content. He also published other books on board and card games. It was during his reign as Chess Grandmaster that he invented the checkers variant, LASCA.

Rules of Lasca Checkers Game:

~ Checker Game Board ~

  • This unique Lasca checkers game variant is played by two opponents on a 7 x 7 standard checkered board of alternating light and dark squares.

  • Lasca is played on the light squares so that only 25 of the 49 squares are actually used during the game.

  • The checker board is positioned squarely between the two players with a light square at each corner.
  • Each opponent uses 11 checkers, draughts men or simply pieces of contrasting light and dark colors such as black and red or red and yellow so that the ‘men’ are distinguishable on the game board.

  • Lasca checkers should be flat so that they can be stacked into columns and one side should be different from the other; if they are symmetrical, then one side should be marked in some way to distinguish it from the other side such as a daub of paint or a symbol.

  • Lasca game pieces are as follows:

  • Soldier ~ a single man with a plain face showing upwards.

  • Officer ~ a single man with the marked face uppermost.

  • Column ~ a stack of two or more soldiers or officers of one color; the column may also contain ‘captured prisoners’ of the opponent’s underneath the officer or soldier.

  • Commander ~ the top man of the column and the only piece to determine who owns and moves the column.

Game Note:

The Lasca Association in Cambridge (UK) originally designed a more elegant game board for LASCA than the standard checkered chessboard because, while it is topologically the same, it reduced the size of the unused black squares and could easily be rendered on a piece of cardboard.

Lasca checker board has also changedLasca checker board has changed the squares to circlesLasca checker board gameLasca board again changed

This Lasca game board has also changed the squares to circles and the dark squares have become the background so that the new board does not really resemble its chessboard predecessor overly much.

~ Object of Lasca Checkers Game ~

  • The game objective is much the same as in Checkers/Draughts in that each player is trying to capture all the opponent’s pieces or block the remaining pieces so that he/she can no longer make any other legal moves.

~ Game Starting Position ~

  • At the start of the Lasca checkers game, the single men or soldiers are positioned in the three rows on the white squares at each end of the game board with the plain side facing up.
  • Once the soldiers are on the move, the may be promoted to officers or are captured and soon a violent battle may rage on the board, with many opportunities and possibilities for subtle tactics and strategies.

~ Game Moves & Captures ~

  • When the play has begun, the pieces move forward diagonally right or left one square at a time, just as in Checkers or Draughts.

  • Likewise, the Lasca game pieces capture by jumping over the opposing man into an unoccupied square beyond the opposition, but what follows is quite different from either Checkers or Draughts (and to some players this aspect makes Lasca a more exciting game, but of course, that is according to individual preference).

  • A captured man is not removed from the board, but is picked up by the attacker as a prisoner and placed under the capturing man as he leaps over the opposing piece.

    • With each move, the opponents continue to capture other pieces on the board and stack them into larger columns since no men are ever removed from the game board; gradually there are less and less pieces on the board.

    • One aspect to note is that there is no possibility of a column consisting of alternating colors such as black white black.

    • As in the game of Checkers/Draughts, if a player is in a position to do so, he/she must capture an opposing piece.

    • If there is an opportunity to continue capturing, then the jumping sequence must be followed until completed.

    • This rule is extremely important in LASCA since it allows a player to force his/her opponent into disadvantageous situations:
    lasca checkers moveLasca Checkers force moveLasca Checkers

International Checkers
Brazilian Checkers
or Draughts
English Draughts
(Great Britain)
Danish Draughts
Frisian Checkers Canadian Checkers Russian Checkers
Italian Checkers Polish Checkers Spanish Pool Checkers
French Checkers German Checkers African Checkers
Turkish Checkers Lasca Checkers Alquerque Checkers
Thai Checkers Czech Checkers Sri-Lanka Checkers
Tiers Checkers Spanish Checkers Checkers Federations

DeerLake Online Store Items

Wonder Mugs Play checkers online, and enjoy drinking from this cool wonder mug.
When adding hot liquid, the colors of the mug will change, checkers cool.

Checkers is a two-player game, where one player is assigned white-chip checkers and the other red. The aim is to play checkers online, capture all of the other player's checkers or make them impossible to move.

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