Bashni (also known as Column Checkers) is a variant of checkers known and played in Russia since the 19th century. This game is played according to the usual checkers rules, but with the difference that a captured piece is not removed from the gameboard, but is taken under a the jumping piece (or tower).
The towers formed during the captures moves along the board and obey always the upper piece. When jumping over the tower, only the top piece is removed from it and replaced by a piece with the color of the opponent to be marked.
The rules of the game in this page correspond to the most common variant of Bashni. The game is played on the dark squares of a of 8×8 checkers board. At the beginning of the game, 12 drafts for each player are placed like all other variants of Draughts.
- A simple piece moves diagonally one square forward.
- The king moves diagonally to any unoccupied square, forward or backward.
- When reaching the last (eighth from each player side) horizontal row, a simple piece becomes a king.
- The tower moves according to the basic rules like any simple checker if it has a simple piece on top of it, and according to the rules of a king if it has a king on top of it.
- If the tower jumps over a king, then only its upper piece becomes the king.
- Captures in Bashni are obligatory. With several capture options, the player is free to chooses the capture option he wants. In the chosen option, it is necessary to capture all the valid available opponent pieces.
- The capture with a simple piece is made both forward and backward.
- The king jumps both forward and backward, and is free to land on any empty square.
- When reaching the last row of the board, a simple checker becomes a king and continues the capture according to the rules of a king.
- A jumped piece is not removed from the board, but is captured under the piece that has captured it and forms a tower. The tower belongs to the player who owns its highest piece.
- If a tower is jumped, then the upper piece is removed from it and captured under a simple checker or tower that has captured it.
- If a piece or tower make multi-jump captures of simple pieces or towers of the enemy, then captured pieces are captured under the jumping piece in sequence.
- A captured king is placed in the tower like a king, and after removing all the checkers above it, it becomes a king again.
Winning the game
The game of Bashni ends when one of the player block his opponent and prevent him to make any legal move, or capture all his pieces. Practice shows that a draw is a very rare event even in a game between strong equal opponents. A draw is declared either by mutual agreement of the rivals, or after 3 or more times the same position is repeated, or if the material balance of forces has not changed over the last 15 moves.