The application implements:
English Draughts (a.k.a. American or Straight Checkers ),
Spanish Draughts (Damas Españolas, or Damas Clásicas)
Russian Droughts (Russkie Shashki)
Brazilian Draughts (Regras Brasileiras)
This versatility along with limited resources has obvious drawbacks:
|PCR_DrgG_S40||Nokia series 40 devices.
A Nokia colour phone with display width 128, including 7210, 6610, 6100, 7250, 6650, 3300.
Will also work with a Series 60 device, but the board size is smaller than with a Series 60 release.
|PCR_DrgG_S60||Nokia series 60 devices (tone sound)
A Nokia colour phone with display width 167: 3650 and 7650 models.
The application can automatically identify the model and use an appropriate keypad layout, or you can specify it explicitly,
||Nokia Series 60 devices (wave sound)
Same as PCR_DrgG_S60 but with wave sound support and 20K more in size. Available only from the application site. The registration code is compatible with tone version, so that you can use either after registration. The wave sound quality at Nokia S60 is so awful, that you better don't use it unless really curious.
3650 keypad recognition.
|PCR_DrgG_M388||Motorola 388c (full support) , Motorola 388 (greyscale, no back lights and sound).||
|PCR_DrgG_A830||Motorola A830, or compatible.||Wave sound|
|PCR_DrgG_i95cl||Motorola i95cl, or compatible.||MIDI sound|
|PCR_DrgG_MM||A device compatible with Sun Multimedia API specifications. Attempts to use wave sound, if unavailable tone sound is used. The only MMAPI compatible device I am aware of is Nokia 3650, where using a Series 60 release is preferred..||
Wave or tone sound
|PCR_DrgG||Any J2ME device with screen size 120x120 or more, colour
is a substantial advantage, also takes an advantage of a bigger screen
(160 x 174 or more). In particular, this release is recommended for
Antón de Torquemada.
El ingenio, o Juego de marro de punta o Damas. Valencia, 1547
"Ingenuity (creativity), or game Strict Marro , or Draughts".
(Does "de punta" refer to compulsory capture?)
Pedro Ruiz Montero.
Libro del juego de damas, vulgarmente nombrado el marro. Valencia 1591
Here I feel more confident: "A book on game Draughts, informally named Marro"
If you are completely new to the game, the following explanation of rules might be insufficient. If this is the case, refer to numerous books and websites. My favourite is http://perso.wanadoo.fr/alemanni maintained by Jean-Bernard Alemanni, available in English and French. The site provides an accurate description of the rules, information about recent championships and links to other sites. J-B also implemented extremely strong computer programs for a number of draughts variations to run on Microsoft Windows. You can visit the site to learn about his programming secrets, and even get a source code (though for an old version and without any comments). Unfortunately I was unaware of that while developing this product, otherwise it would enormously save my time: I had to repeat all his trials and errors, and my solutions are very similar to what he suggests. The site also provides numerous links to other computer implementations, mostly on same platform as J-B's ones - I wish the 'software monster' to be at least partially as tolerant to their competitors :=)
If you know what the game is about (at least one of its clones), the following paragraph will explain some of the terms used in this manual (of course you can skip it if you feel confident), followed by a summary of game rules.
8x8 board - a standard chess board with the white corner at each player's right.
In some books you may find "checkerboard", which refers to a chess board where playable squares are numbered, as opposed to chess style column-row notation. Since we are not interested in any notation, we won't differentiate.
10x10 board - similar to chess board but with 10 rows and 10 columns.
This board is used for International draughts. Because of an increased number of possible moves, a computer move takes more time for International draughts, than for all other variations. If this annoys you, decrease player skill, or choose Brazilian draughts which are effectively International draughts played on an 8x8 board.
Playable square - a square on the board than can be used for placing a piece.
As opposed to chess, draughts use only squares of a particular colour. This implementation always uses black squares for play.
Flipped board - a mirror image of chess board. A flipped board has the white corner on each player's left.
A common believe that Spanish draughts use a flipped board, may not be 100% accurate. To be honest, I couldn't find official Spanish rules, but as Spanish sources suggest, the board is positioned in usual way, but white squares are used for placing pieces. In order to follow the rules, and still use black squares for play, a board has to be flipped, and this is what the application does.
Slide - a move without taking pieces.
Jump or Capture - a move with taking one, or more opponent's pieces.
All rules implemented here require taking opponent's pieces if possible. Some old rules allowed "huff" (if a player failed to capture, the opponent could either remove the piece that should have jumped, or compel the capture), or "blow" (a player who missed the capture looses), which have been officially declared obsolete.
If a piece jumps to a square where it can capture another opponent's piece it must do so and will proceed as long as there are opponent's pieces to capture.
Those were common requirements, while some rules have additional restrictions and diferent regulations regarding removing_captured_pieces.
Man or pawn (pion, pedra, shaska in native languages). A weaker piece, that can move only one square forward and capture a neighbour opponent's piece. Some rules allow a pawn to capture backward.
King or queen (dama, damka). When a game starts, each player has only pawns. When a pawn reaches the opposite line, it is crowned by placing another piece of same colour on the top of it (in practice, you can just turn the piece over, but this is not allowed by official rules). A crowned piece is a king. A king can move and capture both forward and backward. In most of the rules a king can move and capture several squares in both directions. See also Crowning rules and King strength.
These additional rules affect a case when several captures are possible. According to some rules (English, Russian, Thai, Pool) any capturing move can be chosen, while some other variations are more restrictive.
Maximum quantity. According to International and Brazilian rules, you must always take maximum possible number of pieces. For example, you can't select a capture that takes 1 piece, if there is a way to capture 2 pieces. In case there are several ways to take maximum pieces, you can select any.
Maximum quantity and quality: Spanish draughts have a stronger requirement: you still must take maximum possible pieces (maximum quantity), but in case there are several ways to do so, you must take maximum possible number of kings (maximum quality). Only in case there are several ways to choose a capture according to maximum quantity and quality requirement, you are free to choose any capture.
Instant. According to Thai rules, a captured piece is removed immediately after it is jumped over.
On completion. Other rules require the all captured pieces must not be removed from the board until capture is complete, however you cannot jump over already a captured piece. As a result of this rule, a captured piece can block a capture, especially in case a flying king is the capturing piece.
On completion. Most of the rules assume that a pawn can be crowned (promoted to a king) only after a move terminates. In case of a sliding move it can't be otherwise, while jumping to the last (king) line is trickier. If the rules allow a pawn to capture back (International, Brazilian) it may happen that a pawn can't stop at the last line because of a need to capture more pieces, in which case it will not be crowned.
Instant crowning. On the contrary, according to the Russian rules a pawn that jumps to the last line is crowned immediately and continues capturing as a king if possible.
Single-step king. According to English/American rules a king is just a bidirectional pawn: it only can move one square in each direction, or capture a neighbour opponent's piece forward or backward.
Flying king. A flying king (International, Brazilian, Spanish, Russian, Pool) can move any number of squares along either of two diagonals in both directions, as long as the move is not blocked by another piece of its own or the opposite colour. A flying king can capture an opponent's piece on its way, provided a square immediately after the captured piece is empty. If there are several adjacent (non-interrupted) empty squares after the captured piece, the king can land on any of those.
Short-landing king (Thai). Similar to flying king, but after a capture it must land immediately after the captured piece. This king is obviously weaker (and much easier to trap) than a flying king, but it looks like in case of a strong defence you still cant trap it with less than three pieces.
|Board: S - standard 8x8, E extended 10x10, F flipped 8x8||E||S||F||S||S||S||S|
|Initial number of pieces (for each player)||20||12||12||12||12||8||12|
|Who moves first: W- white, B - black||W||B||W||W||W||W||B|
|Pawn captures back: Y-yes, N-no||Y||N||N||Y||Y||N||N|
F - free, Q - quantity, QQ - quantity and quality
|Removing captured pieces: C - on completion, I -
|Crowning rules: C - on completion, I - immediate||C||C||C||I||C||C||C|
SS - single step, F - flying, SL - short landing
A common approach for a computer program is counting inactive
moves which are sliding (i.e without a capture) moves by a king.
Since there doesn't seem to be something better, we also use this approach.
The application assumes a draw in one the following cases
The values of M1 and M2 are:
English/American: M1=20, M2=40 Others: M1=15, M2=20
To have an idea of how far you are from the draw, check move counter on the status bar. This field shows a decrementing counter value in violet colour at stage 1 (counting inactive moves), and pink colour at stage 2 (counting all moves after M1 inactive moves).
For example, assume you play English draughts,
therefore stage 1 terminates after 40 consecutive inactive
half-moves, and then a player must won in remaining 80 half-moves.
At start you don't see the counter, but after you
slide a king you see violet 39, if
the computer also slides its king, you have
38, and so on. With any active move (capture, move with a
pawn) the counter is reset, so you don't see it until next inactive
If an active move doesn't come, the counter keeps
decrementing until it goes off (to 0) and is replaced by the pink
counter (stage 2), which starts from 80
, decrements with each move and is never reset. After the pink counter
goes off, a draw is assumed.
|Soft keys||Keys usually located just below the screen, and often associated with Menu and Exit/Back resp. Most of devices have two soft keys: Left and Right. Motorola devices, and Nokia 6650 have an additional Middle soft key (Select) which isn't currently used by this application. For Motorola 388 and 388c soft keys are actually screen buttons which appear only in case they are usable.|
|Left, Right, Up, Down||A corresponding arrow key, or moving a joystick in corresponding direction (Nokia 7650). With Motorola 388 or 388c, use two front keys for Left and Right, side wheel for Up and Down, or use stylus as explained below.|
|Send (off-hook)||This key is usually has a green picture of a handset on it. With Motorola 388 or 388c use side button.|
|OK||Some mobile phones
(e.g. 3650) contain OK key in the middle of the arrow pad, for 7650
this is pressing a joystick, while for Motorola 388 or 388c OK
functionality is implemented by the side button.
Where OK key is unavailable, use Send which always has same result.
|CLEAR (cancel)||A key marked with C, if unavailable, use [*] key|
|Numeric keys||Keys  , ... ,  on your keypad|
|[*]||A star (asterisk) key.|
|[#]||A hash (pound) key.|
In case a particular arrow key is unavailable, you can use
equivalent numeric keys, or tap a screen spot on a touchscreen device
(see following sections for details).
The following image (Motorola T720) shows the typical location of
keys, and the way the keys are used in game:
Hopefully someone will find Help pages
useful. Don't forget to scroll using Down and Up, or equivalent. Left
and Right keys are used to view previous or next help page resp. After
you leave Help, the last visited page re-appears next time when you
return to Help.
Settings is obviously the most useful panel. Settings are discussed in details in the next paragraph. To change settings, use Up and Down to highlight a parameter you wish to change. Then use Left and Right keys to modify value of the highlighted parameter. On a touch screen device, use stylus to highlight the line corresponding to a parameter you want to modify. Tapping already highlighted line modifies appropriate value: tapping left side of the line (line title) decrements the value, while touching the right side (line value) increments the value. Settings are saved each time when you start a game, or quit the application.
And the last: you can start the game at any time by pressing OK, or Send key. Pressing Right Soft Key quits the application.
The default values for each parameter are shown in italic:
Rules: International, English, Spanish, Russian, Brazilian, Thai, Pool.
The rules have been extensively discussed in the previous chapter.Give away: No , Yes
In "cannonic" game (Give away = No) your objective is to leave your opponent without a move by taking/blocking all opponent's pieces. Alternatively you can select Give away = Yes, in which case your goal is to remain without moves (someone might argue, that having all your pieces blocked, but not taken, is still a lost game, but this doesn't appear logical and is not the way it has been implemented). "Loose game" enthusiasts claim that it requires even deeper thinking than a traditional one. Though I don't argue, for me it has always been a game for fun, and DrgG is not really strong at it. You can play Give Away with any rule.Time mode: Move, Game, Auto
This affects the way time is displayed in the status bar, which can be either time for the move (Time Mode = Move), or time for current player from start of the game (Time Mode = Game). Time mode also affects the way Time Limit applies. In case Time Mode = Auto the actual time mode is selected according to local tradition: Move with English/American, and Game with all others.
1st move: Human, ComputerWhen Off, time is just shown, but doesn't affect the game. Other two settings work according to effective time mode, as given below. Note that in Blitz you cannot take back your move, and cannot deselect a piece (in accordance with the official rules, where, as in chess, you must move a piece after you touched it, the application is not as pedantic when playing a non-Blitz game).
All time intervals below are shown for a human player, while for the computer player the limit is 1.5 times shorter. This is because a computer player doesn't waste time on key operations :=)
Time mode Move
Normal: 5 minutes for a move, 1 minute in case only a single move is possible (this is taken straight from US official rules)
Blitz: 10 seconds for a move, 2 seconds in case only a single move is possible
You don't loose the game if over time - just a random move is picked up.
Time mode Game
Normal: 30 minutes (20 minutes for computer)
Blitz: 6 minutes (4 minutes for computer)
A player who first runs out of time looses the game.
Who starts the game. Starting the game means having black pieces for English/American and Pool checkers, and white pieces for other clones. Note, that in E/A first move is a disadvantage.My skill: Dumb, Novice, Average, Good, Smart
5 levels of computer skill in increasing strength.Board view: White, Human.
Affects a way the board is drawn:
Sound mode (optional): Off, Normal, Annoying
White White's 'home' is always located on the bottom - a usual way to draw diagrammes (for E/A as well !). Human The 'home' for a human player is located on the bottom - this is how you are probably used to play
Even though your device supports sound, you might be not quite happy with it:Sound volume (optional): Low, Average , High
Off: This is probably what serious players prefer :=) Normal Sound at the end of a game only - my favourite, and therefore the default :=) Annoying Sound after each move, and at the end of a game. If your device is slow, or you play International Draughts against Smart, you might whish to use this mode in order to be awaken when the computer eventually moves :=)
High is always full volume, average is half-full, low is quarter-full.Keypad ( Nokia Series 60): Standard, Nokia 3650, Auto
There are currently two Series 60 models: Nokia 7650 with a common (rectangular) keypad, and Nokia 3650 with a circular keypad (as mentioned before). By default (Auto) the application will attempt to guess which device it is running on and will use the appropriate layout. This parameter allows forcing a particular layout, though you probably hardly ever need that.
A way to operate back lights:
Economy Automatically turn back lights on for a human move, and off for a computer move. Recommended for high level computer skills (Good and Smart), otherwise you get your battery flat even sooner than in default mode. Default System default: turn off in case of no key presses within a particular interval of time Always Never turn off
Unfortunately I couldn't get back light support with Series 60 devices, even though my Nokia 3650 reports as back light suppoort as available. Turning lights off looks really annoying, to turn back on press an unused key, like  on Nokia 7650, or  on Nokia 3650.
You can specify a move by one of the following ways:
By destination: takes longer but more obvious.
Mark a piece you want to move, and press OK, or Send. This highlights a square where the piece is located, and moves the marker to one of the places (destinations) where the selected piece can move. Now use Left and Right keys to set a destination, and press OK to commit the move. In an ambiguous case (branching in middle of a capture) you need to repeat the procedure until the path is defined completely.
You don't need to select a destination, if only one destination is available for selected piece: in this case the move is performed straight after a piece is selected. Otherwise (unless you play Blitz) you can use CLEAR or [*] key to cancel your selection. In case of branching, pressing CLEAR deselects last destination, you can change the destination, or continue pressing CLEAR until you can cancel the whole selection.
Mark to a piece you want to use, but this time instead of pressing OK, press one of the following keys:
Standard Nokia 3650 Action   Move (slide or capture) forward-left   Move forward-right   Move backward-left   Move backward-right
In some cases (e.g. for a flying king) it is insufficient, so that you have to choose a destination from the specified direction, by moving a marker and pressing OK. In this case (unless you play Blitz) you can also use CLEAR or [*] to cancel your selection.The images above ( Standard and Nokia 3650 layouts) illustrate using keys in game.
By destination (two taps):
Tap a piece you want to use. If the piece can move, it will be highlighted. Then select a place where the piece gets by its move (destination). In case of an ambiguity you need to specify intermediate destination(-s).By direction (dragging):
To cancel your selection (not in Blitz), tap selected piece again, or tap a different piece.
Touch a piece you want to use (don't lift the stylus) and drag it to specified direction. If this is insufficient, you have to choose (by tapping) a destination from the specified direction; in which case (unless you play Blitz) you can cancel selection by tapping selected piece again, or taping a different piece.
To take back move use Down key, or equivalent. In case it's computer's turn to move, human's last move is taken back, otherwise two last moves (computer's and human's) are taken back. In both cases it will be human's turn to move. The application can store up to 124 last half-moves.
To redo a taken back move press Up key, or equivalent.
N.B. Take back move is unavailable in Blitz game (in which case redo move simply doesn't make sense).
In case Sound mode is set to Annoying, you can temporary disable sound by pressing [#] key. Press [#] again to re-enable the sound. Tapping status bar on a touchscreen device has same effect.
While playing a game, you can bring up a menu by pressing LEFT SOFT KEY.
The menu includes following options:Switch sides - the computer and human exchange colours. In case Board view is set to Human the board will be positioned accordingly.
Invert board - just invert the board, don't switch sides
Skill stronger - increase computer skill, if possible - this affects only current game, and does not change settings. If skill change is requested while computer is in the process of moving, the new skill will be effective starting from next move (even though status bar is affected immediately).Skill weaker - reduce computer skill, if possible - other comments to Skill stronger apply here as well.
RIGHT SOFT KEY is used to quit current game after a confirmation.
The status bar is located above playing board, and shows the following information (left to right):
Current rule set One of the following letters:The letter appears in one of the following colours:
W International Draughts E English Draughts (American Checkers) S Spanish Draughts R Russian Draughts B Brazilian Draughts T Thai Draughts O Pool CheckersComputer skill (green colour)
white 'traditional' game cyan 'give-away' gameTotal number of pieces for first (starting) player
D Dumb N Novice A Average G Good S Smart
Total number of pieces for second playerThe colour for number of pieces depends on who plays::Move counter See Draw and move counter for explanation.
yellow Human player green Computer playerThe move counter appears only if it is not reset.
violet Stage 1 (counting inactive move) pink Stage 2 (counting all moves)
Time for current move / playerTime for current move / player depending on effective time mode . The colour depends on who plays and is same as for number of pieces.Move number (the rightmost item)
After a game ends the time is shown for each player (no matter what mode is selected) and changes from one to another at a regular interval of time.Shows move number, and appears in one of the following colours depending on time limit:
white Off violet Normal pink Blitz
||Presented to CodeMeMoto contest and was never
||First published release that was very soon
||Introduced 'Iimmediate removing captured
pieces' for an appropriate implemetation of Thai draughts (reported by
||Improved colours, fixed tone sound on Nokia
devices, added wave support for Series 60.
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