Damii - Ghana Draughts History & Rules

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Damii is one of the most popular, fast past and entertaining Draughts Games. Popular in Ghana it is played on a 10 by 10 board and uses wooden circles and squares as playing pieces.Damii is a board game that involves, plenty of intimidation, heckling and laughs and is a fascinating and challenging strategy game.

Text of Damii - Ghana Draughts History & Rules

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GamesfromEverywhere ____________________________DamiiGhanaianCheckers&DraughtsDamii (or Dame) dates back on the African Continent to around 3,000 BC and is considered part of the Alquerque style of games. International draughts is played on a chequered board with one hundred squares. Pieces move diagonally, one square at a time, and may capture by jumping over an adjacent opponents piece. Capturing is obligatory, and if there is a choice of capture, the player is obliged to choose the move that takes the maximum number of pieces. This last rule differs from continental draughts and is frequently omitted in West Africa. Apart from the obligatory multiple capture, international draughts is strategically similar to what is played in West Africa. Small differences, such as playing on the white instead of the black fields, or a different position of the board between the players, may also be present. In tournaments, players seem to play faster than average and show particular resilience in tactical combinations. The playing style of West Africans has often been characterised as that of the classic school, with defensive play making them difficult opponents to beat. Their fast play and love for combinations in the game have made them popular with the audience. Damii is, for a board game, tremendously kinetic and kinaesthetic.

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GamesfromEverywhere ____________________________To begin with, the players are physically linked through the wooden board that rests upon their knees. Pieces are not simply moved, but are moved with style: One might tap a piece twice on its side and then slam it down; or slam it down, pick it up, turn it over, and slam it down again; or slam it down and then lift up a corner to flick it against the board. At the very least, the player will with two fingers push very hard against the piece while sliding it to make a satisfying rasping sound against the wooden board. In any case, a move is not only seen, but is heard. The game is played so rapidly that it can often sound like a bizarre miniature tap dance. Damii is a high-speed affair. Players do not like delays, a player might knock on the board to indicate that his opponent is taking too long, shake a handful of captured pieces to indicate impatience or confidence, dance to the extent that dance is possible with a delicate board resting on his knees, or beat his chest while shouting Me! Me!

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GamesfromEverywhere ____________________________PlayDamii is played on a ten by ten board or dame with alternating squares of dark and light hues, as per an American checker-board pattern. All play is on the dark squares, which means that only fifty of the one hundred squares are available for play. Each player begins the game with twenty men, or mma in the form of small wooden squares or circles. Players are placed at opposing sides of the board. The standard practice is for each player to have a dark square (and, thus, a man) in the close left- hand corner. The twenty men are placed on the twenty dark squares of the four rows closest to each player. Mma may move diagonally forward and players take turns moving, one piece at a time. The objective of the game is to eradicate all of the opponents pieces. This is done through capturing. An piece may capture any opposing piece diagonal to it, provided that the square immediately behind the piece to be captured is empty. If a piece can capture, it must capture. Having captured an opposing piece, the capturing piece rests one square past its victim.

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GamesfromEverywhere ____________________________Multiple captures may be made in a single move. Further, though an aba may not regularly move backwards, it is possible to capture backwards. In international Draughts, if presented with multiple capturing options, a player is required to capture the greatest number of men. This is not mandatory in damii though more often than not it is logical to do so. When an piece reaches the row most distant from its player, it becomes a king (flying King). This change in status is indicated by stacking an piece (aba) of the same shape on top of the newly promoted piece. Flying Kings (Nkorma) move differently from men (mma). They may move backwards, as well as forwards, and provided that their way is unobstructed, they are permitted to move any distance. If a player fails to take a piece when he can, he forfeits his own piece. A winner is declared when an opponent only has one piece remaining.

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