Tama (Տամա) is a variant of Checkers (Draughts) played in Armenia and wherever Armenians live today. It is known in the west as Armenian Draughts or Armenian Checkers. The game can be played online on igGameCenter. Its rules are a combination of Turkish Checkers and Russian Checkers.
The board is an 8×8 grid, with alternating dark and light squares. The left down square field should be dark.
Players start with 16 men that are lined up on each side, in two rows, skipping the furthest back.
The white (lighter color) side moves first. Players then alternate moves.
A man can move forwards or sideways to an orthogonally adjacent field, if that field is empty. If there is an opposing piece on that field and the field behind the piece (in direction of the movement) is empty, the opposing piece can be captured by a jump, with the capturing piece going to said empty field. Additionally, pieces can move, but not capture, one square diagonally forward. There is no backward movement or capture for men.
Upon reaching the last row, a man is promoted to a tama ("lady"). If it does so by a jump it must continue to capture as a tama if possible.
Tama may move any number of fields orthogonally forwards, sideways, or backwards, capturing by jumping over a piece and landing in any field of an unbroken row or line of empty fields behind the piece captured. Additionally, tama may move, but not capture, over any number of diagonal fields. In other words, the tama moves like a chess queen. Capturing, however, is different.
Multiple captures are allowed, even required where possible, for men and tama alike. If there are different ways of capture, the one which takes the most pieces (no difference between tama and men is made) is mandatory. If there are several ways of maximum capture possible, the player may choose.
Unlike other checkers variants, since enemy pieces are removed immediately upon capture; as pieces are captured and removed from the board, it is possible to cross the same square (previously occupied by a captured piece) more than once (empty the 2nd time and afterwards) in the same capturing sequence.
After each capture the piece is removed from the board before jumping is continued; its removal may open up additional captures previously impossible.
Within a multicapture turning 180 degrees between two captures is illegal.
The game ends when a player has not any legal move left, either because all his pieces are captured or he is completely blocked. Then, his opponent has won the game.
- A related game is Dama (Turkish Checkers)
- Tama at BoardGameGeek
- Tama at igGameCenter
- Goldtoken (click on rules)
- Checkersland - a free checkers program, which includes Armenian Checkers