Ticino Checkers

Ticino checkers piece setup
Setup for Ticino checkers on a mirrored board.

This game was played in Ticino, the southernmost canton of Switzerland. Ticino Checkers (Dama Ticinese) follows similar rules as Anglo-Saxon checkers, except that a Man may capture backwards subsequently, as part of a capture sequence (“deferred backwards capture”). So it cannot capture backwards as immediate move. The board is mirrored. Captured pieces are removed only after the final capture. A Man cannot capture a King. In an alternative variant, a Man can capture a King. In this game, it makes no difference if captured pieces stay on the board or not. Variants with immediate removal of captured pieces have also been implemented.

Ticino checkers exampleHere, White must choose the sequence that picks up two pieces, by jumping to the square marked green. He cannot capture backwards with the rightmost checker. Since immediate rearwards capture is prohibited in Ticino checkers, this is not possible here. Variants with immediate removal of captured pieces have also been implemented.

A Man steps diagonally forwards. It captures, by the short leap, in the diagonal directions. Backwards capture is deferred. A King steps in all directions and captures by the short leap. A Man promotes to King at the last rank. At promotion, the Man halts. One must continue capturing as long as possible. It is not necessary to select the longest capturing line. Captured pieces are removed afterwards. The goal is to capture all the opponent’s pieces. (This program features also three variants of Anglo-Saxon checkers, or straight checkers.)


Stefano A. Vizzola. ‘La Dama Ticinese – La riscoperta di un gioco dimenticato’. 1 QUADERNI CEDIG. (here)

Luca Cerrato. ‘La dama Ticinese variante Svizzera’. Il fogliaccio degli astratti. Numero 57, Anno 8, 2011. (here)

‘Dama Ticinese’. Pergioco.net. (here)

‘English draughts’. Wikipedia article. (here)

See also: Draughts with Deferred Backwards Capture

☛  You can download my free Ticino Checkers program here (updated 2022-02-26), but you must own the software Zillions of Games to be able to run it. (I recommend the download version.)

© Mats Winther (October 2020).