Dipole

Overview
Dipole is a two-player abstract board game played on a common checkerboard that was invented by Mark Steere in 2007.

Board

Dipole is played on a common 8x8 checkerboard.

The game starts with two stacks of 12 checkers, one light and one black, as shown in the following picture:

Objective

A player wins when his opponent has no checkers on the board.

Play

Players move alternately, starting with the player with the light checkers.

Players take turns moving an entire stack of one's own checkers or just a portion of one (also called a stack here), one stack per turn.  The number of squares (both dark and light ones) a stack is moved must equal the number of checkers in the moved stack.  The moved stack can land on dark squares only but light squares are included into the count.  Jumping over other stacks is allowed.

There are three kind of moves:

  • Simple moves: a stack can be moved forward or diagonally forward to any empty square.  A player can also move a stack beyond the board boundaries as if the board squares extend there.  In this case the moved stack is removed from the board.  Players typically remove single checkers from their far row because they have nowhere else to go.
  • Merging moves: a stack can be moved forward or diagonally forward to any square occupied by another stack of the same color.  In this case both stacks are merged together.
  • Capturing moves: a stack can be moved in any straight line (i.e. horizontally, vertically or diagonally) both forward and backward to any square occupied by an opponent's stack if and only if the size of the opponent's stack is equal or smaller than the moved player's stack.  In this case the entire opponent's stack is removed from the board.

If an opponent cannot make any legal move then a player gets an extra turn.

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