Abstract strategy game
|Playing time||Varies, chess clocks can be used|
|Skill(s) required||Strategy, tactics|
Lasca (also called Laska or Laskers) is a draughts (or checkers) variant, invented by the second World Chess Champion Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941). Lasca is derived from English draughts (American checkers) and a Russian game, Bashni (Towers).
The game is played on a 7x7 board; as with draughts and most descendant games, play takes place only on alternating squares, so that only 25 of the 49 squares are actually used. The playing pieces are known initially as "soldiers"; when they reach the last row of the board, they become "officers", with the same ability as kings in English draughts to move and jump backwards.
The major difference between Lasca and other draughts variants is that instead of pieces being removed from the board when they are jumped, they are placed under the piece that jumped them, forming a "column". A column is under the control of the player whose piece is on top, and has the move and jump capabilities of that piece (so that, for instance, a column with a Black officer on top is under Black's control, and can move and jump in either direction.) If a column is itself jumped, only the top piece is removed to go under the column doing the jumping.
There are a few other changes in the rules, as well. Capturing is mandatory when possible; this means that a clever player may be able to force his opponent to capture several pieces of his color, then capture his opponent's piece from the top, leaving a powerful column composed of several pieces of his own color. Also, the game is won when one player (a) leaves his opponent with no legal move (b) has captured all his opponent's pieces or (c) when the opposing player resigns.