As ministry sets up Steering Committee
By Edison Jefford
The popular board game Draughts will soon become a national sport since the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport has established a Steering Committee with the view of forming a national association before the end of this year.
That was revealed yesterday at a press conference where Minister, Dr Frank Anthony and Director of Sport, Neil Kumar gave full support to Jai Ram, who is responsible for setting up the Steering Committee among other things.
Ram had approached the ministry for support in this regard following the need for such a sport to be reintroduced nationally. Ram played in the last national Draught competition that was held twenty years ago in 1989.
“The ultimate view is to have Guyana represented internationally and to have the national body accredited internationally. We will give them the necessary support in terms of their tournaments and so on,” Anthony said yesterday.
The media was told that the National Championships will return on the second Sunday of next month. “We hope to have collaboration so that we can get the sport off the ground,” the Minister added from his Main Street office.
Draughts is a board game that two people often play on opposite sides of a playing board, alternating moves. One player has dark pieces, and the other has light pieces. It is against the rules for opposite players to move opposing pieces.
The player with the dark pieces makes the first move unless stated otherwise. The pieces move diagonally and opponents’ pieces are captured when jumping over the opposites to an unoccupied square. This is colloquially called “eating”.
The playable surface consists only of the dark squares. The pieces may only move into an unoccupied square. Capturing is mandatory in most official rules but some people play with variant rules that allow capturing to be optional.
A piece that is captured is removed from the board. In all variants, the player who has no pieces left or cannot move anymore has lost the game unless otherwise stated. The game is played using both the English and Swiss systems.
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