Can Checkers/Draughts be played on a board with odd size?

Such as 5×5, 7×7, 9×9, 11×11 etc.

  • 1
    Sure anything is possible but it would impact gameplay
    – Joe W
    Apr 11 at 12:28
  • 1
    There are checkers-games that are played on an odd size of board, for example: Alquerque which is considered to be the parent of draughts and is played on a 5×5 board, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alquerque another example is Fanorona which can be played on 3×3, a 5×5 or a 9×5 boards, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanorona
    – Cohensius
    Apr 11 at 19:39
  • 1
    I don't think this question is opinion based since there are games in the checkers family that are played on an odd-size board, thus the answer is: Yes, Checkers can be played on a board with odd size.
    – Cohensius
    Apr 11 at 19:43
  • 2
    @Cohensius Someone could have easily provided an answer that said it was possible even if there had been no variants created. The fact that someone has done it doesn't change the quality of the question.
    – Joe W
    Apr 11 at 20:57

2 Answers 2


There are drastic and multiple asymmetries introduced by having a board size that is an odd length on each side; including the possibility of the two sides having a different number of pieces. It is difficult for me to imagine the game actually being playable under such circumstances. The strategies would be different for the two colours, for just one example.

Note that I am not referring to different strategic choices being made by players = but rather to the actual options available to the players being very drastically different. The importance of the board having an even side length in standard layouts is that whatever one side can do on their own left, the other can do also on the other side of the board, now their own left. However on an odd side--length board, one side gets to perform that tactical advantage on both sides of the board, while the other side cannot perform it on either.


Technically yes, up to a point, however it have some pretty big impact on games. First it would add more pieces, making the game longer for every additional piece that needed to be taken. Making the board longer either adds more space between the pieces, which slows the opening of the game, or adds more rows pieces, which lengthens the game even more as stated.

That 5x5 may be too small however. It leaves only room for 1 rank of pieces with 3 between them, or two ranks of pieces with only one space between them.

Worth nothing one other big issue with specifically an odd number of squares: an even length board has 180 degree rotational symmetry, and odd one does not. A checker/chess board traditionally has a black square in the bottom right for both players and pieces are placed on black squares. For checkers this means there are 3 rows of 4 pieces each, 12 pieces per player, if the length were odd say 9x9, and we still used 3 rows, one player will have rows of 5-4-5 and the other will have 4-5-4 unbalancing the game. This can be managed slightly by only having even number of rows, a 5-4 will have the same number of pieces as 4-5 but one will still have a disadvantage, having more pieces in the back row while their opponent has more pieces in the front.

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