Novgorodskie Shashki ("Novgorod Checkers" - новгородские шашки) is a three-person variant of checkers, which was created in Russia. The game, which is played on a regular hexagon, involves diplomacy and changing alliances. Its strategy is not yet well-researched. Even in Russia the game doesn't appear to be very popular.
The author of Novgorodskie Shaski is unknown.
Novgorodskie Shashki can be played on a small and a large board, which has 37 or 61 cells arranged in a regular hexagon, four or five on a side.
Each of the three players has 8 pieces on the small board or 15 pieces on the large board.
White starts. After that moves alternate in a clockwise direction. The order of moves is White, Black, Red. Everyone plays for himself.
The men can move unto adjacent empty squares toward the corner, which is opposite to the central piece of their initial set-up.
They promote to a damka ("lady" - дамка ) only in the farthest corner opposite their starting position.
A damka can move any number of squares in any direction.
Men can capture opponent's pieces adjacent to them in all six directions (forward, sideways and backward) and landing on the cell directly behind.
A damka jumps over and hence capture an opponent piece some distance away and choose where to stop afterwards. If an ordinary piece moves into the damka's row from a jump and it can continue to jump backwards as a damka then the move should be continued. Also if there is a piece in the damka's path that can be captured, the damka must capture it, provided it's the player's move. There is no choice whether to do it or not, but the player can choose where to land after the capture.
Multiple opposing pieces (even owned by different players) may be captured in a single turn provided this is done by successive jumps made by a single piece. These jumps do not need to be in the same direction. A piece that is jumped is captured and removed from the board, when the move is completed (but not during jumping).
Jumping is mandatory and cannot be passed up to make a non-jumping move, nor can fewer than the maximum jumps possible be taken in a multiple-jump move. When there is more than one way for a player to jump, one may choose which sequence to make, not necessarily the sequence that will result in the most amount of captures. However, one must make all the captures in that sequence.
A player wins by leaving the opposing player with no legal moves, i.e. by capturing or blocking all of the opposing player's pieces.