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  • 18 checkers each of orange and black are placed on a 6x6 board.
  • On your turn, if you choose not to capture, move 1 space in any of 8 directions to be farther from the center.
  • If you choose to capture, move any number of spaces in any of 8 directions to capture it. The distance afterwards must not increase.
  • If you cannot move, you must pass.

Mark Steere designed Zola in February 2021.

INTRODUCTION Zola is a two-player game played on a 6x6 (or 8x8...) checkerboard initially filled with a checkered pattern of red and blue checkers. The two players, Red and Blue, take turns moving their own checkers, one checker per turn, starting with Red. If a player has a move available, they must make one. If they have no moves available, they must sit the game out and wait until they do have a move available. At least one of the two players will always have a move available. Draws cannot occur in Zola.

MOVE TYPES There are two types of moves in Zola: non-capturing and capturing.

NON-CAPTURING MOVES The non-capturing move is a king-like move to an adjacent (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally), unoccupied square. A non-capturing move must increase the straight-line distance to the center point of the board.

CAPTURING MOVES The capturing move is a queen-like move along a straight (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) sequence of zero or more unoccupied squares terminating with an enemy-occupied square. The enemy checker is removed and replaced with the capturing checker. A capturing move must maintain or decrease the straight line distance to the center point of the board.

OBJECT OF THE GAME To win you must capture all enemy checkers.

Mark's other games can be found at

End of Game

  • If you capture all 18 opponent checkers, you win.
  • There cannot be a tie as at any time at least 1 of the players can move.