◦ last updated:

Take It Away is a game for 2–4 players invented by Sid Sackson,A[pp. 142–3] in which players try to achieve the highest score by capturing from a shared set of pieces on the board.



To play you will need an 8×8 chess or checkerboard, and 64 coloured pieces (Sackson suggests poker chips): 34 white, 20 red, and 10 blue.


Arrange the pieces randomly, one on each square of the board.

A board randomly filled with white, red, and blue pieces.A board randomly filled with white, red, and blue pieces.

A sample initial configuration.

© George Pollard 🅭🅯🄏🄎


The first player starts the game by removing any white chip from the board and placing it in front of themselves. This counts as one of their captured pieces. A captured piece counts as points at the end of the game: 3 points for a blue piece, 2 points for a red piece, and 1 point for white.

After this, the players take turns jumping a piece over another (including diagonally) and capturing the jumped piece. Multiple jumps may be made, and direction can change during the jump sequence. If a jump can be continued then it must be.

“Take It Away”

A player can drop out of the game at the start of their turn by declaring “take it away”.

The last player left in the game continues taking turns by themselves until they cannot make any more captures. The remaining pieces on the board count against their points at 2× (variation: 4×) their normal value.


The open game

For the first 8 turns players simply remove a single white piece from the board. Play continues after this as usual.

No dropping out

A player cannot declare “take it away”, and no player is penalized for pieces remaining on the board.


This is a very similar game given in 100 Other Games to Play on a Chessboard (p. 72–3), and which seems to have been influenced by Take It Away, although the game is not referenced.

This version uses 63 undifferentiated pieces (although differentiated pieces may be used as above, in which case the game is essentially identical to Take It Away), which are placed on a chessboard. One corner is left empty. Players then take turns jumping and capturing as above. Whoever captures the most pieces is the winner.

The drop-out rule is also possible as a variation; one player may drop out on their turn, and their opponent continues making captures until they cannot make any more. Any pieces left on the board count against their score.

See also

Leap-Frog is a similar game.


  1. (, originally published 1969). ⁨A Gamut of Games⁩. Dover Publications⁩: Mineola, New York, USA. ISBN: 978-0-486-27347-1.  the 1969 edition can be found here

  2. (). ⁨100 Other Games to Play on a Chessboard⁩. Peter Owen⁩: London and Boston. ISBN: 0-7206-0617-9.


Expand to show comments