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Initial positionGrabber is the column checkers version of a traditional Hawaiian game called Konane. Konane is arguably a draughts variant, but with a shift in emphasis regarding the object. Sure, a player wins if he captures all the opponent's men, but that hardly ever happens. The prime object is to leave the opponent without a legal move. 'Columnified' the game transforms flawlessly into Grabber.

Bashni is the oldest game with the biggest playerbase. Yet, it is hardly known outside Russia and the former Soviet zone of influence.

Lasca is the best known game in the West, due to the fame of its inventor. The reduced board and crammed play interact rather deplorably with the column checkers mechanism, which puts it apart from other games in the family.

Stappeldamen is obscure even in its home country, but a far better game than would be apparent at first glance, and very different from Bashni and Lasca in terms of strategy. Where a large stack in those games is usually strong, in Stapeldammen one must be alert at all times, lest the piece is parked out of play on the backrow by the opponent, at the cost of a few men.

Emergo is the odd one out in the present company in that it is not based on a checkers variant, and the least likely to ever suffer from opening books. Using Occam's Razor it does away with an initial position, a direction of play and promotion, making it the most 'pure' columns game, with an opening protocol that fits flawlessly. By the same token it takes much of what is specific for 'checkers' out of column checkers, turning it into an omni-directional pit rather than a track.

That is also true for Grabber. But like its parent game Konane, it's more of a 'combinatorial quicky'. Despite that characterization both are not nearly as rich in combinations as the other members of their respective families, and games are considarably shorter. In fact, that's part of the fun. Because of the low branching factor a good program will probably beat human players at both, even without the programmer making a meal of it.