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The Idiots Guide to a Killer Checkers Strategy

Aug 17, 2007
There you are, sitting across from your opponent. You overlook the 12 men in front of you. You are playing checkers. You want to really show this guy what for you need a strategy.

Working on your checkers strategy takes practice! Your most valuable tool while boiling your arsenal is going to be a numbered board. If you cannot find one ready made with numbers, you can simply write numbers on your own ordinary board to achieve the same effect. If you do this, however, make sure you number only the dark squares, as they are the only ones used in game play.

Black always makes the first move. Once Black has made his first move, White makes his first move. And so the game goes on, each man moving in turn. You win a game of checkers by capturing all your opponent's men or putting them in a position where they are all blocked and cannot make any move.

A basic rule of the game is you must capture your opponents men. Of course, if more than one capture is possible, you have the option of making the capture that you deem most advantageous.

A good game starts with a good opening move. While the field of checker openings is extensive and, at first, sight bewildering, the patterns and standard strategies will become clearer with play; but plenty of play is necessary. Only practical experience can drive home the lessons taught by theory. Although theory is a valuable guide, it can never be an adequate substitute for playing experience.

When one of your men reaches the last row, it becomes a King. What makes a Kings so powerful is his ability to move and capture forward or backward, even making multiple captures in a single move. However, he can only move one square at a time.
Capturing in checkers, as you will see, is a duty as well as a privilege. The beginner easily forgets that there are times when capturing is most unwelcome. Thus, you may capture a hostile man only to find that in consequence you lose two or more of your own men in reply.

Which brings us to your endgame, your finishing blow, if you will. Four Kings against three is a more difficult proposition and here you will have your work cut out for you. Such endings make rewarding study because your playing skill will increase accordingly.
Endgames of three Kings against two often baffle the inexperienced player because he does not know the basic technique involved. This is to steer relentlessly for an exchange of King for King, winding up with an easy win of two Kings against one. Another way is to sacrifice the extra King, leading to a position that wins because you can trap the remaining King.
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