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Checkers Strategy
Remembering Checkers First Moves

In some situations there are more moves that can be made but the player may not remember every one. Then the player should examine the worst moves, such as giving one or more men away. Most of these can quickly be eliminated from further consideration since each move may result in an outright loss or may give the opponent an undecided advantage. Using this method, remembering checkers first moves, best available moves and playable moves are soon determined and focus can be directed towards them.

First Move and Look Ahead

Now is the time to analyze each situation accurately and swiftly, visualizing the changes in position as far in advance as is possible and then pick the checkers first move that is considered to be the best one. Just as each player hopes to make the best checkers moves of his/her choice, he/she should always expect the opponent to make the best first checkers moves as well.

In checkers strategy literature, the game has been divided into three phases and this is especially worthwhile to consider for study purposes. Therefore, a checkers game consists of an opening, a midgame and an endgame. The chief motives underlying each phase of the checker game are very distinctive and lead to specific tactical situations.

The dominant theme of the opening checkers first Moves can be construed as the preparation for the battle, which will ensue throughout the midgame and this midgame conflict is thereby resolved in the endgame, where each checker player seeks to prove the real value of the advantages gained or lost during the earlier play. The endgame checkers strategy is the most crucial phase of the checker game. The opening and midgame merely set the stage for the endgame by creating good prospects, whereas in the endgame both opponents consider the actual result of a win, loss or draw. If a player is careless during this stage of the checker game, then all the brilliant tactics or strategies of the opening checkers move or midgame become worthless.

However, the endgame checkers strategy, while demanding both precision and artistry, may actually present the player with an opportunity to recover from a weak position and turn defeat into victory. In checkers, the best player wins as seen by the result in the endgame.

A checker player should not consider trading off when one or more men are ahead as poor sportsmanship, but rather that this is the scientific and proper way to finish a game. The object in checkers is to win in the least number of moves, whether by a blocked position, cornering an opponent's checkers so that he/she can only give them away or by whittling them down, one by one. In many situations where an advantage in numbers prevails, the win cannot be forced except by exchanges. Among experts, an ending with uneven numbers, unless there is a position advantage to compensate, is merely routine procedure.

During the nineteenth century, master players thought that the proper goal in playing checkers was to win the game. However, that view has changed in modern society. Nowadays, the prevalent view is that each player should first and foremost play to avoid defeat, which means to play for a draw.

Of course, if an opportunity for a win should present itself, then the endgame checkers strategy should be played for the win. However, each checker player should always keep the draw in sight. To the modern checker player then, an opening is not weak if it is safe for a draw, even though it may offer virtually no chances for a win.

Acquired knowledge in the game of checkers is essential and this can be achieved through the study of expert play in available literature and there are numerous materials that can be the basis of this early investigation. Combine this information on rules and strategies with plenty of practice in the game.

Novice First Moves

However, it is also important to decide upon the format of play that interests the novice checker player. People who don't play in Checkers tournaments usually begin a game by just beginning and that means that the opponents choose to play whatever format they like to play. This particular style is called Go-As-You-Please or GAYP. On the professional level, it results in numerous draws, due to the great knowledge these masters bring to the game.

To add more depth and challenge to checkers, the Two-Move Restriction was introduced in the 1890s and within this format, the first two moves of a game were chosen by lot from certain pre-approved combinations. The Two-Move Restriction certainly changed the checker game by eliminating many draws, though still not enough.

For this reason, the Three-Move Restriction was introduced at the 1934 world championship. The participants chose moves by lot from a list of officially sanctioned "three-move openings" and an even greater arena for positional play was created. This system is still prevalent in world matches today; however, there are also separate tournament matches and world championships for Go-As-You-Please games. A third system, wherein one checker from each opposition is removed by lot before the first move, is also used but this method is less popular in checker culture.

Therefore, the checker enthusiast should decide the style of play that is preferred, whether it is GAYP/freestyle or 3-move. Most U.S. tournaments are conducted in the 3-move style, but there are also those that employ GAYP. All world checker organizations hold their own GAYP tournaments on a regular basis.

It is important for the novice player to select the literature that he/she can relate to easily; however, if GAYP is chosen, then the checker player could consult “Lees' Guide” by a former British Draughts/Checkers player. For 3-move play, Richard Pask's “Total Checkers” is considered to be the modern opening bible. Be aware that no checker book is guaranteed to be error free. Exhibit good judgment, using the tools learned from checker study, when analyzing a line of play. Don't take the author's word for it, for there may be a better way.

Also, there are positions in checkers that have taken master players centuries to analyze, so it is not wise to spend time trying to duplicate this analysis from its beginning. Develop a goal in checker study and only do the work that is necessary and directly related to that goal or a lot of time could be wasted.

This, then, brings the novice checker player to a serious question. Which battle should the beginner fight first? Numerous masters recommend that the unseasoned checker player should start with positions of greatest application to cross board play. The definition for cross board is a position unknown to one or both players and its very solution must be analyzed during the game or "across the board". It is a rare event when two players do not encounter a cross board position at some point during a game. The best way to prepare for the unknown is through endgame study.

Before any study is begun, the beginner should set up a journal wherein checkers first moves and strategies can be recorded. It is also important to notate mistakes that are made, especially if the mistake is a recurring one. This book or manuscript, if you will, can be referred to later as personal reference material. In a match situation, this becomes a resourceful tool to use to also record the opponents strategies and may be the only way to squeak out of a draw into a winning play.

Endgame books, such as “Familiar Themes”, demonstrate strategic ideas that can be used in a variety of situations. Therefore, the practice of solving endgame problems forces the novice checker player to consider all pieces on the board carefully and to use precision and timing to make the most out of a small, unexpected advantage. Each page of “Familiar Themes” contains numerous problems that are based on a single strategic theme. Discovering a theme in a variety of seemingly dissimilar positions encourages the beginner in checkers to process the subtleties of a drawing or winning idea.

As in any sport, practice sessions must simulate the real situation and this is no different when studying the plays within a game of checkers. The novice should not move any pieces while trying to solve a problem on the checkerboard. This is strictly forbidden in tournament play so there is no point in getting used to doing it while practicing the strategies across the board.

Time is a crucial element in checkers and many tournament matches have taken hours to play because every move was carefully thought out. Take time to examine a position and consider every available move regardless of how stupid it might appear. If the game becomes tedious, frustrating, boring or the player is simply totally stuck, then it is best to walk away from the board and let the situation rest for a while. Do something else and then return to the problem anew, with a fresh outlook. However, at all costs resist the temptation to look up the checkers strategy solution. The probability of remembering how to tackle a complicated checkers first move position years in the future improves dramatically if the solution was discovered naturally the first time. If it becomes absolutely necessary to read the solution, then the checker player should only glance at the first checkers move before trying to solve the problem again. Yes, this method of study is extremely taxing work, but it yields high dividends in tournaments.








DeerLake Online Store Items

Wonder Mugs Play checkers online, and enjoy drinking from this cool wonder mug.
When adding hot liquid, the colors of the mug will change, checkers cool.

Checkers is a two-player game, where one player is assigned white-chip checkers and the other red. The aim is to play checkers online, capture all of the other player's checkers or make them impossible to move.

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