Forced Capture and It's Benefits

There's a strict ruling in checkers that we cannot but follow dutifully and unquestioningly—take all capturing opportunities. We cannot opt to bypass or ignore this rule. If there's any chance of capturing an enemy piece available for us, we have to take it. It's called forced capture in checkers.

All captures in the game are forced captures. They all involve some degrees of sacrifice. They can all be beneficial to us if we know how to play with a good strategy right at the start. If we play tight-aggressive in the game almost all forced captures will be in our favor. But if we are the passive kind we will often fall victim to a tricky forced capture.

There are two kinds of forced captures: the offered and incidental. Offered captures are the tricky ones. They are always in the guise of benefiting us but are actually for the enemy's ultimate benefit. Sure, we caught one, but the damaging consequence will be double the benefit. The enemy will have the last laugh. If we're not a discerning player who can read plays with a foresight we will bite into offered forced captures with total commitment and end up sorry.

Incidental forced captures are due to situations where the player has no choice but to allow a piece to be taken by the enemy. This happens often. But we should try to limit such incidents. All moves in the game should be purposeful and contribute to an overall plan. The more offered forced captures in checkers we make the better we exploit our moves.

For instance, double and triple captures are usually triggered by an offered forced capture. The enemy, who's a good player, will never willingly set off a double-capture trap unless we offer the same with a forced capture. We have to sacrifice a piece in exchange for two or three pieces in return on a single turn. In case the enemy tries to pull one on us, we have to have sharp discernment to foresee the attempt and evade it immediately.

We should often avoid having a forced capture happening before us, beneficial or not, except for double or triple captures. Many forced captures, while appearing initially beneficial, can slowly affect our crowning plan numerically and leave us with almost nothing. Remember, there's nothing free in checkers. Most "free" forced captures are eventually detrimental to us.

Forced captures in checkers should be regarded with great care. They're often there for a purpose.