Guidelines on Playing Black Pieces

Is there a difference between playing with black or white pieces in checkers? There is a small advantage in playing with black pieces but how we exploit it decides how big the difference is going to be. We have to know the right checkers strategy for black pieces.

Many players say playing with black pieces has an advantage over white pieces because of the first move factor. When we play with black pieces the rules require us to act first. And this gives us a lead over the opponent and forces the same to merely react to our play. Many see a lot of disadvantages when being reactive. This means we merely try to cope with the moves of the enemy.

The main advantage of playing black and acting first is the chance of playing aggressively. The importance of an aggressive play in checkers cannot be overstressed. When we force the opponent to a defensive play we control the enemy and deprive the same of opportunities to execute good strategies. In checkers a good offense is the best defense. But all defense with hardly an offense is reactive playing that often amounts to nothing.

When we're first to act we can afford to have a tight-aggressive checkers strategy. This means we play tight by giving the opponent less chances of taking our pieces, and aggressive because we keep pestering the enemy camp with relentless attacks.

If we fail to exploit our privilege to act first and ignore being aggressive outright, we waste our first-move advantage and fall back to being as defensive as the opponent. Worse, if the enemy appreciates well the wisdom of aggression in checkers and sees our lackadaisical attitude, it will assume the aggressor at once and mercilessly demolish our defenses.

An aggressive stance first moves determinedly to gain control of all side squares. A non-aggressor is easy to detect. The player will just move any piece at the start for the sake of making a start. A determined aggressor will take to the sides at once. Once in control of all side squares an aggressor starts pestering the enemy with systematic attacks.

The enemy, seeing all sides taken, will find the rest of the board unsafe. If a player always uses center squares it will force that player to a defensive mode. Unlike our side squares where we can always form formidable pairs from. We can often ambush enemy pieces with them. Thus, a good checkers strategy emerges when we play with black pieces.