Targeting a Specific Area to Hit in Checkers

Focus is important in checkers. Strength is optimized when we concentrate on a specific area in the enemy's camp and pour all efforts to it. That area focused on should be the opponent's most vulnerable point. Thus, we should know the weakest area of a checkers formation.

The initial 3-row formation composing of 12 pieces are thinly spread on any one camp. This is one of the weaknesses of an initial formation. Another is that half of the 12 pieces cannot be mobilized to defend the other part of the formation. For instance, if we attack the left side of the enemy formation, enemy pieces from the right cannot be sent to it for reinforcement. Remember, ordinary pieces cannot move backward or sideward but only forward.

But we can mobilize all our pieces to either the right or left of the enemy camp in full force. We should take advantage of this fact which many don't realize. Imagine an encounter of 12 against 6. If the enemy plays bad enough not to notice our all-out plan to attack the left side of the enemy camp until it's too late, enemy pieces will be decimated at least by half.

To further make this plan successful, we should take note of the opponent's area preference. What area of the enemy camp does the opponent favor more? This is often seen in the first 3 to 5 moves of the enemy. If the enemy's first moves all involve the right side, that is likely the enemy's area preference. We should then focus on the enemy's left side—the enemy's likely weakest area.

When we have decided the enemy's weakest side we attack it full force. We mobilize about 85 percent of our pieces there and demolish it. The enemy's other half can only watch in horror, or else proceed forward to take advantage of the opening. But our remaining 15 percent will delay the advance. For instance, we mobilize 8 to 9 pieces to attack the weak area and leave 3 to 4 behind to face advancing enemy pieces to our right.

If the enemy is a bad player the attention will be on the onslaught. The enemy will figure out how pieces on the right side can come to the rescue of those on the left, to no avail.

Thus, the weakest area of a checkers formation is the half that the enemy pays less attention to. That we attack in full force.