Tips on Starting a Checkers Game Right

There are a lot of winning strategies in checkers. But they all rely on how accurate we are in the game right at the start. So, before bothering about winning we have to make sure we know how to start checkers the right way.

To start checkers correctly we need to set the board right. The rule here is both players should find a white square at the lower right extreme their side of the board. If so, then each player faces the board using the right orientation. Setup this way, the board has two playing sides—the top and bottom. The latter sides are non-playing sides. The top side is always occupied by our opponent, and the bottom side by us.

We can still enjoy checkers even if the board is improperly oriented, why not? There'll still be 4 squares each row and we can still use 12 black squares in the initial formation. But since we're aiming to do things right here, we might as well standardized everything. Correct orientation is for notating official games. So while at it, why not play like a pro?

The next tip is setting up the pieces. A setup has two phases—the initial and strategic. With an initial setup 12 pieces are lined up on the black squares of the first 3 rows of our playing side. The opponent has the same setup. The middle area has 8 vacant black squares. This is how we start checkers correctly.

After the initial setup the next thing we need is a win strategy. The first move, and every move hence, should all contribute to our strategy. Thus, we proceed to a strategic setup of pieces. Black checkers always act first. So if we play black pieces we should be the first to set out establishing a strategic setup on the board. If we play white and act last we hope the opponent is ignorant about a strategic setup.

A strategic setup should be aimed at preserving as many pieces for crowning as possible and capturing as many enemy pieces as possible. These twin goals don't just happen serendipitously. They are planned well in advance right from the start. They begin with a good strategic setup. Once we have started everything right our play should flow smoothly to the end.

So make it a point to always start checkers correctly—correct initial and strategic setups. And we'll find that we'll never go wrong in this game.