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NOTE!Important. Straight Checkers is no longer being sold as of 11/2/13
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BREAKING NEWS; There is a NEW Checker Champion of the World! Michele Borghetti defeated the champion-Alex Moiseyev, 6-3-29 draws. The match was held in Itay, June 25th to July 6, 2013.
In the Majors division of the 2012 National Ty, 13 year old (!) Alex Holmes won with a perfect 28 points, winning all of his 7 rounds! He is now forced to play in the Masters division in the future. Is there another Marion Tinsley on the horizon!
Moiseyev and Borghetti had played in 2011, Moiseyev retaining the title with a 6-5 win.
Lubabalo Kondlo won the 2013 GAYP Nat. Ty for the 2nd time. He had won in 2007 also.
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Checker moves are recorded by numbers. On the right diagram, if Red (or the dark side) moves
from square 11 to 15, it is recorded as 11-15. If Red jumps three pieces from square 2 to 27, it
2-27 etc. Red or the dark side always moves 1st. Jumps are mandatory. If one can jump 2 pieces in one direction, or 3 in another, the option is up to the player. All pieces must be taken, in the direction chosen. When a player can jump one pieces on two different diagonal's, the player may jump either way.
Before one can play well, one must learn how to. Problem study is absolutely necessary, and the 1st area of study for a beginner.
Different themes are the tools by which the terms are accomplished. (win/draw) The Move, in endgame play, is an important tool and theme. In all diagrams, square 4 is at the bottom. All are White to play and Win.
In the left diagram, white simply moves 15-11, trapping the Red king and wins.
In diagram 2, it is the same thing. Red moves (3-7 or 3-8) trying to make a double corner and draw. After Red moves, white MUST move toward the piece and continue to do so to prevent the pc from gaining the right diagonal to make a double corner. The Red king will be trapped at the end or side of the board and white wins.
Here we have a different situation.
White does not have THE MOVE.
But on our "The Move" page, we learned how to calculate that and change it. A direct exchange, changes the move. White goes 28-24, Red jumps 20-24, and white jumps 23-32 changing the move. Red now goes 30-25 (or 30-26) and white moves toward the pc, always, and traps it at the end or side of the board;before it can reach the double corner.
Here, the terms are Red to play-White
With white, how are you going to extricate yourself from this dilemma? Red is going 14-18 and steal your pc on 22. If you get a man down in Checkers, you lose. (more than 99% of the time) But all you have to do, after Red moves 14-18, is get your move right! The tool, or theme available is known as "The Double Exposure" and solves millions of problems. By double exposure we mean -"offer your opponent two ways to jump".
After 14-18 20-16!. Now your opponent probably will not capture with the king 12-10, as you would have 22-6, losing 2 pcs and gaining 2, and removing the king. So your opponent captures the free one-18-25, and you slip in 16-11, stealing the pc on 8, regaining your man.
From the diagram your thinking process should be-"I'm going to lose 22, so where is a vulnerable pc I might regain?" The answer might then be obvious, since the Red pc on 8 is the only choice. An elegant example of Scientific Checkers, and an artful draw.
Surely another optical illusion. This is-White to play
By what theme do you execute Red. The experienced player will immediately suspect a shot!
If so, then the action begins immediately!. But later, there is a hard move to find. By pitching pieces, you can line Red up for a multiple jump and win. Ready? Go 10-7 1-10 (3-10 plays the same with same moves by white) 18-15! (another pitch) 10-19 20-16 (the hard waiting mv to find, but later it forces the pc on 12 to jump) 3-10 26-23! (the 3rd pitch) 19-26 (now the pc on 12 has to jump next mv) 2-6! and the pc on 12 jumps into a 5 jump for white after 12-19 6-29! and white has the mv on the pc on 21 which can only self destruct. White Wins
Every move was forced. Checkers isn't a game of chance. By "Threatening Something" you can force your will, many times.
White to play and Win. This is another of the same theme. (right diagram)
Several pitches are necessary to force Red into a lineup where white jumps multiple pieces. Every move is forced.
Go 9-6 2-9 18-15! 10-19 17-13 26-17 13-6 1-10 12-8! 3-12 27-23! 19-26 and the Red pc on 12 is forced to capture next move, and white sits behind the pieces 11-7 12-19 and 7-14-21-30-23-16 and white has the move to win. Another 5 jump. All moves forced. The Science of Checkers/Draughts is clearly seen.
See this on the animated board. Multiple Jump
#1. A beautiful theme solves this one. White to play and Win.
The winning theme is taking advantage of the "Rules" of Checkers." The key rule is; "When a single man enters kingrow for the 1st time, it ends the turn. Why? Because it isn't a king till your opponent-On his turn-places a man on top of it, making it a king, and it's your opponents turn. Only pieces already a king can jump into and back out of kingrow.
It only takes 2 key moves-both pitching pieces!
Go 22-18! 23-14 30-26! 21-30 (entering kingrow but ends the turn) then 7-2 (letting the king have the man) 30-23 2-27. White Wins.
Above Right. White to play and win
This is the same theme and possibly the original one showing the theme, published many years ago. (1800's)
White is man up, but the Red king has 2 pieces "forked" and will certainly get one of them. White must make that a fatal proposition.
Go 10-7! 15-8 then 30-26! 21-30 (entering kingrow for the 1st time with a single man) and 7-3 (again letting Red have the man and slipping in the killer) 30-23 and white sweeps the board 3-26. Most elegant.
Don't you feel sorry for Red? Probably only the learned player would solve these.
Once again the same theme as above right, where a single man entering kingrow ends the turn-solves this. Go 6-2 7-11 2-7. Now if red goes 11-16 then 7-11 steal a piece to win. After 2-7, red has only one mv to resist defeat, by trading 29-25 7-16 25-18 then 31-26 leaves red but 1 mv 18-14.
White finishes off red with forcing moves in 16-11 15-19 11-16* (staying on right diagonal) 19-24. It seems red is getting away.
But now 30-25! 21-30 (ends the turn) and 16-20 30-23 (red lands in a hook-up triple) and 20-9 sweeps the board.
Taken from a famous book-"Top Notch Checkers" (published elsewhere also) and composed by famous English author-W. M. Steel.
Left-White to play and Win.
The same theme is seen here in this easy "shot." The material is even -5 pieces aside-and white seems in trouble as the Red king is about to steal a piece. But Red loses by this theme.
White goes 11-7 24-15 and 30-26 23-30 (ends the turn-White had given away 2 pieces) then 7-2 30-14 2-20. White Wins on "The Move." With practice, this is a simple sight solver.
George Crookston, coach and confidant of former world champion, Richard Jordan, authored this position. Doubtful this is a composition. It is so natural looking, probably found in an actual game or analysis. Red to play and Draw
White is about to go 22-18 and steal the piece on 14 and win. But notice white has a couple of loose pieces on 19 and 23. To solve these, one must consider every move on the board and what "theme" one intends to use to draw and save the ship. The art of the sacrifice saves the day. 1st go 13-17* 22-13 24-27 (getting a king behind white's pieces) 13-9. Now if the piece on 23 is the target you can crown on 31 or 32. But going after the piece on 23 would lose, and it is the piece on 19 you must be after, so 28-32* 9-6 and 32-28* 6-2 28-24 2-6 (2-7 would be useless after 24-15 7-16 and back 15-19 is Breeches for Red) 24-15 6-9 15-18 (Crookston's move, but it was later pointed out 11-16 would also draw) 23-19 then 14-17 21-14 and 18-23 steals 19 to draw. Highly scientific. You have sailed your ship to safe harbors , or as a military General, saved your army from defeat. As it turned out, you sacrificed two soldiers and captured both those white pieces on 19 and 23.
See this on the Animated Board
The photo on the right, shows R. Jordan (left) playing Charles Barker (right) for the Worlds's title. (circa-1900)
The gent standing on the left, is Geo. Crookston, his famous coach. Richard Jordan is still today regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He was the world champion at age 20 or 21, (or so) winning the title in 1894. He was playing the best in the world at age 19. In their 1911 match, played at Cedar Point, Ohio, Game-5 in their match book, Newell Banks playing Alfred Jordan (A. Jordan and R. Jordan were not related. A. Jordan was from Scotland, and R. Jordan from England) reached this position. Banks has just played 9-14? with Red, where moving the king 10-15 would have drawn.
How are you going to execute Red? It's quite simple. Just trap all Red pieces.
It requires a sacrifice 1st. A sight solver.
Go 2-7!, 10-3 16-11 (trapping the king) 14-17 (all there is) 30-26 21-25 (all there is) and 26-23! 17-26 (jump) 23-21 (double jump) traps the single man. White Wins.
Photo right. Newell Banks as he appeared about this time. Banks was a boy genius at Checkers/Draughts, and a feared player. One of the games legends. He was a former world champion.
Another Banks Blunder. Newell Banks was again playing arch rival-Alfred Jordan, when they reached this difficult position. Banks took 27-32? and Jordan played 22-26! 20-27 26-10 and with white to play, white "does not have the move" to draw 4th position. Jordan won.
What should have Banks played? As pointed out by Jordan go 15-18* (this is good but today's computers prove that 20-16! 24-31 16-19 is another man down draw. This might continue 22-17 then the 23-27 exchange gives white the move and access to kings on 31-32- to draw) 22-15 27-31* (Jordan starred this but 27-32 would draw also) 24-28 23-19* 15-24 20-27 and now white DOES have the move to slide back into the 4th position draw. In mental calculation, Banks mis-calculated who would have the move and gave it to Jordan, and lost. To determine who has "The Move" see our page on The Move. With unequal pieces, mask the pc on 21 and calculate the move around the active pieces. 4th position is one of the classic "man down draws" when you have kings on 31 and 32 AND the move. 4th Position can easily be colors reversed also.
"These positions must be studied until you can sight solve them, if you intend to play the game well-like the Expert or Master you can be."Identify the threat. White is about to strike 18-15 and get 2 for 1 and win. The beginner might trade 10-14 and lose immediately. Anything logical pop in your mind?
How about the sacrifice. You got it!
Go-11-16! (the one and only way) 19-12 5-9 (to force a Red king) 12-8 10-14 (pushing the white pieces) 18-15 14-17 22-18 17-21 25-22 21-25, then crown a king and easily capture one of those white pieces to regain your man and draw.
This is by J. Conroy and featured in Ben Boland's "Famous Positions", one of several magnificent books Boland wrote on positions and endgames. All of his works were actual landings and games taken from published play. His works are a "must own" for the serious player. In nearly all of his positions he gives the game leading to the positions, dates and player names.
Some of his titles include; Familiar Themes, Famous Positions, Boland's Masterpieces, Checkers in Depth, Checkers for the Millions, Boland's Bridges, and Boland's Black and White Doctors. Collectors items all.
Residing in Brooklyn, he had access to "The Brooklyn Library" (like so many famous players) where about everything ever written on the game was available, and still is.
Some of the Brooklyn greats include; Willie Ryan, Tom Wiswell, Sam Gonotsky, Mike Lieber, Fausto Dalumi, Harold Freyer, Ben Boland and many others. Checker legends all. To learn the game, Boland's books is absolutely the place to start.
"In Checkers and Draughts, you cannot get a man down without getting it back, or you lose, about 99.7% of time. There are hundreds of man down draws, but that is a difficult and separate study we are not inclined to go into in our lessons. Absolutely consider material equality a must."We mentioned we didn't intend to get into man down draws, but here is another!
Red intends to crown on 30 and steal the white man on 19, and Red cannot prevent it.
Gaining strategic holds, is many times the way man down draws are accomplished.
White goes 13-9* 25-30 9-6* 30-26 6-2* 26-23 (stealing the man is the only threat) 2-7* 23-16 and then 14-10. White is man up, but Red has them all held except the man on 5, free to crown.
Cont; 5-9 10-6 (white NEVER moves off 7 so as to maintain the hold) 9-14 6-1 14-18 1-6* 18-23 6-10*! (a serious mistake can be made here with 6-9? permitting the white king 16-19! 7-16 and 19-15 hanging the red king up for capture and a white win) After 6-10* red can only crown and move the new king around, but can never gain relief from the held pieces by 16-19 as long as white pays attention to business.
A fine man down draw.
Diagram right. White to play and Draw. Perhaps the 1st man down draw ever published. White goes 17-22 (the white king can also be on 18 then 18-22 is the same. (White never loses control of square 22.) The red king on 29 is dead, and red can only come 30-25 then 22-17 (or 22-26 and back to 22 next) 25-21 (or 25-30 17-22*) 17-22 and red can make no progress. (The red kings can also be on 25 and 29, and the white king on 26 with red to play, then 25-30 (or 25-21 and 26-22-same) and 26-22- Drawn.)
The author of this is Wm. Payne- "Introduction To The Game Of Draughts"-1756! The 1st Checker/Draughts book ever written in the English language. It is simply known as "Payne's Single Corner Draw." Many a problem has been published, resulting in this draw. An original copy of Payne's book would be about priceless. A photo of an original is shown at "The Online Checker Museum." Here
The diagram shows
a landing that comes up often from many openings and can found in analysis, colors reversed, just as often. It is known as "Cowan's Coup."
White to play and Draw. White gives away 3 pieces, gains 2 pieces initially, then captures a 3rd to Draw. The red piece on 11 is the 3rd one captured. Cowan's Coup may come up from many openings and colors reversed-a standard that must be known.
Go 19-16!, 12-28 23-19 14-23 21-7 28-32 7-3* 32-28 and 3-8 28-24 8-15. Drawn. M. Cowan of Whitehead, England-published in the 19th century.
One of "The Key" landings in Checkers/Draughts, and one known by all learned players.
Checkers/Draughts is played on the 3-move restriction style.
A deck of cards is used.
A player draws one card for the number on the back-usually 1 thru 6.
Then the card is inserted back in the deck and the player draws a 2nd card to read the back.
Here the number was 6, and on the 2nd card the 6th opening listed is 11-15 22-18 15-52.
If the number had been 4 then the 4th opening listed etc.
Those moves are played, and from there you Go-As-You-Please.
There are 174 Openings in the 3-mv deck.
A. One of the toughest 3-mv openings. B. Or 1-6 29-25 11-15 same. C. Throwing Red to the side. D. Taking the center. DD. In "Big League Checkers", (1961) Willie Ryan published his un-heard of 10-14!, here to draw. It is perfectly sound and cuts out all this difficult play for Red, but it has not been tried to my knowledge. E. Forced. 16-19 loses. F. Strongest, to continue forcing Red. G. 10-15 is premature and loses. H. 6-10 has lost many times. This is necessary. I. 9-13? was the original way here, but after 24-18 15-24 28-19 11-15 20-11 15-24 22-18 24-27 18-9 (red is a man down) 27-31 26-22 12-16 9-5 and if 10-14 the devastating pitch with 23-19 16-23 22-18 is a man up White Win. J. Forces Red next mv. K. Red must give the king. L. Holding the 3 red pieces and permitting but 1 king. M.
See this entire game with animated board. Go Here The red pieces are firmly held. N. A 2nd king comes on the attack. O. The one and only. P. Finally, Red has a one lung draw after 30 some star moves. Every Red move was forced.
Master players can probably play this entire game, blindfolded, or off the top of their head, visualizing each changing position.
Beginning the game with 10-14 is known as the "Denny's", named after a village in Scotland.
Three problems by the legendary Geo. H. Slocum. Slocum's problems always taught
beautiful lessons. One of the best of all time. His problems were nearly always shot problems. But not
always. White is moving up the board in all three.
Black to play and Win
White to play and Draw
White to play and Win
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