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Subject: Why checkers falls short for me rss

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Jake E. Stief
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Checkers is a very simple game. You can move your pieces, capture pieces, and king your pieces. The game requires little strategy, and if your opponent is of equal greatness as you, your board will almost always end up looking like this, causing a stalemate. .



In checkers you have an 8x8 board with a checker pattern on it. Each player begins with 12 round pieces (one has dark the other light). Your pieces are placed on each dark square in the first three rows on your side of the board. Checkers is a turn-based game, so you move or capture, then you opponent moves or captures. When moving a piece you must move one square diagonally foreword; to take an opponent’s piece the piece must be in an adjacent square diagonally in front of you. To take that piece you move in a straight line over the piece to the next square diagonally. You may not make a curve in your line. If a piece is in the place where you would have to land, then you may not jump. If you capture then the captured piece is taken off the board. You may capture multiple pieces in a turn as long as you use the same piece to capture those pieces. If a piece makes it to the opponent’s edge then you may get kinged by placing a captured piece on the one that made it to the end. This means you may now move backward diagonally with that piece and forward. Someone wins whenever all of the opponent’s pieces are captured. Pretty simple... right?

In most cases I would say wrong, but for checkers that is basically it. There is hardly no strategy you need to study to make yourself better, no openings, you can basically win against almost anyone, as long as you know these rules and don’t make foolish mistakes. This is why I do not care for Checkers. Once you know the rules there is nothing more you do with the game, unlike in chess were you can always get better, and there is always more to study. Checkers is a good game whenever you just learn how to play. After that there is nothing really surprising that can happen in the game. In most games you can make your own variation of it. With checkers there really isn’t much room for development. I play checkers when asked but I never ask to play it. Now don't get me wrong, this is how I have viewed checkers over the past few years. I think if I played against someone that is actually good at checkers, I would find it a very logical and strategical game. It is just eveyone I know that plays checkers, arn't very good at the game. Once I find someone who forces me to think during the game, I will probably rate this game a 10, but till then it is a 5.

Now I would rather buy a game other than checkers, such as chess, but like i said I need to play a person who is good at the game.

Some factors that make checkers so good are the same as in chess. It requires logical thinking, developes memory, and helps you develope strategy, you just need to find someone who is good at playing checkers.
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George Husted
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Re: Why checkers falls short.
http://www.bobnewell.net/checkers/rediscover2.htmlshake

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Jake E. Stief
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Re: Why checkers falls short.
That is deffinantly true. I think I just need to play someone who is good at checkers. Then maybe my idea of it will increase. Thanks for the link
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Moshe Callen
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Re: Why checkers falls short.
With all due respect, that review is utter rubbish.

1. To say draughts lacks strategy simply shows a complete ignorance of the game. Just knowing the rules does not suffice. By any definition, this is a game of pure skill.

2. Saying that one ought just buy a chess set instead is glib, rude and worse mentally lazy. I happen to prefer chess to draughts and I'm far better at the former, but that does not mean that I cannot appreciate the depth of the latter.

Agan, this is not meant as an attack but constructive criticism; please next time you do a review, respect yourself and the game under consideration. You're free to dislike a game but you should give the reader potentially valid reasons why you dislike it-- i.e., a genuine critique. This review is not a critique but rather a shallow rant. In writing such a review, you have done a disservice both to yourself and to the reader. Frankly I believe you are capable of a better more circumspect review.

Your conclusions might be the same, but you should think about and express why you have the attitudes to the game that you do.
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Jake E. Stief
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Re: Why checkers falls short.
Well that is just my view of the game. I fully understand if you enjoy checkers. I'm just saying that I do not enjoy playing the game as much as other games, just as many people do not enjoy ASL. I guess it is a rant though. I'll add more. Thanks
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Andy Andersen
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Re: Why checkers falls short.
whac3 wrote:
With all due respect, that review is utter rubbish.

1. To say draughts lacks strategy simply shows a complete ignorance of the game. Just knowing the rules does not suffice. By any definition, this is a game of pure skill.

2. Saying that one ought just buy a chess set instead is glib, rude and worse mentally lazy. I happen to prefer chess to draughts and I'm far better at the former, but that does not mean that I cannot appreciate the depth of the latter.

Agan, this is not meant as an attack but constructive criticism; please next time you do a review, respect yourself and the game under consideration. You're free to dislike a game but you should give the reader potentially valid reasons why you dislike it-- i.e., a genuine critique. This review is not a critique but rather a shallow rant. In writing such a review, you have done a disservice both to yourself and to the reader. Frankly I believe you are capable of a better more circumspect review.

Your conclusions might be the same, but you should think about and express why you have the attitudes to the game that you do.


How anyone can criticize Checkers is beyond me. Did you just have a slow day with nothing to do? Give me a break. Checkers is what it is, nothing more, nothing less. I suggest you find a game that is actually worth reviewing.
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Jake E. Stief
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Well to be honest, everyone I play against doesn't give a flying crap about the game. So therefore I always beat them. Once I find someone who can play the game, and I have to think a few moves ahead I will definantly have a change in heart.
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Jake E. Stief
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Can someone please recommend a good online checkers site for me, so I can play more skilled people?
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Moshe Callen
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CrazyJake wrote:
Can someone please recommend a good online checkers site for me, so I can play more skilled people?

I play my wife who until recently always won. A quick google search found this site.
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Jake E. Stief
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Very nice. If I have a change of heart I will post a new review Thanks for the site
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Andy Andersen
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It's checkers. It's America, my man. whistle
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Justus Pendleton
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Coldwarrior1984 wrote:


From the link: "There is little that is more serious than serious checkers."

That's right. Brain surgery? Pfft! War? As if. Capital murder trial cases? Nah. Multi-billion dollars businesses that employ hundreds of thousands of people? Meh, not especially.

But serious checkers? Yeah...now we're serious.
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p55carroll
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hoostus wrote:
Coldwarrior1984 wrote:

From the link: "There is little that is more serious than serious checkers."

Also from the link:
"I went away convinced that checkers is as deep a game as chess, but with the appeal of familiarity and simplicity of concept. You can learn the rules in a few minutes, but real expertise takes many years of study. I've concluded that to a great extent the simplicity of the game system drives the complexity of game play. There are only two types of piece and one type of move and capture. This makes the game deeper rather than wider. It makes the game accessible to all but mastered by few."

I can forgive the occasional literary lapse when the author gets around to saying something important, as Mr. Newell does above.

***
On a different note, maybe CrazyJake does have a point: when so many people shrug off checkers as an uninteresting game, is it really worth dedicating oneself to? If you love the game yourself, yes; then it's worth hunting up good players or maybe even promoting tournaments. But if you don't find the game especially appealing, why bother? There are lots of other great games to choose from.

It's not enough for a game to be deep and challenging, time-honored and traditional, or praised by experts. It has to appeal to you (for whatever reasons, even if you're not entirely conscious of the reasons). If you don't love the game, go play a game you do love.
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Russ Williams
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Orangemoose wrote:
It's checkers. It's America, my man. whistle

Are you telling that to the guy living in Israel?
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Russ Williams
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CrazyJake wrote:
There is hardly no strategy you need to study to make yourself better, no openings, you can basically win against almost anyone, as long as you know these rules and don’t make foolish mistakes.

I think a good principle is: whenever you find yourself making a claim like this, consider the question:

"But what happens if my opponent also follows this allegedly easy sure-win strategy?"

* Do you paradoxically both win, beating each other?

* Or the universe explodes in a puff of logic?

* Or you realize that in fact winning strategy is perhaps not actually as trivial as you thought?

---

Perhaps you mean you can win against "most people" (who haven't played the game before, or haven't played it seriously).

But that's equally true of your favorite game chess... you can certainly beat "most people" in chess. Most people at best know the rules of chess, and have no real chess skill. You don't need to improve your chess skills to beat most people. But if you want to beat that small subset of people who are actually competent at the game, well, then you need to improve your skills, whether we're talking chess or checkers or any other strategy game...
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Jake E. Stief
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No matter. As I said I have not a care in the world, what people think about my view on checkers. Like I said though. Once I find somebody who actually cares about playing the game, then maybe I will respect the game a bit better
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Russ Williams
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ldsdbomber wrote:
I don't see how checkers can be as deep as chess, hasn't it been solved already?

I think no one is claiming checkers is as deep as chess; they are merely saying that it is deeper than this review claims (with its assertions that there is no strategy in checkers, that you can beat most people by just avoiding foolish mistakes, etc).

As for checkers having been solved by computer; when that happens for chess, will chess players all say "Oh no, our game is 'solved', it's not deep after all? We've been fooling ourselves all these years that we were learning strategically deep interesting things, but in reality we were just playing a trivial solved game!"
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Jake E. Stief
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I do agree with russ on that.
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Jake E. Stief
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I'm just agreeing that I may have despised the game a little more thsn what I should have.
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Russ Williams
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ldsdbomber wrote:
I was replying to the quoted link on Patricks reply

Ah, I see - sorry I missed that quoted link indeed saying checkers seemed as deep as chess. Right you are!
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Benedikt Rosenau
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CrazyJake wrote:
The game requires little strategy, and if your opponent is of equal greatness as you, your board will almost always end up looking like this, causing a stalemate. .

Nice one. The position never appears, and the "stalemate" were a loss for the player to move. The rest of the review keeps on baiting.
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p55carroll
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ldsdbomber wrote:
I don't see how checkers can be as deep as chess, hasn't it been solved already?

I guess it all depends on what one means by "deep." If you define it mathematically, probably chess can be proven to be deeper than checkers and go deeper than chess.

But I look at it from a human standpoint. A game like tic-tac-toe is not very deep at all--meaning you can become an expert player a minute or two after you learn how to play. Games that take hours to become an expert at are deeper. Games that take days or weeks to master are deeper yet. And so forth.

For a person with above-average intelligence, checkers, chess, and go all take years of dedicated study and practice to master. Most of us won't ever master any of these games in this lifetime, even if we play a few times a day (which most of us won't). So, for practical, human purposes, I consider all these games to be in about the same depth category--i.e. extremely deep.
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Mark Thomason
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I'd be curious if it actually is "solved". I assume this is by a computer, as checkers is complex enough that there would be thousands of possibilities as to how a game can develop and resolve.

One thing I notice no one has mentioned, that the original poster failed to mention, and that is that I have frequently seen people playing Checkers (or Draughts) without following one rule: if a capture (jump) is available to you, you must take it.

This simple rule, often forgotten, is the difference between a slow game that is mostly about watching for mistakes, and a fast-paced game (barring AP) that has deep layers of strategy to it.

There was an online world game thing called "Virtual Magic Kingdom" for several years, a MMO world that was set in Disneyland. One of the games you could play with others was a slightly modified version of Checkers, and I quickly discovered that playing dozens of rapid games of Checkers against diverse opponents can demonstrate an amazing amount of variety and strategy to the game, with dozens of techniques for creating layered traps for your opponents.

As complex as chess? Possibly not, since there are fewer spaces on the board (since you only use one color of spaces) and more variety of pieces. But there is no way it's as simple as most casual players think it is. Like Chess, until you play someone better than you, you'll think you've got it all worked out. Then someone who's seen your strategies comes along and makes you look foolish, and it's a whole new world.
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p55carroll
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Blackfaer wrote:
I'd be curious if it actually is "solved". I assume this is by a computer, as checkers is complex enough that there would be thousands of possibilities as to how a game can develop and resolve.

It is, and yes--with the aid of a computer. You can read about it here.
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ldsdbomber wrote:
I wonder how quickly you can pick up ideas that really make it feel like you're "properly" playing? Its one of the most offputting things about Chess.

It doesn't take long to get to where you're thinking like a real checker player. But it helps a lot to pick up a good intro book such as Win at Checkers by Millard Hopper. It's an oldie but goodie, and it's a small book. After studying just the first chapter or two, you'll understand the basic principles of the game and know what to look for.

After that, it's practice, practice, practice. The more you practice, the better you get.

And if you get good enough, you'll someday be ready to tackle more advanced books, such as Lee's Guide to the Game of Draughts or Checkers (it's incredibly dry but covers all the lines of play; I bought a copy just to see what it was like).

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