Defending Against a Crowned Enemy Checker Piece

When a checker piece gets to the last row of squares inside enemy territory it is turned into a powerful piece. It becomes a "crowned" piece, able to make leaps and bounds in a single move. If we're up against one and we don't have any, it's going to be a tough game. But here are some tips on how to defend against a crowned checkers piece.

Crowned pieces are fast moving, long-distance checkers that can easily occupy corner and edge squares. If a player wielding a crowned piece knows how to handle it the player would likely often place it on these squares. Crowned pieces are actually safe pieces we can often place on any square. But good checker players want to be safe even with them. And being good players, they know the strategic value of corner and edge squares.

And we, too, should know the importance of corner and edge squares, especially when our pieces are crown-less and the enemy has one. In this situation, staying in the center of the board is a sure way of getting our pieces wiped out. Of course, we cannot place all our pieces at the sides while trekking to enemy territory. There are only 8 edge or side squares we can use (not including the side squares in our and the enemy's territories). So the best thing is to assign which of our pieces would take the side paths.

We have 12 pieces in all. The suggestion is to divide them into 3. Why three? Well, the checkers board has 3 areas—2 sides and the center area. So that's 4 pieces to the left side, 4 pieces in the front, and the remaining 4 to the right side. In the beginning of the game (while there is yet no crowned checkers piece) we always prepare for controlling the corner and edge squares. The best opening strategy is to place the 8 pieces assigned to the sides accordingly.

Let's be conservative and say that after much of the exchanges of captures half of the 8 pieces assigned to the sides are gone. Two pieces each side is not bad. By the time the enemy produces a crowned piece we have 2 pieces each side more than half way their journey to being crowned.

Hence, among effective defenses against an enemy crowned checkers piece is to prepare for it right in the beginning of the game. Take the side routes.