The Tandem Trap in Checkers

There's a deadly "pair" technique in checkers. If we master the positioning and timing of this technique we would eliminate more enemy pieces than usual. Here are details of this checkers winning tactic.

Called "Tandem Trap," this technique exploits the forced capture ruling in checkers, corner or edge positioning, and an opportunity when the enemy piece lands on a square within the effective range of this technique. "Tandem" means teamed up by twos and being positioned consecutively—like when two persons ride a bike. So this means there's a lead piece and a rear piece.

This tandem sets out to fix a trap for the enemy made possible by the forced capture policy. Sure, we would lose pieces in the process but we come out of the exchanges of captures ahead of the enemy by at least a piece or a position. By position, we mean controlling a corner or edge square inside enemy territory, or being close to crowning a piece.

We should have the habit of teaming up our pieces in two or three—two should be in tandem and the other one close by for counter capture assistance. If we have 12 pieces, they should be teamed up into 4 groups of 3 each. If we group them by twos there should be 6 groups in all. Imagine 4 or 6 systematic groups in deadly tandems ready to trap the enemy piece, ordinary or crowned.

This is how this checkers winning tactic works. For instance, we play white. This means the enemy acts first. If it knows the value of edge squares it would likely make a right side move to occupy one. Now, in the beginning, we would note that all our pieces are actually in tandem. This is what makes our initial formation look so good and strong. To take that enemy piece out of its edge square position we simply use one of our tandems. Look for one that is directly in line with the targeted enemy piece.

After we have located the relevant tandem, we use the lead piece forward to the targeted enemy piece. The enemy piece is then forced to capture it. Then, we counter capture it with our rear piece. Note that our capturing piece is now quite free to take the edge square.

A checkers winning tactic should always consider occupying corner and edge squares. They're great places to plant tandem traps in and launch out attack strategies from.