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Win at Checkers Paperback – June 1, 1956
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The most important lesson is this. You don’t win so much as avoid losing. If you don’t make blunders, you will win. When you follow the strategies in the book, starting with the 12 common openings in checkers, you will find that the number of good moves open to both players is extremely limited. Everything that isn’t good is a blunder. Every blunder can be turned to advantage by the opponent.
This book repeats the wisdom that every beginning checker player learns, focus on the center of the board, not the sides. The strategy should be to control the center because it most powerfully restricts the good moves available to you your opponent. Another powerful insight for the beginner is that checkers, like chess, is a game of combinations. You cannot send a single checker out and expect it to do you much good. They have to move in formations. As the combinations evolve, they involve seeing ahead several moves. One player will force a jump, to which the other player usually responds with a jump, and the first player may again respond. The player who forces the first jump needs to have had the ability to see ahead three or four moves. In the best of conditions that player will come up with the material advantage – more checkers won. If both players are quite competent, success will be measured simply by improved board position.
Good board positions are generally those in which the players checkers are concentrated in the center, protecting each other. Another advantage is to force the opposing player to move checkers off of the back row, especially to adjoining checkers, freeing the path to move in to get a king.
These strategies may be easy for me to write, but the player must internalize them. This book is economical in size and yet very well constructed to teach. It provides enough examples that the reader can play through himself to practice looking ahead, visualizing attacks and defenses.
The bottom line is that the book is clearly worth the money. It will elevate a rank beginner to the status of a moderately capable player, able to beat most people who happen to casually notice that you have a checker game in your house.