Forcing the Enemy into a Trap

Checkers is also about control. There are ways on making the enemy do what we want done by using a game rule against the opponent—which is the rule on forced capture.

We can set a deadly trap for the enemy and make the same a willing accessory or participant in the "crime," as it were. We simply have to set everything well and make the trap an offer the enemy cannot refuse—because it's against the rules to do so. The usual technique is to position two pieces—a front and a rear piece—consecutively in a line and have the rear piece sitting on a side square. The front piece is our initiator. It advances face to face an enemy piece to offer a forced capture.

When a forced capture is presented the enemy has no choice but to oblige—catch the piece we're offering for a capture. When the enemy does this we have several advantages: we gain control of the enemy (we made the player to do what we wanted), we position the enemy where we want the enemy to be, we gain better position for our rear piece, and we have our trap all set up.

In most cases a planned forced capture ends up in a break even, our piece being captured and the capturing enemy piece also captured by our rear piece in turn. But actually we may still have an advantage here by having our piece ending up positioned for a double or triple capture on the same turn. With this technique we practically made our opponent plunge headlong into a trap without much prodding from us.

There are ways the enemy can evade our forced capture trap—mostly through blocking. The opponent may also foil the attempted trap right from inception if the enemy has foresight. But often, the enemy will find the situation non-evasive and just bite into the trap with closed eyes. That's when we have really trapped the enemy and proceed with our ulterior plan.

At times, when we are under heavy fire and we want the enemy to stop the attack or pursuit, we may resort to a forced capture to divert attention and re-direct the attack—especially when the enemy is in hot pursuit of a piece due for crowning. If we have a piece lying effectively around we may sacrifice it to delay the pursuing enemy piece.

Thus, it is important to control the enemy and force the same through forced captures.