How to Acquire a King in Checkers

Ordinary pieces in checkers all move one square at a time forward. They have a lot of limitations. The only piece in checkers that has multiple abilities and tremendous power is a checkers king. But kings are not given out for free in the game. We must work hard to acquire them. Here's a summary about crowned pieces as kings.

Unlike in chess where kings are a burden and quite helpless to defend themselves, kings in checkers are powerful. They can jump from one end of the board to the other. They can travel back and forth and catch an enemy piece long distance. But at the outset, when kings are yet to be worked out, ordinary pieces still aiming to be kings can't do anything except move a step at a time and capture a little. All ordinary pieces become kings only upon reaching the end row which is found inside the enemy's camp. When a piece survives the onslaughts of the enemy and reaches that row it is "crowned." We consider crowned pieces as kings.

Once a king, it is given special powers as mentioned above. It can offer tremendous help in eliminating as many enemy pieces as possible. With the right conditions, it can control a whole line on the boardólike when enemy pieces are not adjoining each other. When a king controls a line no enemy piece can cross it without getting captured instantly. In a more limited sense, it can also control two lines by doing so one at a time.

But kings are only as powerful as the skill level of the player handling it. Even kings can be captured if the player is not careful. Thus, it would be better to aim for more than one king. Each piece has the potential to turn king if it satisfies the requirement. But in most games only 2 or 3 kings are possible. Most pieces become casualties in a capturing spree. But if we're skillful enough one king is sufficient to stop the enemy.

A winner in a checkers game is judged in two ways: who has at least a surviving piece, or who has the most kings. When no kings are produced by both players, the player still with at least a piece in the end wins. When both have kings, the player with the most number of kings wins.

Thus, in a checkers game, it is important to have pieces reach the end row. Then, both players consider crowned pieces as kings.