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Proper Ways of Capturing in Checkers

One of the major goals in checkers is to capture. We're expected to do this as often as possible, and as skillful, too. In fact, one of the ways to sure winning is to capture more enemy pieces and to allow minimal captures from our own. Here are procedures on capturing pieces in checkers.

With ordinary pieces capturing should be done only when our piece is right in front of the enemy piece to be captured, there's no other piece right behind it, and it's our turn to act. When these conditions are met, we can make a clean capture of enemy pieces. When we make our turn and go to an adjoining square to where the enemy piece stands we cannot capture it. Instead, when the opponent makes the next turn our piece gets captured.

To avert a capture always have a piece directly adjoining an ally piece. For instance, our rear is protected (either our piece stands at an edge or there's an ally standing right behind it) and we're situated so that we're threatening an enemy piece. But it's the opponent's turn to act. The opponent manages to put a piece right behind the threatened piece. Our plan to capture has been forestalled. But when the opponent has nothing to protect the rear of the threatened piece, and it has no way of avoiding our threat, it has no choice but to be captured.

Preventing the enemy from capturing pieces in checkers can also be done by simply going the other way. If the threat to capture is coming from our right then we simply move towards the left, if the left square is available and there's no threat being on it. If there's no rear support in the present square we are—and we see one on another square—then we simply move to that square.

With crowned pieces capturing is lots easier. As long as the enemy piece is on the same diagonal line and at least a free square is behind it, our crowned piece can capture it no matter the distance. Crowned pieces can jump far distances. But crowned pieces are not exempt from the adjoining pieces rule. Even crowned pieces are not allowed to capture them.

Capturing is a main activity in checkers. We should often be doing this while making sure that the opponent has less opportunity to do so. Capturing pieces in checkers helps us in eliminating enemy pieces and getting our pieces closer to crowning.