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Setting Up the Board in Checkers

Checkers board setup is very important in the game. We have to start right to end right. This has to do with orientation, initial formation, and a bit of knowing what the real goal in the game is.

Before we can assemble the pieces on the board we have to know about proper board orientation first. Many players setup the pieces on the board while it is oriented the wrong way. They may also enjoy checkers even with a disoriented or mixed-up board but for purposes of recording (if we keep records of our plays) or following standard orientation we have to make sure the board is oriented correctly.

Correct orientation is having a white square on the lower right corner. Both players should find this so. If this requirement is satisfied then we may proceed arranging the pieces on the board. There are two teams of checkers pieces—the white and black. There are 12 white and 12 black pieces given each player. These 12 should be arranged on the first 3 rows—beginning from bottom row—of each player's camp.

Only black squares are used. Thus, on the first 3 rows from the bottom we put each piece on a black square and leave out the white squares empty. This is the proper initial checkers board setup. This is also what they call the initial formation.

When both players have setup camp there will be 8 black squares unoccupied in the middle of the board. This is called the center squares. Pieces that set foot on them are centrally located and just a few steps away from victory—crowning.

The secondary goal in checkers is to have as many pieces crowned as possible. When a piece reaches the end row inside enemy camp it is "crowned" and given tremendous powers. This helps expedite our primary goal in checkers, which is to eliminate enemy pieces.

Thus, all strategies from the beginning of a game should be aimed at fulfilling the first and second goals in checkers. Thus, from setup phase we should strategize for a way to have pieces reach the other side for crowning. While we're at it, we try to capture as many enemy pieces as possible.

Everything begins during the checkers board setup. Setup includes the initial moves we make towards a secondary strategic formation. If we have our goals clear right at the outset we will have more chances of winning in the game. The long journey to victory begins with a correct step.