# The Side Route Strategy

When aiming for crowning as many pieces as possible, we have to bring pieces safely across to the other side of the checkers board. The question is how do we do this? What's the best crowning strategy? One way is to take them to a safe route. And that's what the side squares are for.

When the checkers board is oriented the right way white square at the right extreme lowest end of the board we would see that there are 4 black squares on each side of the board. These are the side or edge squares. These squares are the safest route on the board through which we may take pieces we plan to crown in enemy territory. It's not very safe but it's the safest on the board.

Basically, if we examine the positions of our pieces on the board at the start of a game we'd see that 3 pieces are nearest each side of the board. Thus, we may consider 6 to 8 pieces to take across through the side squares. As a game progresses and the heat of capture exchanges develops our 6 to 8 pieces may dwindle to one or 2 pieces. That's the best our crowning strategy through the side squares may produce.

Taking the central route would be worse. The center area of the board is where the heat of the battle is fiercest. It's where aggressive pieces jump wildly to do double or multiple captures and we cannot hope to take candidates for crowning through it and survive. Some do manage to break through but this rarely happens and often because they ended up taking the side squares later after the exchanges. Thus, the proper course of center pieces that survive capture exchanges should be toward the sides.

Pieces initially assigned a center position in the original formation often take the brunt of the attacks once the exchanges start. When the battle has cleared surviving pieces ought to proceed taking to the sides to make it as safely as possible to their crowning destination. If more pieces survive than the side squares can handle (enemy pieces would after the side squares, too) we may use the squares adjacent to the side squares to form a tandem with ally pieces occupying side squares.

We have to consider a good crowning strategy right at the start of a game. One we may consider is the side squares strategy which is considered among the safest in checkers.