The Strategic Corner Squares Tactic

Part of studying the checkers board is knowing where to stand the firmest on it. Side squares are good for taking our pieces through to their crowning glory but they're not the best positions for launching attacks from. What's a strategic position in checkers?

The best attack positions are those that can launch crowned pieces across the board the longest in a single move. The longest diagonal distance on the board is the center diagonal line that touches the two true corner squares on the board. If we are properly oriented on the board, which means a white square should be on the lowest right hand corner, the two true corners of the board are the terminal black squares of the horizontal and vertical paths originating from the white square.

True corners? Well, since we only use the black squares in checkers, we count only two black corners on the board. The other two are white. But then the 2 white corner squares have two adjacent black squares each. We may consider them also black "corners" on the board, but not true corners. So, the longest distance on the board is the diagonal line between the true corner squares.

Why is a true corner square the most strategic position in checkers? It cuts the board diagonally in half. This means most enemy pieces would have to cross it to get to the other side. Second, it's the easiest route to get to the other side fast with a crowned piece. But best of all, should a triple capture present itself, it's the fastest way for an ordinary piece to get crowned.

Let's say, we have a piece (ordinary or crowned) on the true corner square at the lowest left hand of the board. And along the diagonal line from that square to the other true square in enemy territory 3 enemy pieces are lined up a vacant square apart. The first enemy piece is directly in front of our piece and it's our turn to act. We make a triple capture (taking all the 3 enemy pieces lined up diagonally) and end up a mere square away from crowning glory if we used an ordinary piece.

If we control the longest diagonal line we control almost the whole board. It's easier for a crowned piece to access all areas of the board from it. If we want a strategic position in checkers that doubles the power of crowned pieces to eliminate more enemy pieces, always grab the true corners.

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