Checkers Forced Capture – Not Everyone’s Favorite Checkers Rule
What is a Forced Capture in checkers?
The game of checkers follows the checkers forced capture rule. What this simply means is that if the option of capturing your opponent's piece is available, you must make that capture. If there are two or more possible captures in one turn, you will still have to make a capture, but you have the option to choose which one of the available captures to make.
Any checkers piece that manages to make it to the far end of the board (from the advancing player’s perspective) or the king's row, is crowned and becomes a king. This is the case whether that particular piece managed to make it to the king’s row through a forced capture or a by moving one square at a time. A king is distinguished from the other pieces on the checker board by placing a one of the previously captured checkers pieces on top of it. A king is allowed to move backward as well as forward, whether in a single square move or in a checkers forced capture.
Protecting one’s Kings
One of the most effective techniques in the game of checkers is protecting your king's row. Kings will give a considerable advantage to any player that has them, so preventing your opponent from reaching your king’s row reduces their advantage greatly. While you may prefer to protect your king's row by keeping it occupied for as long as possible, blocking it from your opponent’s advances will work to your advantage as well.
Advantage of Forced Capture in checkers
The forced capture can be used to your advantage in many different ways. Some of the ways that do not immediately occur to many beginning checkers players is sacrificing one of their own pieces in order to set up a multiple-piece capture and strategically drawing you’re the opposing player’s checkers piece away from their king's row. In the same way, a forced capture can serve to clear a path to you’re the opposing player’s king's row. This move can be well worth it, even if it does result in you losing a piece in order to get one of your checkers pieces crowned a king.
The winner of the game is the player that manages to capture all of the opponent’s checkers pieces or makes it impossible for the other player to make any further moves.
There are a number of different variants of the game of checkers, with the use of the checkers forced capture being slightly different for each one. In huffing for example, players are not required to execute a forced capture, but the opposing player’s can "huff" the threatening checkers pieces before taking his or her turn.