Introducing myself


#1

Well I’m building this website; I should probably introduce myself to it. My name is Brooks Thomas, I’m a hobbyist chess player and professional programmer. I’ve used and enjoyed a lot of tools like opening explorers and tactics puzzles to get (slightly) better at chess but there are very few available for checkers. I was talking to a friend and lamenting this fact when he asked “why don’t you build one?” So two years later here we are. Thanks Rob!

I enjoy the game and I think checkers players deserve the same features that chess players are used to. But I’m an absolute beginner checkers player so as the site nears completion and the worst of the bugs are killed I will need feedback and help. It’s very much a work in progress though so when you see bugs point them out here and I’ll try to fix them.

Thanks and enjoy!
Brooks

*edit*: I love the introductions, I hope people continue to say ‘hello’ but this thread has grown unwieldy. So I’m closing it and creating a new category for introductions. Please say hi over there.


#2

I love about 4/5 games I play right now. It’s a little demoralizing but it’s reminder not to rush.


#3

Yeah, I do best if I take about five minutes per problem. I’m often not patient enough and I play my first instinct which is wrong.


#4

This all looks really promising. Practicing checker tactics is vital for players at nearly every level, but until now it hasn’t been so easy to do that.

Let’s all be patient while Brooks works on this. I’m certain the site will only get better and better.


#5

Speaking of better, I just realized saving attempts didn’t work if you had zero attempts already (like all new users). This was a recent regression but an unfortunately timed one. It should be fixed.


#6

Good to see an interest in checkers. Thanks for developing this site.


#7

My pleasure. I hope you enjoy it.


#8

Hi Brooks! Thank you for this great resource and something I have hoped the checkers community could develop for a long time. I have always admired what chess.com does with their tactics trainer and such.

I look forward to seeing this website develop and will help spread it to more players.

Thanks,

Clayton Nash


#9

Wow, thank you for the kind words! That just made my day.

The chess.com tactics trainer is a tall order to meet but I will do my best.


#10

Hi Brooks!Thank you for your very nice site!It’s a gift for checkers lovers.
Valeriu


#11

I’m glad you enjoy it. I hope to keep making it better for years to come so please don’t hesitate to offer suggestions and feedback.


#12

Make the site buggier so I won’t be tempted to spend time trying to solve problems :grin:


#13

:laughing: Can do!

Well when you find them, let me know. There are some bugs I know about and haven’t gotten a chance to fix. I’m sure there are lots of others I don’t know about.


#14

I have enjoyed the problems I’ve done so far. It looks wonderful


#15

Hey, thanks for creating this website. It’s harder and harder to find a community for people who enjoy playing and studying this game. Unfortunately it’s a dying art for sure.

I had a question. Chess is a game that I don’t think I will ever grasp, but I think I do pretty well at checkers. As a chess player yourself, do you find Checkers to be challenging?

Thanks again, I hope your website does well. Take care.

  • Thomas

#16

Thank you for joining us @Nicelines! I hope you enjoy your time here. But if I thought checkers was dying I wouldn’t have started this. It can yet be saved! But it is clearly struggling, otherwise this site wouldn’t be so novel. Chess players have had tactics servers for years.

And as a chess player, oh yeah I find checkers challenging. Honestly, I think it’s the harder game. OK, clearly in a game theoretic sense it’s many orders of magnitude easier. The game tree is both narrower and shallower. It takes a larger mistake to lose and those mistakes are easier to avoid. This is why they have so many draws at the top level.

But for us mortals, checkers is incredibly unforgiving. Ok, you can look farther ahead in checkers than chess. But that means your opponent can too. And in chess many mistakes can be ‘undone’. If you put a knight on a bad square you can put it back. Usually your position in worse afterwards because you’ve wasted two turns but play continues. In checkers that piece is usually stuck forever or lost entirely.

I also have better words to describe the patterns that arise in chess than I do for checkers. Players talk about pins, forks, isolated pawns, etc. There are of course words for checkers like squeezes, elbows, cuts, but there are fewer resources for learning them so I don’t have nearly as expansive a vocabulary.

So the next time someone tells you checkers is too easy, challenge them to a game. Or to try one of the puzzles on this site. For instance, at the time of this writing no one has gotten this one right.

Thanks again for joining us, and saying hi! Have fun.


#17

Thanks for the reply. It’s actually refreshing to hear someone coming from a chess background say that checkers is a challenging game. Because it certainly is. Those who argue that checkers is easy simply haven’t taken the time to study and play the game the way it’s meant to be played. I’m 39, been playing since my grandfather taught me around the age of 9, and the game never gets easier, only more challenging, and that’s why I love it.

Take care.

  • Thomas

#20

I love the introductions, I hope people continue to say ‘hello’ but this thread has grown unwieldy. So I’m closing it and creating a category for introductions. Please say hi over there.


#21