Magic Checkers

Our main site is World's No. 1 Checker site

Our teaching program, Straight Checkers Gold and Mini1-2, is the world's only teaching program. Every child and every school should have this program. It does what it promises-it teaches. Our customers wouldn't do without it!
Straight Checkers Gold and Mini's NOW feature the 1st 30 moves of all openings, improving the 1st 20 in our program. In many cases, it shows the entire game. For all 32 bit Windows Vista and back to W-95. See our screenshots page at Go Here W7/8 version coming soon!
NOTE! Important. Straight Checkers is no longer being sold as of 11/2/13.
Programmer needed to compile Flash 6 files into web .exe. Email

BREAKING NEWS; There is a NEW Checker Champion of the World! Michele Borghetti defeated the champion-Alex Moiseyev, 6-3-29 draws. The match was held in Itay, June 25th to July 6, 2013.
In the Majors division of the 2012 National Ty, 13 year old (!) Alex Holmes won with a perfect 28 points, winning all of his 7 rounds! He is now forced to play in the Masters division in the future. Is there another Marion Tinsley on the horizon!
Moiseyev and Borghetti had played in 2011, Moiseyev retaining the title with a 6-5 win.
Lubabalo Kondlo won the 2013 GAYP Nat. Ty for the 2nd time. He had won in 2007 also.

To play well, the study if problems is essential. Our site has three beginner problem pages, and many more advanced. In 1945, Marion Tinsley, the greatest player ever, studied "Gould's Problems Book", with over 1000 problems. By the end of the summer, he could sight solve nearly all of them!
All of us are Tyro's, or beginners, when we start playing. Advancing from there, is probably impossible without problem study. Daily strokes of effort is required, to learn to play well.
Get our program, Straight Checkers Gold! Nearly 15 MB, it is a huge program, covering about $3000 worth of checker books, with all the lessons one needs, to learn. The only teaching program in the world. Entirely made with Adobe Flash, with several MP3's for short music clips.

The official "American Checker Federation" site is about tournament play, recent matches and has forums to use and see. Visit them. Go Here

*Speaking of problems, *the one on the right is not exactly a beginner problem. The advanced, master player, would spot the winning "theme", but one must understand the Rules of the game.
The rule we are looking at is: "When a SINGLE man enters kingrow, for the 1st time, it ends the turn. Only kings can move, or jump, into and back out of kingrow."
Red can "sweep" the board and take all the white pieces, against white's best defense.
That begins 6-2 (threatening the pc with capture) 7-11 2-7. (threatening again) Now, White is beaten if 11-16, as Red would come 7-11, forking 2 pieces, certain to get 1, and win on material. White spot's that and after 2-7, makes an even trade out of it with 29-25 (the only logical defense) 7-16, 25-18 31-26* 15-19 (the only mv white has) and Red now applies the "coup-de-grace. " Can you spot it, and take all the white pieces?
Go 16-11* 15-19 11-16* (must stay on the right diagonal) 19-24 Now-30-25! 21-30 (ends the turn) and 16-20 forces white to jump 30-23 and 20-9 sweeps the board for a Gem win. See this on the Animated board. Go Here

diagram diagOn the left is very easy. It only takes 3 moves to force the win. Go 24-19 16-20 31-27 22-26 (all there is) and 27-24 20-27 32-14 is a winning shot.
On the right is White to play and Win. The winning "theme" is "Stealing The Man." The weak piece on 10 is the target, and the way to win is not easily seen. The classic in-out Shot does it. White goes 31-26! 22-31 (ends the turn as a single man cannot jump into and back out of kingrow) 23-18 (holds the piece on 10) 31-24 28-12 and all Red can do is run the king around 30-26, the 12-8 then 8-3 then 3-7 steals the man to win. A position by Edgar Atkinson, analyst/problemist/Author of the 19th century. Easy? Probably not-at least to the beginner-who finds it an "optical illusion", and begins thinking-"Let's see; If I go here and he goes there etc." The advanced player would spot the winning theme immediately.

Tinsley Some of the greatest names and players of all time. On the left is Dr. Marion F. Tinsley. He was by head and shoulders, the best ever. Ryan His powers of visualazation, saw further, and more, than anyone ever. He had that built in radar about future landings with his mental analysis-over the board. At the time of his death in early 1995, it is said he had a billion positions etched on his mind, and could play them all while walking on a beach. His kind may never be seen again.
A born genius, he graduated from high school at like age 15, had his 1st degree at age 19, and his Doctorate in math at age 28.
After winning the world title in 1955, he retired in 1958, to become math Professor at a major Florida University. He returned to the game in 1970. He won every National Ty he entered, after 1970, all without losing a game. The above left photo is about mid 1950's. On the right is his later years. *

Above right-Willie Ryan, circa mid 1930's. Ryan was brash, confident, cocky. His many books and bi-monthly magazines, reveal his colorful style. He never was world champion, but in 1949, playing Walter Hellman for the title, he trailed 4-1 after 30 games. With 10 games remaining, he won an amazing 3 games to tie the score. Thus, he was still the undefeated challenger. As an analyst, he took a back seat to no one. Probably- 3rd or 4th best of all time.
Read more about these two. For Tinsley Go here For Ryan Go Here

WyllieThe photo on the left is a young James Wyllie. (pronounced y-lee) As long as the games is played, the life and times, and his games, will be mentioned by current annotators and authors.
He lost his 1st bid for the world title, to the 1st world champion, Andrew Anderson, but won the title in the early 1850's, and held it for 40 years till the early 1890', when he lost to James Ferrie. Along the way, he lost it to young Robert Yates, immediately got it back, and then lost it to Robert Martins in one of their many matches, 6 or 7, and again won it back the next match. Martins was from England, Wyllie from Scotland, but after their great rivalry, Martins adopted "Glasgow" as his home town, and the people adopted him.
People traveled from all over G.B. to witness the Martins matches, and subscribe to the forth coming book of the games.
He twice came to America, to play our best players, beating them all except 19 year old Robert Yates. A years later, he defended the title against Yates, and in the famous 50th game, with a tie score, had Yates in a loss. Wyllie missed the win, then lost himself! Thus 20 year old Yates was world champion.
He defaulted the title back to Wyllie, when in a re-match contract, he decided to go to medical school instead, becoming Dr. Yates.
After his travels to America, he bragged about sailing home with all pockets full of money! A great ambassador, he put the game on the map.
One of the great "stories" about Wyllie, was when a faithful fan approached him and offered him a cigar before a match with Martins. "It will bring you luck claimed the fan." After the match, won by Wyllie, the excited fan came forward and said-"see it was the cigar-I told you it would bring you luck."
"Naw was Wyllie's reply, I gave it to Martins!" Truly a Checker/Draughts immortal. In later years, Martins and future world champion, Richard Jordan, also traveled to America to play our best.
You can read more about Yates on our oldtime players page.

PhotoJohn Drummond, was a prolific writer, issuing his many compilations from the late 1830's, thru the 1850's. he traveled the width and breadth of Scotland, the birthplace of Draughts, to visit the many towns, villages and cities, to learn what the local clubs used to start the game, with Red (then called black), and what white responded with. he them compiled the moves, adding tons of analysis of his own, to write his compilations.
Along with "Anderson's Guide", and with all this published play, great players came out of the woodwork!
These early pioneer's are about as famous today as they were in their days. Checker/Draughts immortals.

BolandMoving into the 20th century, the writings, and books, of R.L. Fortman, Tom Wiswell, and Ben Boland {photo-right) are standard books in all checker players libraries.
Boland authored several, his most famous being; "Bolands Famous Positions", "Bolands Masterpieces", and "Bolands Bridges." He began in about 1929, compiling actual games, and positions, from real games, leading to some of the games greatest Gem games and positions. He always gave proper credit to original authors, or players, and after showing a position, usually showed all the games that led to the position. His books feature "The History" of the material also.


Red to play and Win

In 1800!, Joshua Sturges published his famous "A Guide To The Game Of Draughts", the 2nd major book published on Checker/Draughts lines. Very accurate lines-still played today. Among them the difficult "Laird and Lady", where he missed the famous "Steele Shot." That was one of two shots he missed in his publication.
The other is pictured above. He played, with Red, to a draw.
Can you take Red, and win immediately?
A strong hint, is pitch a piece 23-27!
See solution on Animated board. Go Here

Red to play an Draw
The mechanics of "The Henderson Shot" -above-makes it the finest I've ever seen.
Hugh Henderson of Muirkirk Scotland, migrated to America in 1910, to live in Pittsburgh. He won both the 2nd (1912) and 3rd (1915) American Tournaments to become American champion.
Ryan published this shot in his "Modern Encyclopedia of Checkers", known as MEC. After the shot, I will remind you the after play-to dr-is about as difficult as the shot.
Ryan's run-up is: 10-15 21-17 9-13 17-14 11-16 24-19 15-24 28-19 6-9 22-18 8-11 32-28 1-6 25-21 16-20 29-25 11-16 19-15 7-10* 14-7 3-19 25-22 2-7* 21-17 7-10* 30-25 forming the diagram.
In the 1976 National Tournament- J. Seay vs E. McQueen -arrived at this as seen on the animated game.
Take a crack at it and sight solve it! The animated game begins 10-15 23-18 12-16- "The Kelso Cross." By transposition it arrives at the same position. The 10-15 23-18 run-up is the way Henderson found it, as far as I know.
Your about to see A Genuine Classic.
See The Animated Game

See Checkerworld.comlogo
Our main site is Visit it.

starOne of our problems on the left, shows how a single man entering kingrow for the 1st time, ends the turn. This is the same theme, and one of the originals. It has been set in embryonic setting also.
Red is man down and must regain, and seems about to do so. White goes 15-10 then Red forks two pieces and seems to draw. But White wins brilliantly. After 15-10 19-15 now 10-7! 15-8 (red is even on material) but 30-26! 21-30 (ends the turn) and 7-3 30-26 3-26! and white sweeps the board of all red pieces. Don't you feel sorry for Red?

PoeBen Franklin Two of America's greatest statesmen, Edgar Allan Poe and Benjamin Franklin, thought so highly of Checkers/Draughts, they wrote about the game. Click above photos to read.
"I hereby take occasion to assert that the highest powers of the human intellect..."

Our famous "dragboard." Drag the pieces on to form the position, drag them to play the solution. Drag pieces captured, anywhere. Replace men with kings where appropriate. Exclusive to our sites.

Checkers/Draughts is a hobby one can pursue for a lifetime. It is pure enjoyment, to study, and pass the hours, to un-cover it's deepest secrets.
Mastering it is not possible, with Marion Tinsley coming as close to human perfection, as anyone who ever tried.
A Checker game can go 5 quintillion ways, how ever many zero's that is.
No Uzi's or 9mm's, captured men are only pow's, and return to the board next game, to fight another war. Sport's athletes grow too old to continue playing. Not so in Checkers and Draughts.
Whether you are brilliant or dull, you can enjoy the game at your own level. Many cannot spot a simple 2 for 1, while others can visualize combinations of unbelievable depth and subtlety. The advanced player is enraptured with the sheer beauty and endless variety of patterns developed on the board. The dub gets a kick out of the simple traps by which he victimizes opponents, or himself ensnared.
Studying the game makes time fly as nothing else does, and boredom is unknown to it's followers. An endless source of amusement and recreation.

The above is taken-in part-from a page written in "Top Notch Checkers"-by Ed Scheidt. He was a well known master player, and former FBI director in NY.

White to play and Draw
A "Fife" landing. The 3x2 Fife (see Classic Positions link above) is a difficult opening, where Red goes a man down to gain a powerful game. This is one of them.
As always, white must give the man back in order to draw. 7 pieces are removed-pronto!
Go; 28-24* 3-7 (only effective move to regain the man) 17-14! (allowing a 3x1 shot) 6-9* (red must take the men) 6-9 13-6 2-27 and a man down now, white has a shot with 19-15 11-18 20-2! Drawn.
Sight solving these is imperative and Fife landings must be known.

diagdiagWhat you can see is what you play. Visualazation. On the left, Red has but one way to draw. So does White! Here is the play. Pitch 13-17! 22-13 7-10 NOW it's white's turn to find the dr-with 15-11! 8-22 26-17 12-16 28-24 10-15! 17-10 4-8. Can you see this far? Cont; 24-19! 15-24 21-17 6-15 13-6 1-10 forms diagram on the right. White draws with the famous in-out shot by 31-26! 24-31 (ends the turn) 17-13 31-22 and 25-4 drawn! An elegant but deep combination of moves. Like a military General, you led your army out of defeat. A ship's Captain, avoiding the rocks and shoals. A conductor with perfect timing. Poetry that rhymes. Red drew, as did white, because the proper moves-fit. Deep and beautiful combinations like this, abound in Checkers.
In case you didn't visualize all that, here is the complete game and the draw just given. See it all on Animated Board
photoMany a player has found the game too difficult to even reach the Expert level. It is highly intellectual and demanding. Some, are born with what is called a "photographic memory", and remembering positions would be tremendous advantage over opponents. A famed Basketball player of the 1960's-70's era was said to have memorized the entire NY City phone book!-by simply reading it, with a copy of it etched on his mind.
Well, the rest of us don't have such powers of visualazation.
Marion Tinsley probably had that power.
We have three beginner problem pages. At 1st, one probably needs to see the solution. Soon after, it is memorized. But after looking at hundreds more, memory can fail.
When learned properly, these positions become "understood", and the reason behind the correct moves, replaces memory with understanding. That is the goal of all who pursue the game, too play it well.
That is also the goal of this site, and our main site Both are teaching sites. Return often, as refreshing one's mind, and doing your homework is necessary. Solving the many positions, depends on you. Getting out of yourself, to solve the positions, is something all can learn.

OldburyPictured on the left Derek Oldbury, from England. He won the British Title in 1955, and held it till his death in 1994.
In 1974, he had Tinsley in a loss at the National Ty, but thinking two different moves would win, chose the wrong one, and Tinsley drew the game, then won the final game and the Ty! Oldbury returned to play in the U.S. 1976 National, and won it.
He then spent his time writing his 6 volume Encyclopedia. By the early 1990', he challenged for the world title. By that time, Tinsley had resigned the title and Oldbury defeated America's Richard Hallett, to become world champion. He reigned as long as British champion as Wyllie did in the prior century.
Oldbury was born a paraplegic, but that handicap didn't affect his great mind. I personally rank him among the top 10 best of all time.

The rest of the action takes place on our interior pages, where the finest games, and positions, are shown, professionally annotated. See them all, and learn to play well.