Playing Checkers against a Computer Vs. Playing Checkers against a Human Player
Almost all checkers players started out playing the game against an actual live human being–possibly a member of the family or a neighbor. A large part of the appeal of checkers is after all the chance to engage in a highly enjoyable leisure activity with a fellow checkers aficionado. There may be times however when playing against a human player is impossible, impractical or simply not what you want at the moment. This is where the chance to play checkers against a computer comes in handy.
Of course just like anything else, playing checkers against a computer has a number of advantages and disadvantages…but then again so does playing with a human being! Below, we go into detail about some of the implications of each playing experience.
One of the things that is sorely lacking in playing checkers against a computer is of course the absence of any human interaction. This is a large part of the game’s appeal for many players after all, and playing against a machine can leave you feeling cold and alienated. However, the advantage is that computers never get tired, nor will they annoy you with senseless chatter that can distract you from the game!
Extensive Database of Expert Moves and Strategies
Here is one area where computers definitely shine...although it may also be a disadvantage depending on how you look at it! Most computer checkers programs come with extensive databases of moves and strategies that are derived from some of the best checkers players in the world. Chinook for example can be played with a 6 piece databases enabled, which means that it has perfect knowledge of all the possible positions with 6 or fewer pieces on the board. While this can make the game quite hard to beat, the advantage is of course that you will be able to test your skill against what are almost like the best players in the world. Chinook has in fact won the World Championship in 1994, making it the first ever computer checkers programs to do so. Really now: who among us actually has the chance to play against a World Checkers Champion?
Different Levels of Skill
Of course, the other side of the coin is that computer checkers programs usually allow you to adjust the skill level of your opponent. You can typically select from novice, amateur, intermediate, and advanced levels, which make it easy for you to decide on the level you want to play at. Human players on the other hand will always play at the level that they are able to.
The Bottom Line
So which makes the ideal checkers opponent: computers or human players? Well, ultimately it is up to you to decide, but the fact is that both have their place and you will likely enjoy playing with both of them at different times.