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Getting Started with Checkers - Setting Up the Checkers Board

Just like chess, the game of checkers is played on a board that is made up of squares. These squares are laid out in eight columns and eight rows, making a total of 64 squares.

Checkers Board Setup for Beginners

Checkers is a game that is intended for only two players. Each of these players will receive twelve, flat disk like playing pieces, all of which are to be placed only on the black squares of the checkerboard. Now this next part is often confusing to the beginning checkers player–and even the experienced ones if they have not played the game in a while. In checkers board setup, make sure that there is a light colored square in the lower right hand corner of the checker board. A good phrase that will help you remember this is “white goes right”. This should leave no doubt as to where the checker pieces will go, as well as how to orient the checker board.

The next step in checkers board setup is designating the checker pieces themselves. Keep in mind that the darker colored checkers are in most cases designated as black. Conversely, the lighter colored checker pieces are in most cases designated as white. Now as to the question of which color or player will make the first move, black is almost always allowed to make a move first. In casual playing situations however, any player may be assigned to make the first move.

While there is definitely a bit of an advantage to being allowed to make the first move in checkers–and most beginners will in fact often want to be the one to do so–at the beginner level of playing checkers, there is often only a very slight advantage to being able to make the first move of the checkers game.

Checker Notation

Once you have started playing checkers, you may want to record your game by using some type of checker notation. Beginning on the top left of the checker board, the first black square–which is actually the second square from the left–is numbered “1”, with the following black squares numbered sequentially from left to right, top to bottom. Recording a checkers move involves writing down the number of the square where the move began, followed by the number of the square where the piece was moved.

While notation is rarely done in casual game settings, it is absolutely essential in tournament checker games.

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