Checker types in International Games

Historically, there have been different types of checkers and in various variations. Having a little background on this will broaden our knowledge a bit more in checkers.

When it comes to international tournaments checkers is played in two main categories, namely, Go-As-You Please (GAYP) and the so-called 3-Move Restriction. GAYP is the liberal kind of checkers which does not have lots of restrictions in the game. When we talk of restrictions in checkers we often refer to the first few opening moves in the game. It is easier to win in a GAYP game because of the advantage of the first opening move.

The 3-Move Restriction checkers, or 3-Move, has more restrictions, primarily the first few moves in the game. We cannot just opt for a move and strategize on that. What this checker type demands is a random (as against sequential) selection on the first moves in the game. There is a list of official 3-move initial openings chosen at random. This is said to equalize the play at the first stage of the game.

The logic is that the player to move first in the game often gets the advantage and the other player gets only to react to the moves of the first player. So the 3-Move type of checkers reduces these advantages and disadvantages and even eliminates checkers openings known to be weak moves. The main goal is to avoid having a tournament game end up in a draw. A draw is time consuming; finishing one game in a tournament in itself is often a tedious process.

The 3-Move type is more preferred by more serious players and especially in international tournaments. It makes things faster because of the elimination of draws. When we opt for an opening move in the game, we may use the same the next time around. But in the second game we must exchange places with the opponent if we plan to use the same opening. This is said to also prevent having to use the same strategy to our disadvantage.

There are international tournaments for both GAYP and 3-Move. More players look up to the 3-Move game as the nobler of the two. It has a more disciplined image and prestige. To date, the US National Tournament is the most sought-after checkers contest worldwide. The champion in this tilt is then pitted against the best in the world championship.

The different types of checkers can teach us different checker trends. It would be good for our checkers exposure to try both.

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