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Checkers 1 - Online Help

Quick Start

  • Start game: Select Start - New game against the computer. The Start menu is in the upper left corner of the application window.
  • Make moves: Point and click on the piece to be moved, point and click on the destination square. You can also drag&drop the pieces.
  • The status of the application is displayed in the lower left corner of the window.

Application Controls


Start Menu

  • Get the full version...** - Displays the Get the full version dialog. This dialog has three buttons:
    • Buy serial number - Opens a Web page that shows the price of a serial number and allows you to purchase it online. The serial number(s) are delivered to the email address that you specify during the purchase.
    • Enter serial number - Opens a dialog where the purchased serial number shall be entered. The application will be upgraded to the full version upon entering a valid serial number.
    • Return to game - Closes the dialog.
  • Rematch - Starts a new game with the same settings as the last game and swaps the sides. (Only available if a game has been finished or is in progress).
  • New game against the computer - Starts a new game without time control with the same settings as the last game played (or with the defaults if no game has been played yet).
  • New timed game against the computer* - Starts a new timed game with the same settings as the last timed game played (or with the defaults if no game has been played yet). In timed games, each player has a per-game time limit and eventually a per-move time bonus.
  • New game with custom settings...* - Opens the New game dialog that lets user select game parameters. In the dialog, there are three sections:
    • Player setup - This section lets you select from a single player game, two player game (at one computer) and a computer-vs-computer game.
    • View - Selects the color that will be adjacent to the viewer (starting at the lower side of the checkerboard/screen) and sets who will play this color (player or computer).
    • Clock - Determines if there should be time control in the game. Allows setting a per-game time limit for each side and optionally a per-move bonus.
  • Exit - Quits the application.


*Only available in the full version.
**Only displayed in the free version.


File Menu

  • Open...* - Opens a game from file using the standard file open dialog. The application supports the standard Portable Draughts Notation (PDN) format as well as its application-specific extended version Extended Draughts Notation (EDN). The PDN format is compatible with other checker programs. This application can open PDN files that contain multiple games. In such case, an additional Select game dialog will be displayed. The EDN format is used for recording edit mode operations, i.e., alterations of checkerboard set-up beyond regular game play, cf. the Edit menu below.
  • Save* - Saves the current game into the file that was previously opened (applicable to single-game PDNs only, will not overwrite a multi-game PDN) or that was previously saved.
  • Save as...* - Lets the user select a new or existing target file using the standard file save dialog. The current game is stored to the file. This application always stores only one game into a single file. If the target file exists then its content is overwritten.


*Only available in the full version.


Game Menu

  • White* - Chooses who controls the white side (player or computer). Selecting an item resets the current move time.
  • Black* - Chooses who controls the black side (player or computer). Selecting an item resets the current move time.
  • Swap sides* - Swaps the sides. The checkerboard is rotated by 180 degrees and the players swap the control of the colors.
  • Beginning - Returns the game to the initial state. It is then possible to move forward using the History panel or the Navigation buttons. This menu item and the next one are only displayed if the history contains at least two entries.
  • Last move - Advances the game to the last move.


*Only available in the full version.


Advisor Menu

  • Number of possible moves* - Shows the number of legal moves for the current position in the Status bar.
  • Advise move* - Starts computation of the best move for the current position. The quality of the result depends on the level assigned to the given color, cf. the Difficulty menu. Once the computation finishes, the result is displayed in the Status bar and graphically highlighted on the checkerboard. This menu item is only displayed when applicable (a move can be done and a computation is not in progress already).


*Only available in the full version.


Difficulty Menu

  • Quick reactions of the computer* - If checked, then the computer starts computation immediately when it is computer's turn; it calculates in parallel to the animation of the previous move. This makes the reaction time shorter.
  • Common difficulty setting for both sides - If checked then the same difficulty (skill, artificial intelligence, AI) level will be applied when computer calculates moves for either side. Otherwise, a different level can be assigned to white and black. This can be utilized to have a different level of advised moves and opponent moves. Or you may want black AI to be stronger than white AI, because white has the first move advantage.
  • Beginner - the lowest difficulty setting, ELO about 700.
  • Novice - the default setting, ELO about 900.
  • Hobby player - ELO about 1100.
  • Intermediate* - ELO about 1300.
  • Club player* - ELO about 1500.
  • Higher class player* - ELO about 1700.
  • Expert* - ELO about 1900.
  • Vicemaster* - ELO about 2100.
  • Master* - ELO about 2300.
  • Grandmaster* - the highest difficulty setting, ELO about 2500.
  • Adjust to the time control* - If checked then the difficulty level is automatically decreased depending on the remaining time so that the computer takes appropriate time to make a move. The advantage of this setting is that the computer is less likely to run out of time. The disadvantage of this setting is that the actual difficulty level depends on the speed of the PC.


*Only available in the full version.


View Menu

  • White's view - Turns the checkerboard so that the a1 square is in the lower left corner of the checkerboard.
  • Black's view - Turns the checkerboard so that the a1 square is in the upper right corner of the checkerboard.
  • Animate moves - If this menu item is checked then the moves are animated.
  • Highlight last move - If checked, then the source and destination squares of the last move are highlighted.
  • Highlight possible moves - If checked, then possible destination squares are highlighted every time the player clicks on a piece.
  • Highlight computed moves - If checked, then the so far best move is highlighted during computer's computations. This provides a graphical representation of the move selection process.
  • Show square numbers - If checked, then square numbers are shown on the checkerboard. These numbers are in accordance with the History, Evaluation, and Main variation panels.
  • Show main variation* - If checked, then the Main variation is displayed.
  • Show taken pieces* - If checked, then the Taken pieces are displayed.


*Only available in the full version.


Pieces Menu

Visual styles.


Board Menu

Visual styles.


Background Menu

Visual styles.

  • Transparent background - If checked, then the main window has a transparent background providing a modern look. Otherwise, the background is grey which may improve text readability.

Edit Menu

  • Delete history after selected move* - Deletes all moves that follow the current position from the History list. This may be useful prior to saving a game if omitting some moves is desired.
  • Player may override computer's moves* - If checked then the player can make a move instead of the computer when it is computer's turn. This may be useful if the player wants to test a different position than the computer would choose.
  • Edit mode* - If this menu item is checked then the application enters the edit mode. In this mode, it is possible to move pieces arbitrarily across the board, off the board and back. Use the Taken pieces panel to move the pieces off the board and back on. Place pawns on the 1st or 8th rank in order to promote them. The game play is paused, but it is possible to use the Advise move function to analyze the position.
  • Edit from empty board* - Clears the board and turns the edit mode on.
  • Edit from basic setup* - Sets pieces up into the starting formation and turns the edit mode on.
  • Move number and the side to play next...* - Opens a dialog that allows setting the next move number and the side to play next (black or white).


*Only available in the full version.


Help Menu

  • Application controls... - Launches this help page.
  • Game rules... - Displays the rules of American checkers.
  • About... - Displays the About dialog with version and copyright information, optionally shows the End User License Agreement (EULA).

2. Checkerboard

This part of the screen represents the game position and allows the player to make moves. Point and click on the piece to be moved, point and click on the destination square. You can also drag&drop the pieces.


3. History

This panel displays move history for the current game. The moves are written in PDN Notation. The panel also allows to browse the history. Simply click on a move on the list and the position will be shown on the checkerboard. After selecting a position, it is possible to play it: if it is player's turn then the player can simply make a move, if it is computer's turn then click the Continue here button in order for the computer to continue from the selected position. History browsing is also allowed during computer's move computation, the game will return to the position that the computer calculates as soon as the computation is finished.

  • Back - Returns to the previous position.
  • Forward - Moves ahead to the next position.
  • Continue here - Makes the computer continue from the current position. Only applicable if it is computer's turn and the computer does not calculate already.

5. Clock

In games without time limit, the clock shows the time the player or the computer takes to make a move (i.e., time elapsed since the last move). In timed games* the clock shows the remaining time the players have in the game.


*Only available in the full version.


6. Main Variation*

This panel displays the expected upcoming move sequence. The length of the sequence depends on the selected difficulty level. This panel can be shown or hidden via the View menu.


*Only available in the full version.


7. Evaluation

The computer displays the evaluation of the current position as a byproduct of move calculations (in the units of centipawns, 1 pawn = 100 points). The panel shows the evaluation of each move that the computer selects as a good candidate. The figures can be used to asses the status of the game. Positive numbers indicate white's advantage, negative numbers indicate black's advantage.


8. Computation Control

This area shows computation progress and allows stopping the computation by clicking the Stop button. A stopped computation can be resumed by clicking the Continue here button.


9. Taken Pieces*

This panel shows pieces that have been captured during the game. Taken pieces can be shown or hidden via the View menu.


*Only available in the full version.


10. Status Bar

This area shows the status of the application.