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  How Opening Rankings Were Computed The American Checker Federation voted to add twelve new openings to the three-move tournament deck at the 2003 GAYP U.S. Nationals in Anderson, South Carolina, increasing the three-move deck from 144 to 156 openings. The original 144-opening deck was ranked based on opening strength by Grandmaster Richard Pask of England. You can view these original rankings (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader). Mr. Pask explained his rankings as follows:

NOTE: "Although the scores, which have no strict mathematical basis, have been devised to avoid clumsy terminology, it is worth stating that in broad terms a Black score of 15-25 indicates White is Strong, 26-42 that White is Best, 43-57 that the power is evenly divided, 58-74 that Black is Best and 75-85 that Black is Strong. (0-14 would indicate a Black loss; 86-100 a Black win!)

For example, it seems reasonable to me that both 9-14 22-17 11-15 (25-22) and 11-15 21-17 9-14 (25-21) be rated 50-50 while 9-14 23-18 14-23 gets the most extreme rating of 85-15 (just sound). Once you have set these boundaries and are intent on internal consistency (you have to look at the best fourth move available as above), there isn't as much room for manoeuvre as there might appear."

The twelve openings added to the three-move deck were used for many years in postal matches before their acceptance into tournament play. The ACF recruited George Miller, Brian Hinkle, and Jerry Childers, three of the world's finest postal analysts, to rank the strength of these formerly barred openings based on Richard Pask's original rankings. The ranks they provided were then totalled as shown below. The twelve new openings are shown in red.



Return to the complete Rankings of the 156-Opening Three-Move Deck.
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