Hello, everyone !
I am very busy now with SIXTH,
and don't have enough time to post a full and complete article about this. Couple years ago I wanted to publish this in "Draughts Razoo
" magazine, and Nick McBride was very happy with this idea, but unfortunately it was never materialized.
I am going to publish here several major ideas of this concept and you all are welcome to discuss and continue develop the theory.
This theory of "FREEDOM"
is well apply to the most (all ?) board games, not only checkers ... but also chess, GO, other forms of checkers etc
1. Both partners in the beginning of game have "even" or almost even amount of freedom. In other words - initial position 12x12 is drawn if both players play it right and don't lose much freedom.
2. The main goal game - eliminate opportent freedom:
capture all pieces or block them from making any moves. In this case freedom of opponents gets to zero and opponent lose the game.
3. In any position partners try to achieve one of two (or both goals) - increase self freedom of pieces or eliminate (minimize) the freedom of opponent pieces.
4. Pieces, which have minimum freedom are weak: for instance - red mans on 21 or 28 etc
5. Positions with minimum freedom are weak (bad forms, no trades, limited way to go etc).
6. Why is is so imprtant (in general) to keep first row to the rest of game ... because pieces in the first row have maximum freedom and can go anywhere, and also - this minimize opponent freedom going for Kings.
5. Author of Chinook and some other people call this "mobility" instead "freedom"
6. Fighting for center, pitching in order to get King behind etc - thats all are strategic components of basic principle - "fighting for freedom"
7. The very famous Tom Wiswell quote : "Moves which disturb your position less - disturb position of your oppornent most"
(not sure about exact quoting) - is just another presentation of the same idea.
8. The principe of freedom is very basic. It can't help you to find a right move
without deep calculations. But one thing is for sure - the best move in each position is the one which eventually (24 pieces database !) leads to impRove the freedom of your pieces.
9. In real game you have to use this theory to find the best move and always estimate freedom balance in position.
Now I propose everyone to give here examples, which supports the theory or contra arguments. I maynot respond you immediately, but you can continue the dialogue w/o me.
Also, it will be very interesting to hear - what our programmers think about this idea.