Tonight I have a very good game of Chinese checker and of course I won the game. I used to play this game a lot when I was a little kid and I am pretty good at it. There are many different versions of Chinese checker out there. However for those who grown up in Hong Kong, the real Chinese checker must use colored marble pieces and paper board with a Temple of Heaven picture on the box.
I always thought Chinese checker is invented by Chinese, actually the game was invented in German. The rules we use to play is actually not the official rule, it called the fast hopping variation. In the official rule, the pieces can only hop over adjacent pieces. Hhopping long distance symmetrically as long as no other piece is block the way is a Hong Kong only variation.
My winning strategy of Chinese checker is don’t use the greedy algorithm. Many people always look for the longest hop for the next move. I like to setup paths for myself and other players to speed up the game. It is OK for other players to get their pieces into place fast, as long as you are faster then them. I will leave escape route for the player on opposite side, so that he can clear his area for my pieces to move in. I don’t like blocking other players’ path, slowing down the game is not fun. However when it is close to the end of the game, taking down the path is really fun. That would really hinder the progress of other players. In tonight’s game, I place my piece right in the middle of the board, so everyone use it as spring board. When I take move it away after most of my pieces are in place, I really jeopardized other players’ plan. That’s the fun of the game.