I'm a computer programmer trainer and sometimes I do some puzzle exercises with my students. Right now we did a checkers game and I would like to make them program to solve something with their checkers board. Do you know any interesting puzzle?

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    $\begingroup$ This is too broad. Can you be more specific? What properties should this puzzle have? How long should it take to solve? What level of programming should it require? Maybe you should ask this at a programming site. $\endgroup$ – xnor Nov 20 '14 at 1:03

How about, as a suggestion:

  • maximisation of possible jumps (i.e. "What is a position giving the highest possible number of jumps in one move?").
  • And how many pieces are required to achieve this maximum (i.e. how many of each side)?
  • Obviously, what is the number?

Using a program, find a series of checkers turns that result in the original position, but with all kings, (use the regular setup of checkers in the start)

Use a program you made to find how many kings you can place on a checkers board where each king can legally capture exactly 2 pieces? Or is this even possible?

  • $\begingroup$ If, near the middle of the board, one places two kings of each color in a "diamond" shape, I would think that would satisfy the constraints of each king having a choice of two other kings that it could capture; is that what you meant, or did you mean a situation where on the next turn any king could make a double capture? If you meant the former, then obviously what you describe is possible since two kings of each color could be placed that way, but 33 could not, so clearly some maximum must exist. $\endgroup$ – supercat Nov 22 '14 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ @super I meant that on the next turn, every piece can be captures by exactly 2 pieces. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 22 '14 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ So would the described "diamond-shape" pattern apply? $\endgroup$ – supercat Nov 22 '14 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Super Yes. As long as ever king is attacked by 2 pieces :D $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 22 '14 at 19:59

Some other ideas are finding zugzwangs or forced ties with the minimal or maximum number of pieces. Maybe minimal for one side and maximum for the other.

You could also give them a couple of pre-set boards and tell them to find the steps taken by either side to ensure a win. That might turn into some sort of branching tree, so you'd have to be careful with the starting positions to ensure both an optimal strategy and not make it too complex.


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