I've spent the last few weeks updating a lot of code and configuration; the Heroku stack, ruby, rails, libraries, postgres, redis, the javascript environment, etc. I don't think you'll see much difference in the site or app but it had to be done to keep the site up. A lot of things had reached end-of-life. As a bonus, it should be more secure and easier to maintain in the future.

I'm thrilled that so many people are still enjoying checkercruncher, so I'll do what I can to keep it running smoothly. This was a lot change on the back end so if you run into difficulties, let me know on the forum.

Basically Done.

Thank you all for being a part of Checker Cruncher. I've had a great time building this place, interacting with the people here, and being part of the larger checkers community. I've even made some friends despite being little more than a name on the internet. Unfortunately it is time to acknowledge the reality that I no longer have time to continue regular development.

I will of course leave the site up and remain available on the forum. And I'll continue with bug fixes for the foreseeable future. I'm proud of the work I've done and grateful for the contributions the community have made. It's not just mine anymore and it wouldn't be fair to let it die. To that end, subscriptions continue to be deeply appreciated, it costs about $100 a month to run the servers.

If anyone wants to contribute their time and expertise to checker cruncher, please send me an email. I am thinking about open sourcing the project and I'd love to see the site continue to improve and grow even if I'm not the driving force.

Thank you, and good luck on your next puzzle.

Social Sign In

It's much easier now to create an account. Just sign in with Facebook or Google and you're done. We won't use or sell any of your profile information. It's just for signing in and maybe much later to let you challenge your friends.

Anonymous users now see easier puzzles. Beginners were getting frustrated with hopelessly difficult problems. This should help that, but if you liked the harder puzzles or start seeing repeats, create an account!

And I've finished the code migration from coffeescript to typescript. This was a painful change but it should make future development easier and less error prone.

As always, let me know what you think in the forum. Enjoy!

4000 New Puzzles!

I Uploaded the latest batch of puzzles bringing our total to over 14,000! The generator has now gone though almost all the games in the database. I can probably get about 600 more over the next couple weeks but then I'll need more games. I have a bunch from Eric Strange (thanks!) I haven't uploaded yet.

There are also a few minor bug and performance improvements, and some updates on the back end to ease future development. And finally I probably added some new bugs to fix later.

As always, let me know what you think in the forum. Enjoy!

Interface improvements

A few interface improvements for newbies and seasoned players alike. Arrows now show missed capture opportunities and ambiguous moves which should help prevent some confusion. Also there is a new quick move option in the settings page to streamline play. It's quite nice, I'm debating making it the default.

And I fixed a few bugs, including an annoying one where where capture sounds were playing too many times during ambiguous captures. And the puzzle's now make the opponent's moves even after they've been solved which should be more consistent.

As always, let me know what you think in the forum.

Lots of little changes

Thanks to Kukaburra for many of these suggestions! And to Lloyd for noticing and telling me about a bug before any serious damage was done. Deleting comments was also deleting problems!

  • Added cheaper yearly subscriptions.
  • Added subscription status page with privacy settings for premium users.
  • Added number of correct attempts and average rating of mistakes in problem review.
  • Main site should now sync name and email changes to forum.
  • The users index is now filterable to only active accounts.

As always, let me know what you think in the forum.

More Customization Options.

Thanks to Bob Newell for this suggestion! Definitely check out his Checkers Webzine if you haven't already. Anyway, the settings page now has a few more options for tuning the look and feel of Checker Cruncher. You can turn off the board's algebraic notation, numbered board, and perspective effects if you don't like them.

I do recommend leaving the numbered board on unless you are very used to the checkers notation, especially when playing from the top. Otherwise it's easy to get confused on which way your pieces are moving and hard to follow the analysis in the comments and engine lines.

As always, let me know what you think in the forum.

Comments and Customization.

You may have already noticed the new board colors. There are new options available for board size, color, piece set, and difficulty available on the settings page. My personal favorite is the original pieces on the vinyl board, but check it out, you might prefer the wood pieces or the marble board. With the infrastructure in place it's easy to add more sets so if you know how to draw and want to contribute, shoot me an email.

You can also now vote on individual puzzles. Voting helps me find and disable the worst puzzles and helps other players find and enjoy the best ones. I may also add personal favorites pages if there is demand, it would be easy to do.

And lastly, comments are a place to help yourself (by asking questions) or future puzzlers (by answering them). They aren't shown until after the attempt is made so don't worry about spoilers.

Questions that that might spawn long threads, like pointing out puzzles that should be removed are probably better placed on the forum. But interesting lines or confusion about a defense or just simple comments are all welcome right next to the puzzle.

I'm planning on allowing mini-boards in the comments to make posting variations easier. But that looks tough to get right so it might be a while and I wanted to release what already works.


Over 10,000 puzzles!

The problem generator has now seen several rounds of improvement and it's finally in a pretty good place. I like most of the puzzles it builds and I'm going to need some time looking at them and getting feedback before I'm able to improve it further.

I've left it running all week so as I write this we have over 10,000 puzzles. That means we have a wide range of difficulties available and nobody should be seeing a lot of repeats for a while. After the ratings stabilize a bit I'll add the next batch.

As usual, the new puzzles don't have an established rating so until they get sorted you'll see some puzzles that are too easy or too difficult. Every time you get one of these you're improving the site for everyone else by helping to sort the puzzles.

Thanks and good luck!

Big update

Three things came together all at once!

Below are a few details, as always, try these out and let me know what you think in the forum.

1) The problem generator should build fewer problems with too many alternate moves, especially in long capturing sequences. It should also be smarter about ending promptly when you find the answer instead of asking for a extra move or two. I had built over 1000 new puzzles but a discovered bug left me suspicious about their quality and I had to delete them. It's fixed and running again so a bunch more are on the way very soon.

2) We now have an android app! It works the same way as the mobile web page but there is a lot more screen space available. You can opt-in to the beta here. It works pretty well for me but I'd like some more data before pushing it out to the public app store. The iphone version is tougher because of their store policies, let me know if this is a priority for you.

3) And lastly, as requested in the forum, you can now support Checker Cruncher's development and server costs by subscribing to a premium membership. If you enjoy Checker Cruncher and want to support it this is a great way to do so. Check the membership page for details, or the supporters page to see who's already there.

Thank you and enjoy.

Yet better problem selection

A couple of improvements for me and for you!
  • Users should be less likely to see problems repeatedly.
  • I changed the start next problem from a form submission to a link so you can now bookmark or navigate directly to it.
  • I Fixed a bug causing crashes on phones when the session expired.
  • I Added better logging, crash reports, and email notifications to the backend. Which should help tracking down issues more quickly.
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