Some researchers have "solved" checkers. That is, they have a program and database that will win or draw any game, playing either color.
They worked by building an end-game database of all positions with 10 or fewer pieces. It doesn’t matter how you get to that level; once you’re there, the database can guarantee a favorable result.
The project’s home page is here; there’s a New York Times story here.
Update: see the excellent IEEE Spectrum article on the program.