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Chess

I must confess that I cannot claim to be much of a chessplayer myself. However, I still found the game interesting enough to play a few games from time to time, a few even against human opponents when opportunity presented itself. Also, I have read about the game with interest.

Despite such limited qualifications, I offer several pages to the world of people interested in this game, which may be divided into three categories.

Pages about Chess itself, as normally played

The first page lists a few of the most well-known named chess openings, with a few brief comments.

The second page includes some chess diagrams. I illustrate a game of chess with a diagram for every move, with comments for each move. Part of the intent is that someone reading the page might learn something about how chess is played.

I chose a game that was fun and exciting, so that reading the page might be entertaining. The Immortal Game, Anderssen-Kieseritzky, 1851.

The third page presents another famous game with a diagram for every move, the 50th game of the series of matches between MacDonnell and La Bourdonnais in 1834; this game was also hailed as "Immortal".

The fourth page discusses a number of old and unusual systems of Chess notation in addition to the well-known descriptive

Pages about some suggestions of mine for Chess

The first page contains two comments about the game.

The first notes that the Castling rule might be easier to understand if it were explained in terms of the King moving into check, from the threat of an en passant capture!

The second advocates giving the player who succeeds in forcing stalemate not a full point, but a small fraction of a point above a draw, so that games might be more hard-fought and less likely to end in draws.

The second page includes general comments on the difficulties Chess faces in improving its popularity, a theme dealt with on other pages that describe measures proposed as solutions.

The third page discusses Dynamic Scoring, a proposal to modify how games of Chess are scored which is inspired by the success of the system of komidashi used in Go in encouraging more aggressive tactical play. This is not to be confused with the method of assessing the impact of government policies on tax revenues which shows that tax cuts for the rich, because they stimulate the economy, should not be expected to decrease government revenues as much as simple arithmetic might indicate.

A series of five pages:

under that third page continues the discussion.

The eighth page describes a proposal for modifying the rating system for chess players. Rather than being a completely novel system, it is based on the current Elo ratings system, but with elements of the older Harkness system used in such a way as to exploit its weaknesses as a source of strength.

The ninth page presents a suggestion of mine for an alternative to the Neustadtl and Bucholz tiebreak systems.

and algebraic systems.

Pages about historical forms of Chess played at other times or in other lands

The first page in this section gives a brief account of several different forms of chess played in different countries.

The second page gives a brief account of a few classic enlarged variants of chess.

The third page discusses Warring States Chess, a Chinese game for seven players.

The fourth page discusses the Game of the Three Kingdoms, a version of Chinese Chess for three players.

The fifth page describes Jetan, the game of Chess played on Mars, as invented by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

The sixth page discusses War-Chess, an interesting early attempt at a wargame dating from 1866.

Some pages about Hexagonal Chess

The first page contains a discussion of forms of chess played on a board made of hexagons.

The second page continues that discussion for boards with the hexagons pointed the other way (that is, with their pointy ends pointing up and down).

Other Recent Variations of Chess

The first page in this section contains an attempt on my part to reconstruct the rules of Waider's version of Chess for three players.

The second page deals with many of the older and simpler attempts to construct a new, enlarged version of Chess by adding a few pieces with new moves.

The third page suggests a set of simplified rules for the four-player version of western Chess.

Pages about variant forms of chess of my own invention

The first page of this part illustrates a chess variant of my own devising which includes many of the special pieces used by problemists for Fairy Chess, and a version with not quite as many different kinds of men has recently been added.

The second page now contains my latest attempt at Random Variant Chess. The scoring system is revised so that while the point value of stalemate and a win by material superiority is the same for both players, a victory by material superiority is decided by giving additional points to Black, thus achieving a closer analogy to komidashi in Go, and being similar to the practice in Korean Chess.

An additional page following on from that page describes the game Chess 2016. It is introduced with simpler versions, Chess 56 and Chess 112. These games have a different design for the board, aimed at preserving certain aspects of traditional Chess, most specifically at avoiding any disruptive changes to Castling.

Another additional page following on from that page describes an attempt to preserve Castling without changing the shape of the board from that of Random Variant chess, a rectangular board of 8 ranks and 12 files.

And another additional page illustrates my initial attempt at Random Variant Chess, which used the pieces devised for Leaping Bat Chess, but on a smaller board, on which a variant is played selected randomly from a list of 45 possibilities. The page also includes a revision that had been made, applicable both to the basic version of this variant and to the extended versions which offer more possible arrays, that produces arrays which may be preferred on account of providing the more traditional secured castled position for the King.

The third page discusses three-dimensional chess.

The fourth page looks at another way in which it has sometimes been proposed to improve chess, by making it a slightly more realistic simulation of warfare.

The fifth page illustrates how, inspired by the Chinese Game of the Three Kingdoms, one could have chess for five players.

The seventh page illustrates a board for three-player chess that combines two different distortions used to create such a board, giving interesting possibilities, and notes how it can also be used by two, four, or six players.

The eighth page illustrates a modification of Chess that I would have thought would have occured to others, either as a novel game or as a problem theme, many times before, allowing the pieces to play on the points as well as the squres.

The ninth page discusses reducing draws by drawing inspiration from Shogi.

The tenth page discusses an attempt to modify Chess by allowing two moves per turn, but only in the early part of the game, in an attempt to provide an exact balance between White and Black without changing the game too drastically.

The eleventh page takes the idea of expanding the conventional chessboard to a somewhat three-dimensional form, without special equipment other than a chessboard somewhat too large for the chessmen used upon it, as used in Spectral Realm Chess as discussed on the eighth page, and applies it to allowing one to drop captured pieces on the board in Chess as is done in Shogi.

The twelfth page offers a straightforwards enlarged chess variant, in the tradition of such variants as Capablanca Chess, but with a somewhat greater enlargement of the board, to 10 ranks and 12 files, with the intent of packing as much of an increase in complexity of the game as possible into that space.

The next page provides another such game, Antimatter Universe Flag Chess, and

the one after still another one.

Then, the fifteenth page describes Rotating Spaceship Chess.

The sixteenth page examines how the board can be extended in a novel way that reduces the extent to which Castling is disrupted when several new pieces are added to the board.

The seventeenth page provides still another novel variant on a 12 by 12 board, with a feature that almost makes it two games in one - and so I call it Prequel Chess.

The eighteenth page describes Reformed Shatranj, where the Bishop and the Queen are given moves similar to their old moves in Shatranj, but sufficiently more powerful to make the game likely to be as interesting as conventional Chess.

The nineteenth page describes what started out as another attempt of mine at improving Random Variant Chess, and which ended up as two ordinary variants, the latter of which adds an important secondary objective to the game.


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