View Full Version : HICC September Chess Variants Weekender

30-07-2015, 02:11 PM
Hobart International Chess Club September Chess 960 and Bullet Horde Weekender

A fun and family friendly day of chess misadventures

The HICC is hosting a fun fundraising Chess Variants weekender on the afternoon of Saturday September the 26th. The Weekender will consist of a Rapid play Chess 960 Competition with a time control of 10 minutes game time, and then a Bullet Horde Chess tournament with a time control of 2 minutes game time with a 1 second increment from move 1. Details of these variants can be seen on the back of this sheet.

Princes Street Primary School
(Princes Street Sandy Bay TAS 7005)

Saturday the 26th of September

What time:
Rapid 960 Round 1: 1pm, Round2: 1:30pm, Round 3: 2pm, Round 4: 2:30pm, Round 5: 3pm, Round 6: 3:30pm, Final Round: 4pm.

Bullet Horde Tournament 5pm to 6:30pm

How much:
Entry Fee Rapid 960 $20
Entry Fee Bullet Horde $10
Entry Fee Both Tournaments $25

This is a fundraising event, all entry fees will be donated to the HIJCC to support Junior Chess Coaching in Hobart.

How to enter:
Enter online at the September Variants (http://www.tasmanianchessassociation.org/hobart-international-chess-club-events/september-variants) webpage by COB Friday the 25th of September. Entries taken on the day subject to equipment. Entry fees can be paid on the day or by bank transfer (details available online) 

Chess 960

Chess 960 (or Fischer Random Chess) is a variant of chess invented and advocated by former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer. It employs the same board and pieces as standard chess, but the starting position of the pieces on the players' home ranks is randomized. The random setup renders the prospect of obtaining an advantage through the memorization of opening lines useless, compelling players to rely on their talent and creativity.

Some unique rules on Chess 960 will be advised on the day.

For the purpose of the competition, the starting position were randomly derived from the Chess 960 position generator on chessgames.com.

Round 1, Position #514; Round 2, Position #835; Round 3, Position #923; Round 4, Position #327; Round 5, Position #695; Round 6, Position #212; Round 7, Position #002

Horde Chess

Horde Chess is a fun variant best played with a bullet time control. White has 36 pawns and no other pieces, Black has a normal set of chess pieces. White must checkmate the black king before Black captures all the pawns. All normal rules of chess apply... well, as much as possible when one side has no King!

Kevin Bonham
26-09-2015, 07:58 PM
This event was very successful with around 13 players in the Fischer-Random and 12 in the Bullet Horde and $310 raised for HIJCC activities. I was first in both with 7/7 and 9/9 and Andrew Smith was second in both, I think with 5.5 and 8. Generally the results were pretty similar to results for the same field at normal chess at fast time controls.

In the FR a culture of not claiming wins by illegal move and also allowing opponents to take back massive blunders was encouraged.

A few comments about the FR positions (see http://www.tasmanianchessassociation.org/hobart-international-chess-club-events/september-variants and scroll down):

Round 2 position 835 seems like a recipe for mindless violence which might have an unusually large first move advantage. Despite this black won almost every game.

Round 4 position 327 at first seems quite normal-chess like, but there are a few quirks. One of them discovered by Ian is that the natural 1.g3 d5 2.Nf3 intending immediate castling would be met by 2...Bh6 preventing castling, so white has to play 2.Bg2 (fianchettoing a bishop that was already on the diagonal) to continue with this plan. Another came up in my game with Andrew, where he was white and we played 1.g3 g6 followed by what looked like a Slav with d4, c4, ...d5 and ...c6. However not much further in we both noticed the catch, which is Bf4 and the white queen is doomed. However black's defence is ...Bf5 and while Andrew could move his queen away this would give me time to do the same. So both queens went off and I got a slightly bad pawn structure then blundersacked the exchange and got a nice position.

Round 6 position 212 is rather difficult. There is a potentially fatal weakness on g2/7 and getting castling organised on either side takes forever. I had a very bad position this round after blundering a pawn but then got a piece back to another blunder.

Round 7 position 002 looks quite elegant and doesn't seem to present any real tactical danger. However in my game the queen seemed passively place and both sides ended up castling queen-side.

Bullet Horde (see same link): At first I thought that if played properly this might be a win or at least an advantage for the pawns. However most players thought it was easier playing with the pieces and this was reflected in the scoreline of +30-22=2 for the pieces, despite the pawns always moving first.

I found that players with the pieces tended to (a) go sac happy, frequently giving up piece for two pawns (this costs you if you do it too often) and (b) panic. However the challenge with the pawns is it is easy to blunder pawns away, and it is also challenging to stop the position unravelling and a queen or rook breaking through towards the end. Playing with the pawns seems to require more thought at bullet time controls whereas the player with the pieces can sometimes just shuffle. I was losing with the pawns a few times.

This sort of event poses unique organising challenges and Ian did a great job.

26-09-2015, 10:12 PM
Congratulations Kevin and Ian - and well done Hobart on a good turnout. Devonport's Fischer Random results were also pretty much on a par with other results - but horde chess just sounds mad.