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Thread: Chess Variant

  1. #1
    CC Rookie Zelgiusfan5000's Avatar
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    Chess Variant

    This is a bit of a strange idea, but each player gets a piece, which cannot move or do anything - it simply blocks other pieces (and can be taken of course). The first move for each player is placing one of these pieces wherever they feel like - damaging the opponentís pawn structure or making it inconvenient to develop pieces. The rest of the game is just like regular chess. Would this be interesting?

  2. #2
    CC International Master ElevatorEscapee's Avatar
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    Personally, I'm not feeling it.

    I'm not sure how this would be useful, or even if you've thought this through - if the opponent can just capture it, why is it any different to a blank square, with the exception of pawns who may now have greater mobility?
    eg, if I am White and I put the blocking piece on f6, my opponent can just capture it with a knight as if it were a blank square.

    It would be more interesting if the piece couldn't be captured, and was just an obstacle to both players to navigate around (I could see this useful for additionanl king safety for instance).
    "On my chess set, all the pawns are Hamburglers" ~ Homer Simpson.

  3. #3
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Supposing that white puts the block on e6 then if black takes it immediately, black gets doubled pawns and also takes two moves to occupy e5 (should black actually want to do so). But black could just play ...d5 and then take it with the bishop to avoid this, at the cost of slightly odd development.

    If the player can't take their own blocking piece, then the opponent might just leave it there. So some apparently useful blocking squares might be bad. As someone who habitually plays the French, if white decides to put a blocking piece on e5, I might be happy about that, because he can't ever occupy e5 until I take it. This also means I can develop freely by ...Nf6, or block with ...f5 without an en passant capture if I come under attack.

    I'm not sure there are that many good squares to put the blocking piece on. Opposing N3 or B3 squares all look bad or pointless. Maybe opposing Q4 square would be worthwhile.

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  5. #5
    CC Rookie Zelgiusfan5000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElevatorEscapee View Post
    or even if you've thought this through

    It would be more interesting if the piece couldn't be captured, and was just an obstacle to both players to navigate around (I could see this useful for additionanl king safety for instance).
    Yes, I didn’t really think it through (although the rest of your comment suggests you didn’t either). Like Kevin said, there aren’t many viable squares to place the piece on. I am only seeing e6, d6 (and e3, d3) as a way to delay the bishop’s development by a little bit. C6 could work well with d4 since black is so often playing c5/c6 and doesn’t really want to play nxc6 in these kinds of openings, but black could simply place his on d3 to prevent it, and I think black is better already. As for d5, I think black maybe can just place his on e3 and then a king’s indian setup like Nc6, d6, g6, bg7, and e5 would work pretty well since d5 is impossible for white.

    I agree with you that it would be a lot more interesting if instead the piece you place cannot be captured by anyone (or maybe only you can capture it). I will play some games against myself later and see what it’s like

  6. #6
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelgiusfan5000 View Post
    Yes, I didnít really think it through (although the rest of your comment suggests you didnít either). Like Kevin said, there arenít many viable squares to place the piece on. I am only seeing e6, d6 (and e3, d3) as a way to delay the bishopís development by a little bit. C6 could work well with d4 since black is so often playing c5/c6 and doesnít really want to play nxc6 in these kinds of openings, but black could simply place his on d3 to prevent it, and I think black is better already. As for d5, I think black maybe can just place his on e3 and then a kingís indian setup like Nc6, d6, g6, bg7, and e5 would work pretty well since d5 is impossible for white.

    I agree with you that it would be a lot more interesting if instead the piece you place cannot be captured by anyone (or maybe only you can capture it). I will play some games against myself later and see what itís like
    I think it could also be interesting against opponents with certain proclivities. Eg if someone like to fianchetto king's bishop, then placing the blocker on g3/g6 would be quite annoying.

    Also h3/h6 might be an interesting square, since player doesn't really want to capture it with pawn or knight, and in many openings he will want to play h3/h6 himself at some point, but can't.

    If each player gets a blocker, it might just lead to symmetry anyway. Maybe if just one player gets a blocker. Eg black places the blocker first, then white makes the normal first move.
    meep meep

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