Bobby Fischerspooner
August 12, 2019 9:04 AM   Subscribe

Chesses is eight new kinds of chess. Eight new chesses, as it were. What if gravity pulled pieces to the bottom of the board? What if moving a piece left a clone behind? What if every capture was mutual destruction? And so forth? Thanks to delightful games-smith Pippin Barr, now you can find out.

Want more strange chessiana from Pippin Barr? Consider:

- Chogue, a roguelike with chess pieces

- Roguess, a chesslike with rogue combat mechanics.

- Let's Play: Ancient Greek Punishment: Chess Edition, a mythlike with narrative implications

- The Junior Mint, a Seinfeldlike with Peggle kinæsthetics
posted by cortex (31 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't see you guys rating
The kind of mate I'm contemplating
I'd let you watch, I would invite you
But the queens we use would not excite you
posted by Servo5678 at 9:26 AM on August 12 [6 favorites]


[ returns to his bars, temples, and massage parlours. ]
posted by jquinby at 9:43 AM on August 12 [11 favorites]


(you have to click on the piece and the target square, there is no piece dragging)

These are great! I found this 2 move win in Momentum:

1 e2-e4-e6 f7xe6-b3?? 2 axb3-f7# You can't play 2....Kxf7 because then the King would have to go to h5, which is an illegal move. So it is checkmate
posted by thelonius at 9:55 AM on August 12 [2 favorites]


KING IS YOU
ROOK IS MOVE
BISHOP IS SHIFT
PAWN IS PUSH
BLACK IS SINK
KNIGHT IS WIN
posted by J.K. Seazer at 9:57 AM on August 12 [29 favorites]


I am bad at chess and worse at these. Although Quantum took a minute to wrap my head around.
posted by GuyZero at 10:26 AM on August 12


It is pitch black. You are likely to be captured by a rook.
posted by phooky at 10:28 AM on August 12 [11 favorites]


I wish I had more time for these right now. They're really fun to try out and change your perception of value in the game.
posted by Emmy Noether at 11:00 AM on August 12 [1 favorite]


So cool.

MAD and Momentum seem like the variants that could most likely have longterm appeal. Lite and Crowded are too random, Quantum seems like it's just about creating a billion queens. Clone might also be promising, but it's weird how it's just a game of pawns and knights until someone pierces the other player's wall of pawns, so I'm not sure you'd ever want to do that... just go for mates with the knight.
posted by painquale at 11:02 AM on August 12 [1 favorite]


I couldn't find a mate in Clone, just draws by repetition, since something could always take a Knight that was trying to mate. I didn't try for long though.
posted by thelonius at 11:11 AM on August 12 [2 favorites]


I misread that as cheeses and now I am angry that there are not eight new kinds of cheese for me to eat.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:24 AM on August 12 [10 favorites]


well there goes my day
posted by French Fry at 11:26 AM on August 12 [2 favorites]


My favorite episode of Seinfeld, the one with Miley Cyrus
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:11 PM on August 12 [3 favorites]


What if moving your pawn to the opposite side of the board promoted it to a wedge of Limburger?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:13 PM on August 12 [1 favorite]


No fun being Prometheus.
posted by MtDewd at 1:53 PM on August 12


No fun watching Prometheus, either.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:04 PM on August 12 [3 favorites]


What if gravity pulled pieces to the bottom of the board?

I think this could be improved by having it take more time for gravity to work; so, if you move quickly, you might get to play a better move.
posted by thelonius at 2:58 PM on August 12 [3 favorites]


M.A.D. looks like a tamer version of Atomic that I used to play on FICS. It got enough attention to have some theory developed. White seems to have a strong advantage, but no known autowin.
posted by mrgoldenbrown at 2:58 PM on August 12 [2 favorites]


Lichess has Atomic, btw, if you still want to play it.
posted by thelonius at 3:02 PM on August 12 [1 favorite]


Does anyone remember the card game Knightmare Chess from the 90's? It was a card game to accompany regular chess, altering the rules to make, for example, a knight turn into a bomb, or the board rotate 90 degrees. Pretty fun, it was. These could be done with cards and extra pieces.
posted by klausman at 3:13 PM on August 12 [1 favorite]


I have played Warp Chess and it's kind of fun and can be an effecting training tool.

All the rules are the same, but assume the board is rolled into a sphere and the side edges meet, allowing any legal move from one edge of the board to another. Bishop f1 could move (or pin) all the way through a7 and wrap around to h7 or g8, Or in the other direction, f1 to g3, wrapping around to a4 or all the way to e8. (Which, note, forms a tidy fork/pin at e8 and g8 presuming a clear, legal path.)

OK, Quantum chess is ridiculous. I just had a half-assed game and it ended up being 90% queens on either side and more a game of Go than Chess.
posted by loquacious at 3:27 PM on August 12 [4 favorites]


LOL, in Chance, black just won because the bishop turned into a rook in a straight shot to white king.
posted by numaner at 4:00 PM on August 12


Bishop f1 could move (or pin) all the way through a7 and wrap around to h7 or g8,

Wait, you mean a Bishop on f1, moving to a6, can continue where? g7 would seem to be where the board would wrap to (if there were a file to the left of the a-file, it would go to the 7th rank there) but g7 is a dark square. So can the bishop change color squares when it wraps?
posted by thelonius at 4:07 PM on August 12


Quantum is made from pure, pure larks. Could equally be called "What's happeni... OH I NEED MY QUEEN OUT RIGHT NOW!"
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 4:08 PM on August 12


Wait, you mean a Bishop on f1, moving to a6, can continue where

If this is the variant you played, it looks like the Bishop can move from a6 to h7. Sorry, I was trying to do that blindfold style.
posted by thelonius at 4:23 PM on August 12 [1 favorite]


You don't need to,
Research openings,
You don't need to,
Learn to play!

You don't need to,
Capture in-passing,
You don't need to,
Know the names!

Prawn's good,
Rook's good,
Queen's good too,

Horsie's right,
Horsie's right,

You don't need to,
Attempt castling,
You don't need to,
Check or mate!

You
Just
Need to
Have fun
When play-
Ing.

posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 4:31 PM on August 12


momentum is certainly the one that feels most like an actual game.
posted by French Fry at 5:04 PM on August 12 [1 favorite]


If this is the variant you played, it looks like the Bishop can move from a6 to h7. Sorry, I was trying to do that blindfold style.

Err right, my notation sucks.

And holy shit someone actually made a board for it. I'm not sure if that's easier to view and map or not.
posted by loquacious at 5:55 PM on August 12 [1 favorite]


Does anyone remember the card game Knightmare Chess from the 90's? It was a card game to accompany regular chess, altering the rules to make, for example, a knight turn into a bomb, or the board rotate 90 degrees.

Indeed. I used to play with a co-worker. It throws so much chaos into the game that once I had nothing but a king and a knight left on the board while he had a king and three queens. Reader, I stalemated him.

Pretty fun, it was. These could be done with cards and extra pieces.

I occasionally play it these days with three friends on a Superchess board. It'll do your head in.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:09 PM on August 12 [2 favorites]


That 1 b3 e5?? 2 Bxd8 line in Cylinder Chess is pretty harsh
posted by thelonius at 7:07 PM on August 12


I couldn't find a mate in Clone, just draws by repetition, since something could always take a Knight that was trying to mate. I didn't try for long though.

I think this is right. In order for White to check the Black king, White must move a piece to the 6th or 7th rank. If White moves any piece to the 6th rank, then Black can immediately capture it as long as one of the pawns defending that square has not been captured yet. Therefore, in order for White to checkmate with a knight on the 6th rank, White must already have moved some piece to the 7th rank. However, every square on the 7th rank is likewise defended by a piece on the 8th rank, so in order for White to checkmate with a knight on the 7th rank, White must already have moved some piece to the 8th rank. But the only way to reach the 8th rank before reaching the 7th rank is to have a knight jump from the 6th rank to the 8th rank. So, White must reach the 7th rank before the 6th rank, the 8th rank before the 7th rank, and the 6th rank before the 8th rank, which is clearly impossible. Therefore, White, and similarly Black, have no winning strategy, and the game is a draw.

The only exception to the above analysis is that f7 is not defended by a piece on the 8th rank if f7 is attacked by a White piece (e.g. Nxf7), because the only Black piece defending f7 is the king. But Black can guard f7 in two turns, while White requires three turns to reach f7. Therefore, after 1. Nf3 Nc6 2. Ng5 Ne5 3. Nc3 Ng4 4. Ne4, the game is definitively drawn.

Since the problem with the game is that it's too easy to guard squares by making the same capture over and over again, I think it would benefit immensely from a ko rule, like in go, where any move that would recreate a previous position of the board is forbidden. For example, suppose we started with White's attack above, but actually captured f7 this time: 1. Nf3 Nc6 2. Ng5 Ne5 3. Nxf7. If Black responds 3. ... Nxf7, then White cannot immediately recapture, because that would recreate the position of the board after White's third turn. White must make some other move to change the position of the board before recapturing. If White captures Black's knight with 4. Nxe5, then by the ko rule, Black cannot recapture with either knight. If Black responds 4. ... Nxg5 to change the board position, White can advance with 5. Nxf7, and this time cannot be immediately recaptured. However, Black can still play 5. ... Nxf3+ to force White to capture the knight with a pawn, for example 6. exf3, which then lets Black end the threat with 6. ... Nxf7.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 11:05 PM on August 12 [1 favorite]


This is very cool. Since the first comment references Murray Head (One Night in Bangkok), I feel compelled to mention that his younger brother is Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Nerd alert!
posted by freecellwizard at 7:26 AM on August 13 [1 favorite]


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