Heterodox chess (chess variants) thread 2.0

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  • #61
    Re: Heterodox chess (chess variants) thread 2.0

    I think many variants that are popular use just orthodox chess' equipment, and I'd suppose from that alone lots and lots of people worldwide play or enjoy chess variants (CV), even if just in fun. Once I became a chess tournament player as a junior in the 1970s, I was soon introduced to bughouse, and, later, to a considerable number of other probably quite popular such 8x8 board-using variants, such as progressive or dice chess (the latter's extra equipment minimal). I also encountered CV literature, perhaps inevitably. Computers, the internet, chess servers supporting chess variants, and Chess Variant Pages (CVP)'s Game Courier, make picking up playing or enjoying CVs even more likely nowadays.

    I meet with a very small group of friends very occasionally (in differing places) to play a small number of board games/(chess variants), all of which we have equipment for. The only equipment we don't have are Hawks & Elephants for Seirawan Chess, and we make do with using a smaller chess set's pieces, i.e. B&N or R&N put together on a particular larger board's square; we don't know if we really like the variant yet, but if we did it's nice to know we can order the fairy piece types needed to look more respectable, say in public.

    I think to play offline a lot of people who need fairy chess pieces or non-8x8 boards for given variant(s) might not like trying to craft their own equipment, if not feeling terribly able to. Such equipment would come in handy for founding clubs for 1 or more variants to be played, besides for play, study or enjoyment in the home. I still feel uninitiated in fairy chess, but it seems that, luckily, only a relatively small number of fairy piece types or non-8x8 boards are at all popular with the public, at present, not counting commercial variants (are these at all popular on the whole?).

    Figurines of the B&N plus R&N compound piece types (of various names), plus Unicorn figurines (e.g. for 3D Chess), alone, should cover a lot of variants that are sufficiently popular at the moment that require fairy chess pieces, and, for boards, 10x10 (Grand Chess), 10x8 (Capablanca Chess), 91-cell Hexagonal, 16x4 Circular, 5x5x5 3D, plus 3-player & 4-player chess variant boards (such as made in China, as seen in a link I gave earlier), should largely satisfy public demand for now, I'd hazard to guess, without doing a lot of research. Less popular fairy piece types or non-8x8 board sizes and/or shapes, such as found perhaps mainly online (e.g. on CVP) could begin to be mass produced proportionally to the need that arises, with possible exceptions made for, e.g., proven top-50 CVP Game Courier variants that use such. The problem is how to start the ball rolling, by somehow encouraging manufacturers to do more.

    [edit: Below's a link that may be of some interest; for 2015 about 3% of all games played on the FICS chess server were chess variants (of the limited choices available, some of which I can't tell since they're called 'wild'), which is very slightly better than I'd expect based on my estimate of chess players interested in variants worldwide (i.e. about 2%, which it pretty much is for stats for 'All Years').]

    http://www.ficsgames.org/2015_stats.html
    Last edited by Kevin Pacey; Wednesday, 10th August, 2016, 11:13 PM.
    Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
    Murphy's law, by Edward A. Murphy Jr., USAF, Aerospace Engineer

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    • #62
      Re: Heterodox chess (chess variants) thread 2.0

      If you've never seen it, I think Circular Chess is one of the cooler chess variants, optically anyway. British chess GM David Howell, who (5 years before getting his title) won a World Championship for Circular Chess (held in England), claimed that this variant is harder to play than standard chess, due to having to consider the two fronts on the board and how they relate to each other. Here's a game of mine that's currently in progress:

      http://play.chessvariants.com/pbm/pl...m-2017-282-937

      Here's the wiki for this particular chess variant:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_chess
      Last edited by Kevin Pacey; Friday, 20th October, 2017, 11:39 PM. Reason: Correction
      Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
      Murphy's law, by Edward A. Murphy Jr., USAF, Aerospace Engineer

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