Progressive chess - has it been solved?

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  • Progressive chess - has it been solved?

    Progressive chess - basic rules are: White makes one move; Black makes two moves; White makes three moves, etc. until checkmate or draw. Two sub-variants: (1) A check can only be given on the last move of a sequence. (2) A check can be given any time, but the move sequence ends there (I prefer this sub-variant).

    There is very little software for Progressive Chess, so a lot of analysis is still done over the board.

    I played in the so-called "World Internet Progressive Chess Championship" in 1998
    My results in prelim group 7:
    and in the semis:
    All gamescores are available.
    It has been tried from Fischer Random positions as well.

    An excellent Chessbase article, with a few mate in "n" moves problems:

    And from

    some analysis of openings:

    "Just to summarize our current (computer-assisted) analysis of progressive chess theory.

    1.e4 - draw after 2.e5 f6

    1.d4 - draw after 2.d5 c6

    1.Everything else - loses trivially to 2.e5 e4 (1.d3 and 1.e3 a bit different but can play normally and exploit fact white can't move one of his bishops).

    1.d4 2.c5 cxd4 was really popular with the Italians, but 3.a4 e4 e5! wins easily for white after 4.e6 Qg5 Qxc1 Qxd1+ 5.Kxd1 a5 a6 axb7 bxc8Q+ or 4.e6 d3 dxc2 cxd1Q+ 5.Kxd1 Bg5 Bxd8 Be7 Bxf8.

    1.d4 2.d5 Nc6 3.Bf4 Bxc7 Bxd8 wins.

    1.d4 2.d5 Nf6 3.e4 e5 Bb5+ wins.

    1.d4 2.e5 exd4 3.Bg5 Bxd8 f4! wins.

    1.d4 2.d5 c6 3.Bf4 Bc7 Bxd8 or 3.Bg5 Bxe7 Bxd8 both appear to be draws (see game above). Promotions save black on both the 6 and 8. 3.Qd2 e4 e5!? is the only other try but seems insufficient.

    1.e4 2.d5 dxe4 3.d3 dxe4 Qxd8+ wins. (but not 3.Qg4 Qxc8 Qxd8+ 4.Kxd8 e3 e2 exf1Q+ winning for black). (The Italians tried 4.Kxd8 c6 e5 h5, but white just promotes on f8 and wins.) 4.Kxd8 Bh3 Bxg2 Bxh1 5.e5 Bg2 Bxb7 Bxa8 Bh1, and despite enormous amounts of analysis, we haven't been able to save this line for black.

    1.e4 2.d5 e5 3.Qg4 Qxc8 Qxd8+ wins. (but not 3.d4 Bg5 Bxd8 4.Kxd8 Bg4 Bxd1 Bxc2! winning for black.)

    1.e4 2.e5 Nh6 3.d4 Bg5 Bxd8 wins.

    1.e4 2.d5 d4 3.Qg4 Qxc8 Qxd8+ wins.

    1.e4 2.d5 Nh6!? is interesting, likely doesn't work but could use more analysis.

    1.e4 2.e5 f6 3.Bc4 Bxg8 f3 4.Rxg8 Bc5 Bxg1 Bf2+ (desperado checks normally bad, but here the extra move appears to save black) 5.Kxf2 d3(d4) Bg5 Bxf6 Bxd8 Against d3: 6.d5 dxe4 exd3 dxc2 cxd1Q Qd4+, and against d4: 6.exd4 d3 dxc2 cxd1Q Qxh1 Qxg2+ both appear to draw.

    1.e4 2.e5 f6 3.Qf3 Qxf6 Qxd8+ 4.Kxd8 d5 dxe4 h5 is very complicated and have yet to come to final conclusion (any assessment possible, but gut says black wins or at best white has a miracle draw)."


    "1.d4 is the more direct move (threatens to get queens off), leading to pretty forcing play (queens off on the 3/4, rooks off on the 5/6, last rooks off on the 7/8, opp bishop draw). Its forcing nature means most everything that deviates for either side loses. It may be the best move.

    1.e4 is more subtle. It makes a weakness (opening a line for Bg4 Bxd1), but it threatens mate. If black plays e5 but not d5, he's letting white play Bg5 Bxd8. If he plays d5, he's letting white play Qg4 Qxc8 Qxd8. 2.e5 f6 slows down the game and stops white from getting queens off in a "good" way. This slowing down of the game means both sides have more pieces, but it makes it much harder to figure out what's going on. Any result is possible."

  • #2
    Download the software from this site to play it.