Half-marathon Variant Chess Day

[Sequel to https://minorityattack.wordpress.com/2015/06/28/variant-chess-marathon-session/ ]

Andy, Dave B, Dave R, Lorenz and our host Tim

Variants played:

* Monster Chess – Dave B’s long-standing favourite, as described by Pritchard, but a no-promotion version
* Xyrixa Chess (how do they come up with these names?) – stylish 3D board, rules improvised, play more or less possible with a human brain, research continues! * 5-player chess (how do they come up with these names?!)
* Consultation chess with once-only veto (stunning Rook sac by Lorenz to force a winning ending) * Refusal Chess (Tim devastating with the initiative)
* Three-check Chess (Dave R’s dodgy Queen sac nearly working)

Also:
Less, soon (or now) available for purchase after Tim’s support for the Kickstarter.

Spurned:
– 3D (3x 8×8) chess
– Japanese and Chinese Chess, Go
– Hexagonal Chess
– Kamisado
– Capablanca Chess
– Checkless Chess
– Everything in Sid Sackson’s _A Gamut of Games_

Suggestion for next time:
Lines of Action

I had always thought that you needed the three major pieces to mate the Monster King, but KQRN proved enough on the day, and maybe any fourth piece might be enough to support the Q once the MK is in a net.

8/8/8/8/6K1/NR6/2Q5/4k3 w – – 0 1

The bK is herded into the shadow of the wK, then it’s mate by the Rook.

KQR is not enough, as the bK can threaten to eat-and-retreat a defended Rook, or play a Knight’s move to take an unguarded Queen. We came away more convinced than ever that White has the advantage in Monster Chess, even without being able to promote, but are still haunted by the the fear that the pieces don’t have time to set up a blockade without Black mounting a quick pawn breakthrough.

Five-player chess uses a big board, with Knights playing a largely defensive role and play was dominated by local scuffles at the borders. We applied our rule, adopted last time, that ‘checkmate’ isn’t enough, you have to take the King, because there can be too many ways for the other jealous players can sabotage your victory. Crayons may be needed for next time, as lining up diagonals required a lot of snooker-style peering at table level. Congrats to Andy who managed to join the dots with a full-board Queen swoop to nab a black King.

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