The Chess Variant Pages



Odds Chess

An interesting chess variant is Odds Chess.

Overview

During the 18th & 19th centuries, it was common to give odds in chess games, which means the practice of giving some advantage to the player with lesser skill. Odds giving can also be an interesting way to play with a computer program whose skill level differs from your own. You can also play the games in pairs, with the winner being the player who checkmates in fewer moves.

Types of Odds

These are various handicaps I have seen in actual games or chess books. They are in rough order of severity.

Move

Weaker player plays White.

Draw

The weaker player wins if the outcome is a draw under the usual rules.

Time

Weaker player receives more time on his clock.

2 Moves

Weaker player plays White and starts the game with 2 moves, which may not cross the 4th rank.

6 Moves

Weaker player plays White and starts the game with 6 moves, which may not cross the 4th rank

Pawn & Move

The stronger player takes Black and removes the pawn at F7. This was the most commonly given odds during the 19th century.

Pawn & 2 Moves

The stronger player takes Black and removes the pawn at F7. White makes 2 moves, neither of which may cross the 4th rank.

Knight

The stronger player takes White and removes his Knight at B1.

Rook

The stronger player takes White and removes his Rook at A1. His Pawn at A2 is moved to A3.

Rook & Move

The stronger player takes Black and removes his Rook at A8. His Pawn at A7 is moved to A6.

Rook & Pawn & Move

The stronger player takes Black and removes his Rook at A8 and his pawn at F7. His pawn at A7 is moved to A6.

2 Minor Pieces

The stronger player takes White and removes 2 of his Bishops or Knights, of his choice.

Rook & Knight

The stronger player takes White and removes his Rook at A1 and his Knight at G1. His Pawn at A7 is moved to A6.

2 Rooks

The stronger player takes White and removes both his Rooks

Capped Knight

The stronger player takes White. He must deliver mate with his Knight that started at B1 or lose. The loss of the Knight or any normal draw situation results in a loss for the stronger player.

Queen

The stronger player takes White and removes his Queen.

Capped Pawn

The stronger player takes White. He must deliver mate with his Pawn that started at F2 or lose. The loss or promotion of the Pawn or any normal draw situation results in a loss for the stronger player.

Queen-side

The stronger player takes White and removes the pieces starting at A1, B1, C1 and D1.

Examples

Pawn & Move

(also the setup for Pawn & 2 Moves)


Knight


Rook


Rook & Move


Rook & Pawn & Move


Rook & Knight


2 Rooks


Queen


Queen-side


Sources

Roger Coop.

Diagrams were made with Chess Captor.


Written by Roger Cooper. HTML conversion by Chuck Moulton.
WWW page created: December 1, 1999.