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32-Turn Contest Results

The following is the decision by the contest judge, Alessandro Castelli. The original opinion was transmitted to me in Italian, and I have endevoured to translate it to English, using free online translation dictionaries and a commercial package. Oddly enough, the free translators worked much better than the commercial software. In any case, any and all mistakes or awkwardness in translation are due to me, and should not reflect on the excellent work of Alessandro.

It is noted that Alessandro was the sole judge of the contest, and upon reflection, perhaps it was an unwise choice on my part to have just one person judge. But Alessandro has great experience with chess variants, and has undeniable expertise, so I feel comfortable with my choice of judge.

So without further comment, here is Alessando's judgement:

Premise. They have participated in the competition 12 varying chess variants. As unique judge I have been called to determine the present classification. The decision to entrust the choice to an unique judge has worried me. While in fact in problem compositions the criteria of evaluation are codified by now by decades and by all shared ones, in the field of the chess variants everything still depends on choices and personal preferences, not being I don't even grant you on the same definition of varying "chess games".

All and 12 the variations proposals have satisfied the requisite of the 32 turns per game, but in my opinion the variation "Diffusion Chess" of Alexandre Muñiz, while rich with interesting ideas, cannot be considered a chess variant, therefore it is excluded from the competition.

The criteria that I have adopted for the choice of the games to reward have been the following:

  • originality of the idea;

  • simplicity and linearity of the rules of game, therefore possibility immediately to play the variation without a fatiguing training;

  • possibility to develop tactical or strategic themes during the game, even though with the limits imposed by the object of the competition that imposes as lasted motto of the game 32 turns of game. It is essential in to conceive a new variation to avoid that a victory is also possible playing casual movements taking advantage of only the fact that the game has however a predetermined term;

  • wealth of variations and lines of game, even with the limits dictated by the reduced duration of the game.


  1. Rolling Kings of Peter Aronson: among the varying participants it has best satisfied the four criterions above exposed.

  2. Progressive Forward Chess of Hans Bodlaender: in comparison to the variation 1° classified lack of originality, but it have the merit of adding to the Italian progressive chess a strategic component, that lacks to such eminently tactical game.

  3. Sudden Death Chess of Doug Chatham: Not very original in how much already the mechanism of the automatic elimination of the pieces was already known, but realized in a new way. It goes noticed that the same player chooses own pieces to eliminate and has therefore the possibility to organize a plan of meaningful game, impossible what when is the adversary to carry out the choice.

  4. Wormhole Chess of Fergus Duniho: Interesting is the mechanism of exploitation of 'holes' on the chessboard, but the game is too complicated for being played without a sure training.

Written by Alessandro Castelli. Web page posted by David Howe.
WWW page created: 13 Jan 2001. Last modified on: 13 Jan 2001.