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Duck Soup Chess

Headlines from the Fredonia Free Press

Monday: our glorious leader, President-for-Life Fred, has decreed that Pawns on White squares may not be captured.

Tuesday: our glorious leader, President-for-Life Fred, has altered his decree. Pawns on Black squares may not be captured, Pawns on White squares may be.

Wednesday: Fred flips again. Pawns on Black squares may be captured, Pawns on White squares may not be.

Thursday: Fred Flees! All hail the glorious revolution!

Friday: No paper. Fredonia Free Press offices are burned.

Saturday: We thought things were bad under Fred, but now we long for the old days; and so we play a new kind of Chess.

The Rules of Duck Soup Chess

  • The rules of FIDE Chess apply except as follows:
  • Each move each player publically flips a coin to determine which square-color will be safe for Pawns on that player's next move.

    For example, before White's first move, White flips a coin; its result decides the status on WHite's second move; if it comes up heads, White's second move may not capture a Pawn on a light square, but if it comes up tails, pawns on dark squares will be safe. Both White and Black know the result of the coin flip.

    If the coin stands on its edge, the revolution has come, and all Pawns vanish from the board. The coin is now useless.

  • The inventor would prefer that you play this game with different armies

Discussion of the Rules

The element of chance is applied to the game, but you know what the status will be one move in advance. You cannot calculate more than one move ahead. You can plan further ahead, but with some uncertainty.

If you don't like the way the game works, feel free to try changing the timing of the coin flip, so that the safety status is known farther ahead or so that it is known less far in advance.

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