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The Chess Variant Pages

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R. Wayne Schmittberg wrote on 2007-02-11 UTC

Airplane Chess was never marketed commercially (nor was any other CV I've invented). The opening pawn setup is based on Turkish Grand Chess; the knights were the clear choice to start on the second-rank.

It's been many years since I played it, but I checked my notes, and my estimated value for an airplane was 6.2 points (compared with 5.1 for a rook, 3.4 for a bishop, 3.2 for a knight, 1.0 for a pawn). However, this was apparently for an 8x8 board; values may change slightly on a 10x10 board.

Footnote: Long ago I tried to work out values for many unorthodox chess pieces for use in a generalized chess game in which players would be given points to spend to buy their armies, and the players need not buy the same pieces at all. Taking it one step further, pieces not purchased for a certain number of games would have their costs reduced by 0.1 points (perhaps in some central computer?), while pieces that are purchased frequently would have their costs go up--a supply and demand system to empirically determine relative piece values as closely as possible in time. Around the same time Ralph Betza had a related idea (Betza's Simple Army Chess) to test relative piece values by pitting armies of different piece types against each other and seeing which one wins.

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