The Chess Variant Pages
Custom Search



Enter Your Reply

The Comment You're Replying To
Charles Daniel wrote on 2009-07-29 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Another possibility, closely resembling Fischerandom chess, was advanced by GMs Pal Benko and Arthur Bisguier in two articles in the November 1978 issue of Chess Life & Review, and by me in a two-part article for Chesscafe.com in 1997

The positions of the pieces are decided entirely by the players, not by a computer program. Strategic chess thinking therefore begins with the first piece placement. The two players place their pieces alternately, one at a time.
White does not necessarily have any advantage here; in fact, Black may have the advantage because Black gets the first look at the opponent’s placements.

  • The pieces may occupy any squares as long as the bishops are on opposite colors. The kings do not have to be placed between the rooks.
  • Castling is permitted only if the unmoved king is on e1/e8 and an unmoved rook is on a1/a8 or h1/h8; orthodox castling rules apply. The possibility of castling is up to the players, who may or may not place their kings and rooks appropriately.
  • There are 8,294,400 possible opening positions.
Both variants obviate all opening analysis (but not opening principles) and make all opening manuals superfluous. Imagine a world without the Sicilian Defense! Should either variant become prevalent, chess-book publishers would have to take up gardening. But surely publishers will be resourceful enough eventually to put out strategy guides on choosing the optimum piece placements in Pre-chess (but not in Fischerandom chess, of course, because there the computer does the choosing).

- Burt Hochberg from chesscafe.com Copyright 2004 CyberCafes, LLC.

Does someone have the original text of this article from Chess Life & Review by Benko? It seems quite important for historical purposes.


Edit Form

Comment on the page Pre-Chess page

Quick Markdown Guide

By default, new comments may be entered as Markdown, simple markup syntax designed to be readable and not look like markup. Comments stored as Markdown will be converted to HTML by Parsedown before displaying them. This follows the Github Flavored Markdown Spec with support for Markdown Extra. For a good overview of Markdown in general, check out the Markdown Guide. Here is a quick comparison of some commonly used Markdown with the rendered result:

Top level header: <H1>

Block quote

Second paragraph in block quote

First Paragraph of response. Italics, bold, and bold italics.

Second Paragraph after blank line. Here is some HTML code mixed in with the Markdown, and here is the same <U>HTML code</U> enclosed by backticks.

Secondary Header: <H2>

  • Unordered list item
  • Second unordered list item
  • New unordered list
    • Nested list item

Third Level header <H3>

  1. An ordered list item.
  2. A second ordered list item with the same number.
  3. A third ordered list item.

Alt text for a graphic image

A definition list
A list of terms, each with one or more definitions following it.
An HTML construct using the tags <DL>, <DT> and <DD>.
A term
Its definition after a colon.
A second definition.
A third definition.
Another term following a blank line
The definition of that term.