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The Chess Variant Pages



This page is written by the game's inventor, Edward Jackman.

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Nicholas Wolff wrote on 2009-10-07 UTCGood ★★★★
007 Chess
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I have had the opportunity to play both 007 Chess and its variant, 007 - Detente.  I must say that I am rather impressed with how a simple variant could give you such a headache when you play (and I mean that in a good way).  To play a decent game, both require a lot of concentration, risks and a large mental capacity.  Personally, I would not play either one of these variants without using the “balanced” version of the game.  White has a large advantage if the balanced version is not adhered to.

Despite the simple changes between 007 and its variant, they are both vastly different games:

007 Chess | This variant is for those who like the down and dirty games.  Like most non-random games, it does require skill, but to what extent?  It seems that no matter how far down in pieces you are, there is almost always a way to at least strike a hearty blow to your opponent.  Currently, I have copmleted two games, one with each color, and I was losing both games with quite a large piece deficit.  I came back to win one and drew the other.  Might it perhaps be one of those games that brings evenly matched players closer towards draw games?  The farther down you are, the more advantage you seem to get.  Essentially, if you want to find a way to accomplish something, sit down and analyze the board for a few minutes and you should be able to come up with something feasible.  Tips for playing this variant: 

- PLAY CONSERVATIVELY.  Any piece that is developed quickly has a very high chance of being captured.
- Keep your opponents king checked as much as possible.  It will waste a move for them to eliminate the check which keeps you with an advantage.  At the same time, ensure your king is protected.
- Try to move the opponent’s king out into the open early.  
- Take advantage of the fact that this isn’t Détente.  Move a piece in position for an attack, move an opponent’s piece where the piece you moved can attack it, and then retreat with your last move.  
- You don’t have to move the opponent’s pieces to capture.  Sometimes, blocking the escape routes for the king, blocking other useful pieces in, or moving pieces that are protecting a piece that you take can be the best course of action.

The final note I want to leave for this is that the focus of attack seems to be primarily on the kingside and controlling the kingside might possibly mean the victory, just as controlling the center in FIDE chess.

007 Chess – Détente | Despite being an offensive player, I prefer the Détente variation over the original.  I believe this game requires more strategy as it is a little harder to “will” a good move/position your way.  If you read the rules, you notice the only differences are that you can’t move the same pieces the first and third turns of a move and you can’t capture an enemy piece that you moved that turn.  When we played, we played under the assumption that on white’s first turn, he may not capture a black piece moved that turn as well, though it is not stated explicitly in the rules.  I, along with the other players, agree that this undoubtedly way is the best way to play it, for white can get an early advantage if you don’t.  Here are some tips for playing this variant that I have discovered on my own, even just after a few games playing this:

- Develop your queen early.  She will be your major player, if you know how to use  her.  I like to set her loose by advancing the pawn at c2-c3 or c7-c6.  I feel it takes advantage of the mostly open queenside.
- Again, the kingside seems to be the major battlefield, at least in the opening.  
- Keep your opponent’s king in check.  This eliminates a move for your opponent.  At the same time, ensure yours is protected.
- Keep moving your opponent’s king – eliminate his ability to castle and get him into the open early.
- As you cannot capture your opponent’s pieces that you move that turn, your best bet for moving their pieces is to block escape routes, block development, move the king, remove protection from a piece that you captured.
- Interesting attacks come from the queenside.  Don’t eliminate your options.

To sum it up, I concur with the below comments: this is a great variant.  On Nick’s personal scale out of 10, I would rate 007 Chess a 5.5.  Great concept, but it is too difficult to establish stable positions.  007 Chess – Détente would be rated at a much higher 8.  The concept is there, and it eliminates the deficiencies that 007 Chess has.

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