The Chess Variant Pages



This page is written by the game's inventor, Ralph Betza.

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George Duke wrote on 2013-07-23 UTC
What was happening 10 years ago?  When a piece moves, it not only changes its type but does so for all the pieces of its type both sides.  The inspiration was Aronson's Chess With Cyclical Armies, which changes only one unit at a time.  The follow-up was Fourriere's Pocket Polypiece, which uses a Nelson Pocket Mutation pocket -- Pocket Mutation being the most played nontraditional chess at Game Courier.  All CVs in the polypiece genre have questionable clarity, and Pocket Polypiece is the most extreme.  

Clearer than the others, Pocket Mutation itself has very moderate Betzan polypiece quality because each change is spread out over two moves a piece at a time.

''Clarity'' goes back to mathematician Thompson's ''Defining the Abstract,'' which sees  constant trade-off in game design pairwise Drama versus Decisiveness and Depth versus Clarity. 
Http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/DefiningtheAbstract.shtml.

Any Ralph Betza polypiece chess is going to be deep but may lack clarity. This particular article by Betza is suggestive of thousands of different CVs having polypieces.

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