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The Chess Variant Pages



This page is written by the game's inventor, Max Koval.

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Max Koval wrote on 2021-11-21 UTC

@Ben Reiniger, yes - of course, the rules are close to McCooey's game, with some remarkable changes. But, I'd like to point out that he was not first in creating the game that uses these rules, and I don't fully understand why his variant is mentioned instead of Shafran's version, which stands a little bit closer to my game (The difference between his interpretation and mine are the board shape, number of pieces, and some minor changes in the pawn and castling rules, as well as a new interpretation of stalemate. But still, the main difference is that my variant is actually playable).

As I can understand, you assume that my game seems to be too close to other existing variants, and maybe, it cannot be counted as a fully independent variant, at least without crediting McCooey's rules. Now, I regret that I didn't explain my ideas in the article due to the lack of free time.

Unlike all the variants on vertical hexagonal boards, which use diagonal pawn's capture (I won't be mentioning all other games and I'll be focusing only on this family of hexagonal games), I managed to come with a variant that is really playable and harmonic in its approach.

Both variants, which I mentioned previously, don't provide us with that. McCooey's interpretation has an unequal number of pawns and major pieces (7 against 9). In my opinion, it is enough to consider the fact that such a game cannot be accepted as something competitive to orthodox chess, and I highly doubt that it can be counted as an 'independent' variant if it uses the same board as in Glinski's game. Rules are the rules, but the board is the board. I like his variant, but I wouldn't prefer to play it as my major game. There are some other flaws (like the unprotected central pawn), but they are unremarkable. Shafran's interpretation has an unnatural initial setup, and I don't get the point of placing the pieces in such a broken array on vertical hexagons, while it works on horizontal ones (De Vasa, Brusky). But it doesn't matter at all if we'll be talking about the playing properties of this game. It is just unsafe to play it. After the first move by the central pawn, White threatens to attack both of the opponent's rooks at once, moving one of their bishops in front of their king. Can you imagine it in orthodox chess? Of course, it can be avoided, but it greatly reduces the diversity of possible opening positions, and it seems that this game doesn't have an opening stage at all. If Black moved their central pawn too, they're able to attack White's rooks, too. The exchange's happening, and the game continues. But still, can this variant look competitive to orthodox chess if it has such 'darkish' tricks? I guess that it'll be a true nightmare, especially for low-skilled players. The board is just too short for such pieces, and the game starts with predictable repetitive exchanges, especially if it is played by strong players. Unlike my variant, where castling actually does its primary purpose, it is completely useless in this variant.

My game stays free from all the special flaws that I mentioned above. It is actually playable and, I'm not afraid to say that it is aesthetically perfect.

At least, all thoughts that I posted here are just my thoughts. As a keen lover of hexagonal chess, I just wanted to create something better, and I continue to believe that this variant deserves its existence.


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