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The Chess Variant Pages



This page is written by the game's inventor, Kevin Pacey. This game is a favorite of its inventor.

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Kevin Pacey wrote on 2022-09-24 UTC

I'd hoped that castling would often come in handy, but there have been a couple of games, so far, where my opponents have dropped their K back a rank against me (likely after an Amazon move to third or second rank - one possible drawback might be if said Amazon ever has to retreat somewhere with loss of time). Castling kingside followed by shifting my K sideways one more square is something I often do, though maybe out of habit from chess (somewhat unrelated, Play Tester recently championed the idea of quickly charging the pawn in front of his Sailor on the kingside, even before either side may have castled).

The more space you have control of on a side of the board, the safer it is to castle there, I suppose. If Black plays a French Defence analogue, for example, then kingside castling seems nice enough for White. Not only that, but if a centre file is about to get opened early, castling may be a good idea. Sac Chess is still relatively unexplored, of course. I thought I'd sensed some unexpected defects to its design (compared to chess, at least) since inventing it, but at least it's being played more often again lately (though I'm always one of the players). Bishop(s) (and later Missionaries) flying out to the edge of the board, especially of the queenside, for example (the Sailor pawn charge may be another).

I'd also hoped when designing the game that the Judges (Centaurs) on the wings would help to guard a castled K for a long time. Castling queenside seems like it's usually quite unsafe, even compared to chess. The K is still likely unsafe in the middle for a couple of moves at the least. I'd secretly hoped to be the first one to castle queenside in a Sac Chess Game Courier game, but Fergus beat me to it when playing someone else. It's also easier to discourage or prevent castling queenside in the first place than in chess, it seems.


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