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Comments by Andreas Kaufmann

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Hostage Chess. Pieces taken are held hostage and can be exchanged against other pieces and then dropped. (8x8, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2011-02-19 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
There is a nice freeware to play 'Hostage Chess':

On the first start of the program I got an error message about non-existing directory, but after I created the required directory (Documente/HostageChess), it works without any problems.

The AI strength of computer opponent is pretty good already by 5 sec/move, so if you like Hostage Chess it is really worth to install.

Invisible King Chess. Opponent can't see where you moved your king to. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2011-02-11 UTC
Last comment is by me...

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Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2011-02-11 UTC
To get an idea about what chess variants people like to play, one can look
into statistics of running games at

3.	Chess	3128
11.	Dice Chess	1325
12.	Dice Chess 10x10	1316
26.	Loop Chess	385
27.	Japanese Chess	369
44.	Massacre Chess	207
45.	Chinese Chess	207
46.	Dark Chess	202
52.	Anti Chess	163
57.	Atomic Chess	151
59.	Embassy Chess	149
61.	Ice Age Chess	145
64.	Horde Chess	139
66.	Ambiguous Chess	132
67.	Grand Chess	132
70.	Fischer Random Chess	125
74.	Fortress Chess	112
76.	Amazon Chess	109
78.	Los Alamos Chess	109
87.	Extinction Chess	95
89.	Behemoth Chess	95
90.	Three Checks Chess	94
91.	Capablanca Random Chess	91
92.	Corner Chess	89
93.	Janus Chess	88
94.	Racing Kings	87
97.	Minishogi	83
99.	Cylinder Chess	82
100.	Recycle Chess	82
102.	Crazy Screen Chess	77
106.	Screen Chess	70
107.	Knight Relay Chess	68
110.	Legan Chess	66
116.	Knightmate Chess	59
122.	Berolina Chess	54
123.	Cheshire Cat Chess	53
126.	Maharajah Chess	44

Unfortunately statistics for finished games is not easily available at this
site. Still one can visit pages for particular variants and see the number
of total finished games, e.g. for 'Dice Chess':

Statistics of won games
white	33290 (51.71 %)
black	31028 (48.19 %)
Draws	60 (0.09 %)

No suprise, that such great games as 'Loop Chess' and 'Japanese Chess'
at the top of the list. However, it is amazing to see 'Dice Chess' as a
second most popular chess variant (after chess itself)!

Tandem Chess. 4 player variant where pieces taken from your opponent are given to your partner. (8x8x2, Cells: 128) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2011-01-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Any volunteers to create Game Courier preset for 2-player bughouse, like described in 'Bughouse per e-mail' section? Looks like a fun game!

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Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2011-01-15 UTC
Good idea! I would be interested in 'double move variants' tournament.
One more idea:
* 'Drop variants', which would include Crazyhouse, Hostage Chess and
Recycle Chess.

Recycle Chess. Players can capture and drop their own pieces. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2011-01-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I think the most natural rule is that you can't capture your own king. This is a rule used on (see
The game is really fun to play!

Seirawan ChessA game information page
. invented by GM Yasser Seirawan, a conservative drop chess (zrf available).[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2007-09-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Very original and interesting idea about how to introduce 'new' pieces R+N and B+N to chess. Advantages over 8x10 and 10x10 variants are obvious: starting position stays the same (with usual opening patterns). The board dimension stays the same, so balance in piece values is retained. I think the names for these pieces chosen by Seirawan are fine: since ordinary chess player donesn't know them anyway, no problem to come with names you like more.

Chess with Different Armies. Betza's classic variant where white and black play with different sets of pieces. (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2007-09-13 UTC
The problem with this game is that it is too complex. It is already difficult to remember how pieces move in all these different armies, not speaking about more advanced strategy or tactics... For ordinary chess players pieces, which combine moves of existing pieces, like R+N or B+N, have more chances to attract the attention.

Pocket Mutation Chess. Take one of your pieces off the board, maybe change it, keep it in reserve, and drop it on the board later. (8x8, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2007-08-11 UTC
Just try a game with Jeremy (chose white and DON'T make rook->'nightrider in pocket' move early in the game) and you will see for yourself... Still, I think the game is balanced since white can prevent early forks by black nightrider and have time to pocket nightrider from rook as well. The only problem with this game is a lack of variety in the opening, since the majority of the game starts with pocketing nightrider.

Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2007-08-08 UTC
I agree with Jeremy that nightrider is more valuable than rook in this
game. May be its value is somewhere between rook and cardinal:
* rook - 5 pawns
* nightrider - 6 pawns
* cardinal - 7 pawns.
So, moving all nightrider-combined pieces one class up will probably
improve this game. In any case, this will avoid that most of the game
start with rook->nightrider pocketing as of now. Certainly, some
play-testing is needed to see if really there are situations where you
will prefer nightrider over cardinal.

Other possible alternatives:
1) Add a new piece class between classes 3 and 4 and move nightrider and 
SuperRook there. 
2) Remove nightrider-combined pieces completely to simplify the game and
make it more strategic.

Andernach Chess. Pieces change side when taking.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2007-01-15 UTC
According to the pawn
promotes first and then changes the color.

Shatranj. The widely played Arabian predecessor of modern chess. (8x8, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2007-01-11 UTC
There are cetainly much more Shatranj openings. You can find a lot of them in Murray's book 'A history of chess'.

HP-minichess. Small chess variant that could be played against a pocket calculator. (5x5, Cells: 25) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2006-12-26 UTC
'Game History' menu item for Minichess in Zillions-of-Games says: 'The
recent play has suggested that the game is a draw with the best play.' 

Does anybody has more information on this? What is the best play in
Gardner minichess?

Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2006-12-21 UTC
This chess variant is usually called 'Gardner minichess', since it was Martin Gardner, who first invented it in 1969.

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Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2006-05-04 UTC
An interesting chess variant suggested by an anonymous on Wikipedia chess article talk page:

...Nobody has ever cottoned on to my variant 'Schizo-Chess' where you play as normal until you capture- if you capture you switch to the opposing side and play a further move, if that is a capture you switch back, until there are no more captures. Aim is to win on your move, usually with a combination where you play the winning move as checkmate. 'Schizo' because each player has to play himself simultaneously, also- it does your head in..

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Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2006-04-25 UTC
From my game against Zillions-of-Games:

Mastodon chess, white plays and checkmates in two moves.

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Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2006-04-23 UTC
Hi Mats! From large chess variants I prefer Capablanca chess variation with good initial setup. For example, Gothic chess or Embassy chess. The reason is that for ordinary chess player it is quite easy to remember moves of chancellor and archbishop and these new pieces add interesting tactical and strategic elements to the game.

Glinski's Hexagonal Chess. Chess on a board made out of hexagons. (Cells: 91) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2006-02-04 UTC
By the way, Alfred Pfeiffer found a nice way how to implement Glinski's standard notation in ZRF. One can simply use 'translate' command to give the cells desired coordinates: (translate ('g2' 'g1') ('g3' 'g2') ... ). I updated ZRF on my homepage (see my previous comment) with these changes.

Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2006-01-29 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
ZRF with a nice graphics can be downloaded from my homepage. ZRF is by J. Mark Thompson and Ivan A Derzhanski, graphics created by me.

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Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2006-01-26 UTC
Another suggestion: contest to create a chess variant, which can be
conviniently played on usual chess board with usual chess pieces (may be
with more then one chess set, also it is allowed to use less pieces).
Piece moves should be also the same as in chess. 

Example of such variants:
* different capture rule (e.g. Crazyhouse)
* different goal (e.g. Extinction chess)
* incomplete information (e.g. Kriegspiel, can be played with 3 boards +
* different move order (e.g. Marsellias chess)
* different starting position (e.g. Fisher random chess or Una chess)
* random elements (e.g. Dice chess)
* multiplayer variants (e.g Bughouse)

I think this is broad enough to appeal to many people.

Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2006-01-25 UTC
How about contest to create a chess variant with incomplete information,
like 'Dark Chess' or 'Kriegspiel'?

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2006-01-24 UTC
Interesting attempt to create a synchronous version of chess, in which both players make the moves simultaneously: Xymyx chess. They created a very nice real-time server to play this game. I tried it out today - the game is a quite fun to play live!

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Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2006-01-23 UTC
Can you please post a link to Sudoku puzzle with chess pieces, you
mentioned in your message? Thanks!

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Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2006-01-16 UTC
“Scandinavian” is probably Bughouse. This chess variant one of the most popular between chess players. In Russia Bughouse is called 'Swedish chess', may be in Bulgaria it is 'Scandinavian'. I also think that “Reverse chess” is losing chess, what can it be else?

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Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2006-01-10 UTC
The following was posted to Wikipedia article 'Chess variants' by
anonymous editor:

'...Super Knight: Starting position for white is the same as in chess.
Black gets 8 pawns, his King, and a knight ...the SuperKnight. The
SuperKnight checks like a regular knight, but it can move to ANY
unoccupied square or capture any of the opponent's pieces. The game
should be won by white every time but only if he keeps his pieces well
defended. The white rooks are not defendable so blacks first two moves are
usually to capture white's rooks.'

Does anybody heard about this variant?

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