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Comments by Azlan Iqbal

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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2014-01-12
 By Azlan  Iqbal. Switch-Side Chain-Chess. Optionally swap sides with your opponent upon completing a "chain". (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Azlan Iqbal wrote on 2018-08-20 UTC

The inventor again. Just to let you know that the official rules are now published. You can get it here or here.

Azlan Iqbal wrote on 2018-06-22 UTC


The inventor posting again. It was brought to my attention that with the last rule modification (see my comment dated 2017-03-30), the game was still rather difficult to play. So instead of consecutive switching being limited to the number of moves that have been played, consecutive switching should be limited to the size of the chain, i.e. the number of squares it contains. I played a game using this new rule and it was more interesting and enjoyable.

To clarify, it means that when a player forms a chain (with say, three empty squares inside), he has the choice of switching sides with the opponent. If he does so, that is the first switch. If he does so again (with another chain formation, regardless of its size) that is consecutive switch number two. He now has his original army back. He may now do so only one more time (if he forms yet another chain of any legal size). So the switching limitation applies using the first chain's size (of the consecutive sequence) and resets only when the opponent has had a turn. 

Azlan Iqbal wrote on 2017-05-19 UTC

There is now a free Android version of this chess variant available.

Azlan Iqbal wrote on 2017-03-30 UTC


This is just a quick comment with reference to a possible modification to the SSCC rules above. (Yes, I'm the inventor). In order to minimize the possibility of forced mates due to consecutive switching early in the game, consecutive switching can be limited to the number of moves that have been played. So if the players are on move 5, only 5 consecutive switches may take place. If they are on move 7, only 7 consecutive switches and so forth.

Also, the game notation can be in various forms other than what is mentioned above. For example, "SW" or "SB" to the right of the move list so it's clear that on that move, White switched sides or Black switched sides (or both did consecutively).

Azlan Iqbal wrote on 2015-04-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Unfortunately, you have a "poor" understanding of SSCC. Perhaps you would like to illustrate how White can win against Black from the starting position as you imply. The point about SSCC puzzles is valid (and has been suggested to me before but not in exactly the same way).

Azlan Iqbal wrote on 2015-04-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Perhaps it should go to the system developer that allows people to rate their own comments. To what end, I'm still not sure.

Azlan Iqbal wrote on 2015-04-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Well, that's certainly not the kind of chess I like to play; but to each his own.

>I still don't see why you should be able to switch twice in a row for this. You just wait until your turn comes up. You could then already do this on a single switch. If you are the first to be able to switch, in such a way that he cannot immediately switch back, you just deplete his (future) time on 'thinking' about the move that will cause the switch. Basically the first opportunity to switch will be a win. I don't think you could do much to prevent white making a chain first: 1. d3 d5? {wait 1:59:58} 2. e3, game over...

Assuming the players agree to time switching rules (which is not a requirement of SSCC), after 1. ... d5, you're saying White waits until he has two seconds left and then switches with 2. e3? Well then he has the black pieces (with plenty of time) and needs to make a move. It's still his turn. Let's say he makes a casual move with the Black pieces that does not switch, how can he be sure White won't switch back quickly with 3. f3! and return the favor?

Regardless, certain lines of play can be avoided if your opponent has the habit of trying to win on time alone and has no real interest in the actual game. Or different time controls, such as the "unfriendly" fixed time per move or, as you suggested, non-switching time controls can be implemented. Again, even with chess, time control rules are highly variable. Depending on the situation and players, some time controls are better than others.

Azlan Iqbal wrote on 2015-04-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
First of all, let me just say that in light of your most recent post, I find it ironic that in your first post you should consider a fixed-time-per-move time control "unfriendly".

When you say you and your friends played "to the limit of the rules", did this include kicking the table slightly with your foot to break your opponent's concentration or something to that effect? Because I do remember playing against such people and it told me they had no real skill at the game and had to rely on other methods to give themselves an advantage. Perhaps you and your friends also all agreed to draw in advance of tournaments or final rounds. I have also encountered things like this in my school days.

Once again, time controls are an optional part of SSCC and there can be many different implementations of it. It cannot be compared to switching one move before checkmate (which is legal under any circumstances). Even under time switching rules, the players can play to avoid situations where two consecutive switches are possible which might allow one player to switch and then wait nearly two hours before switching at the last second so his opponent loses on time. Or they could risk it in the hope the opponent might not see those chains (quite possible as well) to gain some other kind of advantage at the regular chess component of the game. I would say this can indeed make the game more interesting... even against someone like you.

Azlan Iqbal wrote on 2015-04-10 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I disagree. Not everything in a game can be regulated and ethics is important in every sport. Besides, the vast majority of SSCC games (and regular chess) are not played for money or world championship titles. They are played for fun between two people. Time controls are not even a requirement. That does not mean you should wait until your opponent becomes too tired to continue playing and resigns just to go to sleep; therefore you win. You are expected to make a move within a reasonable amount of time. 

Even in a tournament setting, it is unethical to agree beforehand to a draw and then just play out a few moves before shaking hands and claiming the game is drawn. Many players can do this repeatedly to share prize money but they do not. If your philosophy is to "make use of all conceivable methods allowed by the rules to win", I suspect you will not have that many people willing to play with you. Regardless, and once again, in SSCC time controls are optional and even there the appropriate settings can be agreed upon before the game.

Azlan Iqbal wrote on 2015-04-10 UTC
Dear H. G. Muller,

If the players can remain ethical, switching time controls along with the pieces would add a dimension of complexity to the game that does not exist in a game without time controls, making it more interesting, so to speak. Besides, SSCC can certainly be played without any time controls assuming both players make their moves within a reasonable amount of time. However, what you suggested is also possible. Personally, I see no issue with fixed time controls per move either if the players are agreeable to it. So there's a lot of flexibility on this issue.

On the other hand, if we were to consider the draw by threefold repetition rule, this may be subject to more abuse in SSCC. Therefore I would recommend that in SSCC, it only apply where no switching has occurred (as in the standard game).

Azlan Iqbal wrote on 2015-04-08 UTC
Dear Kood,

Thanks for the question. It means that if you have 5 minutes on your clock and if the opponent has 7 minutes, then upon switching, you not only get your opponent's pieces but also his time of 7 minutes; and he gets your time of 5 minutes.

To prevent rare cases of abuse such as switching and then waiting until the time is almost exhausted before quickly switching again, SSCC can be played under a "fixed time per move" rule such as 3 minutes per move or 5 minutes per move, in which case the time left need not be exchanged upon switching. It just resets at every move for each player.

Azlan Iqbal wrote on 2014-02-25 UTC
Dear George,

Thanks for the comments. To answer two main concerns, the 'chain' was considered more relevant than other criteria for switching because it challenges our powers of visual perception more than say, having a queen and a rook next to each other on the seventh rank. The chain is also dynamic with a theoretically limitless number of shapes and sizes.

As for continuous switching mating combinations, this makes SSCC far more volatile than standard chess. Each player has to be able to visualize the game (including the possibility of chain formation!) far ahead to *avoid* getting mated or force-drawn in this way. Rather than introduce new rules to prohibit such things, I suggest the variant be left the minefield that it is. Note, however, that switching is always an *option* and never compulsory. So a good amount of sizing-up what sort of opponent you have (including risk-taking) might play into the best strategy for winning.

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