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Catastrophic 8x8 Chess. Mathematician Missoum gives a new type of chessboard.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Gary Gifford wrote on Sat, Apr 12, 2008 01:37 AM UTC:
If this is simply theory, and not a game - then I think it should be clearly defined as theory (and not a game). And, I think it should be written in layman terms.

In looking at is from a theoretical aspect it reminds me a bit of Time Travel Chess, however, with no King revisiting its past self. With the revisiting King aspect removed, and indeed pieces moving into the future (beyond 1 move on a given turn) removed, then I see the theory as simply being little more than the chess tree concept with 'bad' and 'good' branches identified. But I can see no actual theory in this... at least not how it is currently presented.

If we take a pure mate-in-three chess position, which has only 1 correct [pure] solution, then any moves that deviate from that line are bad (or less good)... but not necessarily catastrophic for the initiator. However, the person on the receiving end of the mate obviously experienced a catastrophe in his or her game at an earlier point. With the mate-in-3 scenario, the solver may obtain a mate-in-4 or a mate-in-5, for example [thus, having made inferior moves still avoids catastrophe for him or herself].

The idea of chess as a fabric consisting of a material/time continuum in a constant state of flux which in most cases deviates from an initial state near of equilibrium to a state that can be viewed as catastrophic for the dark or light element is an interesting concept.

The game known to many as 'Take Back Chess' in which players get to take back their last move in hopes of avoiding catastrophe is related to this topic. Though that version often allows one to avoid certain immediate disasters (a knight fork, an overlooked checkmate, for example) ... it does not enable one to avoid disasters that occur due to the gradual culmination of small subtle errors.