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Switch-Side Chain-Chess. Optionally swap sides with your opponent upon completing a "chain". (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Emphyrio wrote on 2017-08-19 UTCAverage ★★★


I always enjoy new chess variants (especially as, as a composer, I've been occasionally making compositions with some feeric conditions, mostly for SPGs), so as soon as I read something about switch side chain chess on chessbase site, I DLed the android app to test it :). Here are my thoughts so far :

It's definitely original and one can clearly see the interest for AI given, even though chain detection is very easy to code, evaluating the positions is probably much more difficult to code with that possibility to switch sides (although it's obvious that when one side has the possibility to create a chain, it's a tremendous advantage - and white definitely seems to have a big edge with the current rules).

About the feeling and enjoyment of playing this :it reminds a lot of loser's chess (giveaway chess). Despite the fact that loser's chess is at the contrary veryyy AI friendly (don't know if some coders bothered solving it, but it's probably possible). You can lose extremely fast in the opening, but it is somewhat interesting to see how to play around these fast losses.

About the usefulness for chess composition : can be interesting for SPGs (shortest proof games) and retro analysis for sure. Not so much for mates/helped mates/inversed mates etc since chains require the presence of too much material.

About the software : wondered who you asked to code this.. It's passably aesthetic and the UI is ok, but the AI is inexistent.. I ve never seen it ever do a switch, and obviously not work around them either. And even when playing normal chess he is atrocious. That's the main reason for my average evaluation.

About possible changes to prevent very quick games, and give it a feel closer to chess rather than loser's chess : limiting the number of successive switches depending on the move you're at seems unnecessarily complicated. You could for instance consider a chain that involves a pawn still on its starting square as non valid. That would be a big change for sure, but keep it simple and interesting.


To finish, my fastest game so far against that weak program, as black :

1.e3 b6

2.Qf3 Bb7

3.Qxb7?! c6

4.Qxa8?? Qc8 (SB)

5.Qxb8 Kd8 (SW) (SB)

6.Ba6 d6 (SW) (SB)