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Shafran's Hexagonal Chess. Hexagonal variant from the early Soviet Union.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on Thu, Apr 6, 2023 05:56 PM UTC in reply to Max Koval from 04:13 PM:

[Editor's Note: This was moved from the same page as the previous comment.]

When you play 1.e5 in Shafran's chess, after black's response you can move your bishop to e2 and then attack both black rooks simultaneously. This leads to forced defensive progressions like b5 and h8 (the black knight won't work due to a3). It's roughly like playing 1.e4 a6 and h6 in orthodox chess. After that, you may want to move like a3 or h8, and after exchanges end up with an open vertical.

I don't think b4 and h8 are similar to a6 and h6 in orthodox Chess: these moves open a ray for the Rook, and increase mobility a lot, while the latter even reduce the number of moves. I don't see any forced gain of material here yet, although it is clear that this deserves some investigation. But even if a positional advantage can be forced by white here, calling the variant 'unplayable' because of that is a bit like equating having to shelter in a celler while a rain of rockets reduces the city above you to rubble to the discomfort of having a mosquito in your bedroom...

Nevertheless, I think your remark on this weakness deserves to be mentiones in the Shafran's Hexagonal Chess article.