[ Help | Earliest Comments | Latest Comments ][ List All Subjects of Discussion | Create New Subject of Discussion ][ List Earliest Comments Only For Pages | Games | Rated Pages | Rated Games | Subjects of Discussion ]Single Comment Experiments in Symmetry. Several experimental games to test whether perfect symmetry makes a game better.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]Joe Joyce wrote on 2005-02-16 UTCGood ★★★★Fergus; some thoughts on Bachelor Chess. I went to bed swearing I would not get involved in this, but I woke up thinking about geometry and Bachelor Chess. I believe the geometry of the board is a key factor in any game, the first factor to make or break a game. So, I set up and played your first variant a bit. First, I assumed the board is a checkerboard, with a white square on the white player's right corner, so I covered the original 'A' file and set the pieces up. Both white bishops are on white squares, both black bishops on black; an interesting asymmetry. The white king starts on a black square; and the black, on a white, as are their castling squares. Here are two openings I played: 1) d4 d5 2) f1-e3 e6 rather than c6, allowing check 3) e1-b4 f1-d2 white attempts trade of B for N, black declines, but N placement blocks Bs 4) b3 b7 5) c4 c5 6) Pxc5 Pxc5 7) b4-a5 check e7-b6 if 7) ... d8-e7, 8) PxP PxP 9) NxP check 8) BxN check PxB 9) PxP PxP 10) NxP a8-a6 white may continue by castling or by c1-g5 check, with much the better game The way this played out, I felt black should not directly contest the center of the board with 1) ... d5 The second opening: 1) d4 e3 2) c1-f4 b8-c6 3) c3 d5 4) b1-d2 b6 5) e4 c8-b7 6) PxP PxP 7) f1-e3 c6-e7 8) BxP check KxB probably a serious blunder on white's part 9) c3-c4 a8-d8 10) PxP NxP possibly better if ... BxP 11) NxN check BxN 12) O-O check e8-c6 white has a passed pawn that is going nowhere fast for a lost bishop As I am not the best of players, and cannot play chess against myself, these openings are not of the highest quality - the B sacrifice, in particular, was poor, as it could not be followed up. White may actually have an edge in this variant, but I am certainly not good enough to tell, only to suspect this is the case. However, I do get some clearer impressions of this variant. I think the geometry is important, as I feel these games are not as subtle as FIDE chess. Two of six non-royal pieces can never directly interact*, yet they attack the two most likely squares the opponent's king will occupy. Checks appear to be easier in the opening. I always had the urge to trade one of my bishops for the 'opponent's' knight, believing this is advantageous. I think the openings and patterns of threats are considerably reduced, and less subtle, because of the geometry. The game gives me more the feel of a bludgeon than a rapier. This could be because of my style of play, however. I do believe the knight is worth more than the bishop, and I'd definitely prefer to have 2 knights and 1 bishop against 2 bishops and 1 knight. I would also think this admittedly very preliminary analysis has some relevance for your other 7x8 variants and the 58 square variants, as the geometry is basically similar. I would suggest a variant of this game on a 7x9 board, but I wonder if the draw potential goes up. For what my opinion is worth, I think this is an interesting variant, but FIDE chess is better, and better because of its' geometry. The 8x8 board allows better pawn moves in the opening and balances the bishops. *This would seem to increase the subtlety on the surface, but that's not the impression I got moving pieces. I see Peter Aronson** and Doug Chatham anticipated a couple of my observations. To Doug, I believe the answer to your question is: 'yes'. To Peter, I'm real new at this, could you direct me to your sources? Thanks. **My error on confusing Spinster queens and Sinister queens - apparently Mr. Aronson does not confirm my suspicion that white has the advantage in the 7x8 variants, as Sinister Queens is 8x8.