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Chessopoly. Board with a hole in the middle where pawns move clockwise. (12x12, Cells: 128) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-05-31 UTCPoor ★
'The setup in my diagram is not a mistake' is a matter of opinion. In a genuinely circular game it might make sense to put one player's royalty on the outer edge and one on the inner. In this version, though, the two edges play quite differently as the outer one has six extra squares.

Michael Nelson wrote on 2003-05-31 UTC
The author's 'The setup in my diagram is not a mistake' asserts that the
diagram correctly reflects his design--that he really intended the
asymetircal setup, rather than the diagram-maker messing up.

Whether this is a good design decision is an interesting question. I
suspect Ralph had a good reason for his choice and I would be interested
in hearing it.

Antoine Fourrière wrote on 2003-05-31 UTCGood ★★★★
If the setup were symmetrical, Black would have a sure draw available.
But logically, Black should choose who gets the outer royalty. It seems
better to have one's Knights closer to the enemy King, and one's Bishops
not hampered by the inner frontier. (Upgrade my rating to Excellent if it

gnohmon wrote on 2003-06-01 UTC
Who can remember so far back?

When I stressed the idea that 'things move clockwise' was an important
new thing, it seems to me that I must alredy have had the idea of Race
Chess in mind, and was probably rushing to finish chessopoly so I could
write up Race Chess before forgetting it.

4x16 Race Chess is a great game, an excellent game. Compared to it,
Chessopoly is clearly inferior, not nearly so elegant. However, Chessopoly
is important as the historical precursor of 4x16 Race Chess.

The asymmetry of the setup was deliberate, and I believe it was a good
choice; although symmetry does not guarantee a draw, (one may not respond
to check with check), asymmetry should be more interesting.

I have no memory of thinking about which side should be where in the
asymmetry, and this means that I probably forgot to think about it in my
rush to 4x16 race chess. It looks like the board setup favors White a bit,
although I'd bet it's not by much.

You'll notice that I repeatedly invoke 4x16 Race Chess as an excuse for
whatever sins I may have committed in Chessopoly. Chessopoly is a game
that should be admired for its clever ideas. 4x16 Race Chess is a game
that should be played.

And, Chessopoly is a clever idea. It is based on a race game, it is not
itself a race game, not like Racing Kings (which I often mention and
always with great praise). However, 'everything moves clockwise' on a
somewhat circular chessboard is one of those revolutionary ideas that are
so simple you sit there and say 'how is it possible that nobody thought
of this before?'.

And, of course, the best game with clockwise movement on a circular
chessboard is, in my opinion -- you guessed it -- 4x16 Race Chess.

George Duke wrote on 2008-07-31 UTC
Humorously, newcomer Gilman had the chutzpah to rate Betza's Chessopoly 'Poor' in 2003: '''The setup in my diagram is not a mistake' is a matter of opinion'' opines Charles. Explaining asymmetry, Betza defends he was ''rushing to finish chessopoly so I could write up Race Chess, a great game. Who can remember so far back?'' Thus already in the particular year 2003, year 1997 of inventing both Race and Chessopoly was characterized as long ago by Betza. Betza's most prolific time had of course been the 1970's (not very much 1980's), and at 1994 publication of David Pritchard's 'Encyclopedia of Chess Variants', ''Betzas'' are second only to ''Boyers.'' (chess-design-artist Boyer mostly worked during 1940's and 1950's.) After all also, ancient year 1997 recalled by Betza in the very last Comment here, is well back towards that entire quiet decade for CVs pre-Internet of the 1980's, and just after FischerRandom was announced at Buenos Aires in 1996. Some might argue it would have been well worth pondering FRC for all of the last ten years and not to have designed any purportedly-new CV at all in interim until fully resolving that one's implications. Such was not to be. The quiet period from 1980-1994 itself saw less production numerically than all the prior decades after World War II, yet having among them Schmittberger's Airplane Chess(1981), Gygax's DragonChess(1985) and Duke's Falcon(1992). Then in 1994 Sam Trenholme among others had begun to bring CVs from all eras to wider audiences in new medium Internet. The halcyon pre-Internet days now forever gone, when you would prepare thoroughly to publish new invention in modest chess periodical and eventually present it publicly at club or college with some confidence in field-testing, progressively passing muster.

John Smith wrote on 2008-12-14 UTCPoor ★
Hmm. The problem to me does not seem to be the assymmetry, but, rather, the clockwise nature. The rear Pawns merely serve as a block for their own pieces, aiding in their attack.

T Wootten wrote on 2009-09-05 UTC

'a Knight at d7 could make its normal move to f8.'

Errr...f8 is in the hole! I suspect this is a mistake. Presumably a knight at d8 could move to f9

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