The Chess Variant Pages




[ Help | Earliest Comments | Latest Comments ]
[ List All Subjects of Discussion | Create New Subject of Discussion ]
[ List Latest Comments Only For Pages | Games | Rated Pages | Rated Games | Subjects of Discussion ]

Comments/Ratings for a Single Item

Later Reverse Order EarlierEarliest
Stanley Random Chess A game information page
. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-06-21 UTC

I have updated this page with more factual information.


Austin Lockwood wrote on 2021-06-18 UTC

Hi Fergus,

Interesting that this discussion is still rolling on after sixteen years ;-)

SRC is real... some of the flowery discussion around it is the product of various hyperactive imaginations, but the game itself is most certainly real.

I am the game's inventor (Topov has written extensively about SRC, but he didn't invent it), and I wrote the software which runs behind SchemingMind.com... so I can attest to it's authenticity with some authority.

I have sent you a challenge; I hope you accept... it's a fun game, you might enjoy it.

Sure, you can argue that the occult nature of the rules mean that it doesn't belong on this website... if that is the case, then please just go ahead and delete the article rather than describing it as a hoax... because it isn't.

Cheers, Austin


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-01-20 UTC

I have updated the notice to a warning that says this game is a hoax.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-01-20 UTC

My understanding is that the description of the game is a hoax, but the game itself is not.

I will quote some excerpts from the linked document that suggest it is a hoax:

The precise rules are far too numerous to list here, and the above rules merely introduce some of the unique aspects of SR Chess.

Even the page linked to does not describe the full rules of the game.

A good grasp of the more comprehensive laws that govern legal and winning patterns and sequences is essential for expert play, but these are amply documented and explained in Samuel Worthington's fourth edition of Stanley Random Chess: The Official Player's Guide - Vol. 1, The Rules (Vol. 2, The Players and Vol. 3, Developing Winning Strategy are also worthwhile).

A Google search for this book did not turn up any links to it. It apparently does not exist. All that turned up were the page linked here and copies of it.

Over 535 such variations have been documented by the ISRCA, and the appendix of their 2004 Official Stanley Random Chess Handbook summarizes the 32 more popular international variations.

When I searched Google for "Official Stanley Random Chess Handbook", I did not find any link to this document.

But I did find an Uncyclopedia article on Stanley Random Chess. Uncyclopedia is a parody of Wikipedia, which is full of falsehoods written as humor. Checking who wrote the first version of the Wikipedia article, it is in fact Gregory Topov, the author of this page. I consider this an admission that Stanley Random Chess is a hoax.

Playing Online

This section talks about playing it on schemingmind.com, the very site the article is hosted on, but it does not include a link for actually playing it online.

Given that full documentation for the game exists only in fictional documents, the author of this page wrote an Uncyclopedia article on this game, and I cannot find anyplace to actually play it online despite claims that it can be played online, I conclude that this game is a hoax.


Joseph DiMuro wrote on 2021-01-19 UTC

My understanding is that the description of the game is a hoax, but the game itself is not. It's normal chess where, with each move you make, there's a 50% chance of your move being replaced with a move chosen at random from all legal moves.


Greg Strong wrote on 2021-01-19 UTC

It's an improvement, but the linked page doesn't contain the rules either - because the "game" is almost certainly a hoax.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-01-19 UTC

I just noticed that this is a link page, and one of the links provided on the page did go to a page with more information. I fixed up the HTML, added a notice to the top, and removed all but one link. Some were Geocities links that no longer worked, and some were general links that didn't go to information on this particular game.


Greg Strong wrote on 2021-01-19 UTC

I think it should be removed. As I recall, it was a joke that the author stubbornly insisted was not a joke, making it basically an act of trolling.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-01-18 UTC

Should I remove this page? The rules section does not describe the rules, and this page does not make it clear how to play this game.


George Duke wrote on 2015-12-24 UTCGood ★★★★
Stanley Random was first to use "Simpleminded Chess" to describe their stubborn little f.i.d.e. form that will probably stupidly outlast another decade. The original Stanley Random on CVPage was December 2004. Because of some criticism and unclear Rules, the description by Topov is dispersed and not completely in this article, apparently some of it edited by Topov, because for one thing originally there was mention of like 20,000 2 millenniums back origination in the first paragraph. Although it is not clear anyone knew exactly what was going on with Stanley Random: <a href="http://www.chessvariants.com/index/displaycomment.php?commentid=11182">One_of_Dozens</a>. See the other fifty comments.<p>Simpleminded? <a href="http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/magnus_carlsen.html">Wit</a>. <a href="http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=gargantua+images&view=detailv2&qpvt=gargantua+images&id=298BAF6D661F82B5A8CE20917BEC282308826415&selectedIndex=12&ccid=JPyPIoWC&simid=608034861624526294&thid=OIP.M24fc8f2285820ca5a1980b9e36fdcd45o0&ajaxhist=0">Excess</a>. <p> <a href="http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=gargantua%ee%80%81+and+%ee%80%80pantagruel&view=detailv2&qpvt=gargantua%ee%80%81+and+%ee%80%80pantagruel&id=FA0ECED71DF0D844EEB5C6B8B5178B5D0F5ABE37&selectedIndex=6&ccid=u1ClGyjy&simid=607987153114042062&thid=OIP.Mbb50a51b28f2b4c3f7749bb61f47d9c1o0&ajaxhist=0">Gargantua</a> -- Rabelais in 1530s wrote excitedly of new mad Queen Chess, not as old as Stanley Random, still played today, and the image from the book represents Chess play. Rabelais' two chapters on a ball, a dance, for Chess, describing actual game moves of all the pieces, two of them brand new in Bishop and Queen, were longer at 12 pages or more even than individual Chess Morality poems of years 1200 to 1500 about the early Shatranj form. <a href="http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/magnuscarl484959.html">Quotes</a>.

Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-04-13 UTC
My take on this, is that Mornington Crescent, and is a bit like Calvinball.  I would consider SRC to be the Mornington Crescent of Chess games, a bit of an inside joke actually.  I will say that it does serve a useful purpose of showing people who play a game like chess, or even a particularly variant, what their game sounds like to those who don't know about it.

So, on this note, we can use this comment here as a note that SRC is very likely a joke.  The funny thing is someone I have messaged on BGG said they were responsible for its creation.

Charles Daniel wrote on 2008-04-12 UTCPoor ★
And I mean this is a poor joke at that! 
I don't think this should be at this site unless it is categorized as a joke and a poor one at that. 
This is like one of the numerous Wikipedia joke/bogus entries and far less   interesting to boot.

Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-04-11 UTC
Why do I have a feeling this is connected to CalvinBall Chess somehow:
http://www.chessvariants.org/index/listcomments.php?subjectid=Calvinball+Chess

Anonymous wrote on 2006-03-27 UTC
this is pretty funny. i just can't believe people actually waste time playing it at schemingmind.

Larry Smith wrote on 2005-10-26 UTC
Fortunately, Topov provided himself with a large contingency of clones. Each being thoroughly trained and legally able to repesent the original.

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2005-10-26 UTC
Topov!! i thought you were dead!?!
http://geocities.com/verdrahciretop/src7.html
'This was GM Topov's last published article about Stanley Random Chess,
prior to his unfortunate death at the hands of escaped primates at the New
York City Zoo. Stanley Random Chess today owes much of its popularity to GM
Topov. Under his influence it has an active presence on the internet,
notably the excellent web-based email chess server
www.schemingmind.com.'
Nice to see someone got that wrong and you are alive and well :))

GM Gregory Topov wrote on 2005-10-26 UTC
Those looking for the original comments on Stanley Random Chess will find them here: http://www.chessvariants.org/index/listcomments.php?subjectid=Stanley+Random

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2005-10-23 UTC
austin take it easy, i don't think there is a strong drive to have this
game removed, just ya normal bunch of knockers, which you should
understand, because games make it to this site, and they are a 'joke' on
purpose, and src can easily be mistaken as this.
anyway, now to a important question ...
how was src played before computers came along ... someone must of known
of the rules lol ...
kind of funny how much talk this game gets, with seemingly no one
bothering to try out the game at schemeingmind he he

John Lewis wrote on 2005-10-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I think I can clear up the problems presented by those who are mystified by
the rules of Stanley Random Chess.  As the current American Grand Master, I
can assure you that even I find it hard to keep up with the volumes of
rules and stipulations that are involved.  In fact, I would suggest that
about 50% of the moves I make feel as if they were chosen at random from
all the possible moves available at that time.  It's only afterwards that
I'm able to determine the reason for my own errors, after looking up the
specifics of the situation in my leatherbound library.  (My personal
Achilles Heel are the moon phase transition instituted in Berlin, 1484.)

So while I often like to open with e4, about half the time my opening move
is substituted with the nearest legal ('random', to the layman) move from
all the available legal moves.  Again, I've never failed to be able to
find the rational for this transition upon review of the historical
journals.  I almost always find time to note these transitions to my
opponent, who sometimes finds such things humourous.  For example, when a
King joins inline with a row of pawns, this is known as 'Slumming'. 
When a Queen is prematurely brought into play she is often refered to as
'Dancing'.  The terminology is quiet liberating.

Should you have further questions, I'm sure playing a game would satisfy
your curiosity.  Feel free to challenge me on Scheming Minds.

Larry Smith wrote on 2005-10-20 UTC
I personally believe that pushing sleeping trolls over, or 'trolling', is
a cruel and rather childish act.  And besides it has nothing to do with SRC
since the use or participation of trolls is strictly forbidden by the 1987
Articles of the Tongalese SRC Convention.

It's not that trolls have low IQs which cause the problems, it just that
when they become fixated.  This can result in them endlessly staring at
such things as moving fan blades, constantly digging in their noses, or
humming the same tune over and over and over....

But SRC still commemorates their past participation by tournament
audiences spontaneously breaking into rousing rounds of 'Pop Goes the
Weasel'.  The humming of such by a player can result in severe
penalization.

Austin Lockwood wrote on 2005-10-19 UTC

This article was submitted in a complete form and accepted for publication as such by a ChessVariants editor nearly a year ago, it's been available for peer review ever since. No respectable publisher would demand changes so long after publication, and I'm sure that ChessVariants is no exception to this. OK, if the editors now feel that the article is offensive in any way then simply remove it and we'll discuss it no more; but please don't ask Greg to change it at this point.

The rules of SRC are occult within certain limitations; moves which are legal in SRC are always legal in Standard Chess, but not necessarily the reverse... so if I enter the move 1.e4 in my game, the server might (or might not) deem that move to be illegal under SRC rules, and change it to 1.a3. The reason for this is unimportant, it could be because dark squares are modal on the third Tuesday of the month, or it could just be because there's a random number generator hidden somewhere within the software - you don't know and it doesn't matter, the fact is that it's impossible to say why without some degree of confabulation - and the more outrageous that confabulation, the more enjoyable the game.

Yeah, OK, some of the things that have been written about SRC may have been slightly exaggerated... but c'mon guys, relax - it's only a bit of fun!


Greg Strong wrote on 2005-10-19 UTC
Larry Smith:

This comment is a joke, right?  Or are you trolling?

Larry Smith wrote on 2005-10-19 UTC
It is obvious that the Anti-Stanleys have reconstituted their effort to
eradicate SRC.  The previous attempt resulted in decades of repression,
lost documents and rather boring knock-offs of SRC, like the Mad Queen
variant which many still believe is the original game of Chess.

Anti-Stanleyism is an ugly thing.  Usually the genetic result of the
absence of the buffo-osso.  There are maintenance techniques which can
counter-act this deficiency.  Visit the ASA(Anti-Stanley Anonymous)
website for a list of phrenologists which will be glad to assist in
alleviating this crippling condition.  The local support groups are quite
nice, too.

Unfortunately, the effect of the Anti-Stanley movement cannot be totally
wiped out.  There usually survives a Master and an Apprentice.

Greg Strong wrote on 2005-10-19 UTC

Also, Austin Lookwood said:

The rules are occult - nobody knows them.

How exactly is this possible? How could the scheming mind server have been programmed to enfore rules that are unknown by anyone? Also, editor Tony Quintanilla has stated that the rules were disclosed to him. So the rules are known by some people and to say otherwise is just more misinformation.

This whole discussion could terminate in a hurry if a simple change was made to these pages. State up front what SRC is and what it isn't. This would help encourage support from the members of this community, rather than discouraging it, and would not detract from whatever humor may be present.


Greg Strong wrote on 2005-10-19 UTC
I agree with Derek.  If the rules themselves are hidden information, then
that is an interesting idea which merits consideration (and, perhaps,
playtesting.)  But as Derek points out, the pages don't say that this is
hidden information, and these pages are so long and convoluted as to
deliberately dance around that point.

Furthermore, what is missing from the discussion on this page, is the fact
that this is a continuation of a previous discussion.  I assume that the
start of the discussion is not here because it originated under a
user-created topic thread before the game had an official page.  In any
event, when the questions of the legitimacy of the so-called history of
SRC came up, and I insisted that SRC does not pre-date Orthodox Chess, the
response was a resounding denial that any of the history was invented.  He,
(Gregory Topov, I believe,) insisted that, although the history may be
humorous, it was completely legit and that future research will prove
centuries-old heritage of SRC as the true, original form of Chess.  (This
is paraphrased from memory since I do not know how to locate the original
thread, but my memory is quite good.)  As I previously stated, humor is
one thing; lying is quite another.

25 comments displayed

Later Reverse Order EarlierEarliest

Permalink to the exact comments currently displayed.