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Insane. Pieces change to random type when they move. With program playing this variant.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Greg Strong wrote on 2020-09-17 UTC

What if a piece randomly changes into a pawn on the first or second rank? Can it then move two spaces? What about the eighth rank? Does it then promote? Or is it stuck forever?

The rules don't seem to address any of this.

(zzo38) A. Black wrote on 2011-01-25 UTC
A slight variant: After you move the piece, roll the dice 1d6: 1=Pawn, 2=Knight, 3=Bishop, 4=Rook, 5=Queen, 6=No change. The probability of the piece staying in the same kind of piece, is now 1/3. (Or, combine it with the idea of the previous comment so that 6=King)

One more slight variant: Same as above, but a piece also does not change if all of the pieces of the chess set of the kind indicated by the dice are already on the board (and pawns promote only to lost pieces).

Anonymous wrote on 2010-06-16 UTC
Another variant: kings also changes randomly, and other pieces can change into kings. Win by checkmating any king or, if there is no king now, capturing all pieces.

Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-04-05 UTC
By the way, for people who want to try Insane Chess with real pieces, may want to consider checking out Steve Jackson's Proteus (I couldn't find it on the chess variant site):

The pieces are dice.

Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-04-05 UTC
One of the issues I have with luck being a balancing mechanism for a weaker player, is if the stronger player has luck breaking their way, the weaker player is a lot worse off.

Peter Riesen wrote on 2008-04-05 UTC
Hello Rich, it's a nice idea to adjust a game so that the weaker player has a (small) advantage, although Insane already is very crazy and one of the chessvariants which sometimes give the weaker player chances (like the inventor says).

Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-04-04 UTC
Here is a practical way to implement Insane:
The idea inspired a bit to come up with a way to make this doable.  Perhaps you have players end up having 6 reserve pieces.  You can adjust accordingly as to what those pieces are based on the skill of the player. These pieces go on numbers 1-6.  As a player moves a piece and it lands, you roll a die.  Swap out the piece there with the random one in reserve.  It has a similar effect, but also allows you to handicap.  You could, for example, give the much weaker player 6 queens.  The strong player has none.  What I will say is Insane, to me, looks like it uses a form of gating:

Insane looks like it uses the (d) form of gating.

Players could fiddle with this so the desired outcome is more stable, but still has the surprise effect at the end.

I will let others think on this a bit.  Please comment.

Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-04-04 UTC
May I suggest a variation in Insane, which is Insane Pocket? What you do with Insane Pocket is whenever a start piece moves out, you put a random piece where the piece prior left. You could also use this to not only randomize and handicap by limiting what pieces each player gets. For example, the stronger player doesn't have a queen pieces to draw from, etc... Doing this gets at the same idea, but also teaches the less experience player the idea of pawn structure. Sorry, I misread the rules. I thought you were randomly changing the pawns in front of the pieces. Anyhow, just thinking about this. It does look a bit like you are using a form of gating.

Peter Riesen wrote on 2008-04-04 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I was looking for some chess variants which give less experienced players better chances and are a lot of fun. I think both conditions apply to Insane, that's why I added it to my site, where it can soon be played live (along with other chessvariants/games) against other players; of course I mentioned by whom and when it was invented. It would be nice to play a game with its inventor. For more information: [email protected]

Matthew Paul wrote on 2004-06-05 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This game certainly fits it's description.  Not for the serious player,
but it was a lot of fun to play the Java applet.

It would also be good if the possible pieces included BN and NR, so
knight-moves get a fairer go.  Also, different pieces could have

eg. 3/12 =1/4 Pawn, 2/12 = 1/6 Bishop, 2/12 Knight, 2/12 Rook, 1/12 Q,
1/12 BN, 1/12 NR

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