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This item is a play-by-email page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2008-10-26
 By Gary K. Gifford. Indistinguishable Chess. All pawns and pieces appear the same in color and size, for both sides. The board has no 'dark' squares.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Gary Gifford wrote on 2008-11-03 UTC
Mr. Muller: I thank you for your comment but I disagree with the statement, 'The tiniest reminder of where the pieces are would be enough to make them remember 100% accurately during the entire game.' I do agree that such reminders are very helpful. But, the truth is club players over-look much game information, perhaps the most common being long-range bishops. Now, if we remove some visual information (such as square colors and piece colors) the club player's brain must put in some extra energy to enhance this lower visual input. Since his mind is working harder, and since he is, by nature of the game, going to miss things, then it seems he will be missing more.

As a side note, when in the Navy a group of us were sitting at a table with a chessboard (no pieces). A shipmate acted as if he made the move ' 1. Pawn to King Four.' So I responded with a phantom move. He then made move two... etc. We had quite a crowd gathered around to watch this game with no visible pieces. In relation to your comment it was easy to visualize where the pieces resided. At one point, late in the middle game, a guy came by and took his hand and swiped at the board. Some of the spectators yelled 'No!' and it was interesting because we could visualize our phantom pieces falling over, falling off the board and table. We had to mentally re-set the board. But we were then able to play the game to its conclusion.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2008-11-02 UTC
That is what I would expect. For a club player, all the pieces being white would not make the slightest difference. They are at the brink of being able to play completely blindfolded. The tiniest reminder of where the pieces are would be enough to make them remember 100% accurately during the entire game. You kno which pieces are yours. You played them to there yourself!

Gary Gifford wrote on 2008-11-02 UTC
Joe: I just read your comment... many thanks. In regard to the pre-set, Should there be one? Could we trust people to play using all White pieces on a white board? In regard to knowing the Flying Hippopotamus Opening, which I take is a joke (but maybe not), I do know the Old Hippo opening. Davide Rozzoni, established chess author Bill Wall, and I collaborated on a chess book called, 'Winning with the Krazy Kat and Old Hippo.' More information is here http://www.lulu.com/content/3292224 and Chessville's Rick Kennedy has written a review on it which should appear sometime in the near future. I also list the chess variants website in the back... so perhaps there will be a few chess players visiting CV.

Getting back to 'Indistinguishable Chess,' I did mention it at a chess club last Thursday. To my surprise the club teller of tall tales stated that he bought a white board, 2 sets of white pieces, and played this game... but that no one could beat him because they couldn't remember all the pieces like he could.


Joe Joyce wrote on 2008-10-31 UTC
Hey, Gary, how can you have a preset with no preset? :-D Lol! Other than that, it's great. It would help to have good chess sense for this game, but I think it'd help even more to play a well-memorized opening, and if you know the Flying Hippopotamus Opening, now's the time to play it. Bet this would be an excellent training tool for advancing players.

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