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Odds Chess. Ways of giving a weaker opponent better odds. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
George Duke wrote on 2009-12-05 UTC
Handicaps like Cooper's here were done more like back in the 1840s, 1830s, 1820s, and even Philidor was known to give odds. Philidor at Paris and London would play absent a Pawn versus the good players and give odds of a Knight to the duffers.

Michael Farris wrote on 2008-07-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I appreciate the offering. I wish the connection with these options were encouraged at clubhouses, or at least posted in some way. The opportunity to teach young players with the knowledge of these handicaps, so kids do not think that the only odds offering is one of time. 'Move odds' give the learning player an idea of measuring time in moves, not minutes.

John Shawcross wrote on 2005-01-09 UTCGood ★★★★
At our chess club in Winchester MA USA we now have an annual 'Herbert
Handicap' tournament which is run as a Swiss 4 round tournament with
in every game, ranging from the weaker player having white to  queen odds
at 1000 rating points difference. Details on the web page at

We also incorporate the 'Herbert take back rule' that allows the weaker
player one take back per game so long as it is before the other player
moves. This rule was instituted as the donor of the trophy W. James
Herbert has a habit of taking a move back in friendly games if he
it was a blunder!

We also had an all Summer long team competition at our local Starbucks
coffee house that used odds to even up the sides.  

We do this because we have about equal numbers of adults and young
and it is nice for the kids to have a chance against the more experienced

It's a wonderful life!

John Shawcross

Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-03-04 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
It is also worth mentioning how different kinds of handicap affect play. Missing pieces have the most effect and time the least. A time handicap can also be adjusted over a range of severities. A draw handicap is an intermediate case, with little effect on the opening, but might encourage/discourage attempts at settling for a draw in the endgame.

Tim Stiles wrote on 2003-03-15 UTCGood ★★★★
I'd imagine capped knight or queenside odds to be very hard to win with, and capped pawn almost impossible.

Ben Good wrote on 2003-03-15 UTC
i'm impressed with this list too, a lot of these i had never heard of before. i'm wondering tho if it isn't easier to win without a Q or queenside than it is to win with a capped pawn or capped knight. class E players are going to realize they can sack any piece for the capped piece and win. i doubt you can keep anybody from capturing your f-pawn if they really want to.

Jianying Ji wrote on 2003-03-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This list is quite comprehensive, and quite impressive. Which makes it 
doubly strange that the odds chess has not persisted in any serious way 
in chess clubs today, especially organizations such as FIDE to determine
the rating, handicap correspondence.

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