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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2001-09-29
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender. Inventor: W. B.  Seabrook. Rifle Chess. Pieces are taken by shooting: capturing without moving. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-07-25 UTC

Anyone know whether an attempt to solve Rifle Chess is (or has already) happen[ing/ed] somewhere?

In view of Losing Chess being solved (i.e. White should win from the start with optimal play), I'd certainly feel happier playing a game of Rifle Chess than a game of the former nowadays, if I had to choose between the two variants, for that reason alone.


Kevin Pacey wrote on 2017-10-06 UTC

There may be a slight bug with the submission rating system. I originally put Rifle Chess as 'Average' and had a comment. Recently I edited the comment, and then noticed the system acted as if my rating had never existed. So, I went to edit my comment again, purely to re-rate Rifle Chess, and noticed that 'Average' was no longer given as an option to select(!); so, I selected a rating of 'Good' instead, and now the system is showing that I've rated 'Rifle Chess'. A minor bug, perhaps, but I thought I'd let you know, Fergus.


Kevin Pacey wrote on 2016-09-20 UTCGood ★★★★

Perhaps this game is best suited for a speed chess time control, as a previous poster alluded to in a way.

In trying to tentatively estimate the value of the pieces in this variant, I'd guess that the long range pieces may be worth, say, double what I give them as in standard chess. Thus: P=1; N=3.49; B=7; R=11; Q=20 and the fighting value of K=4 (though naturally it cannot be traded).


Johnny Luken wrote on 2015-05-07 UTC
This game is conceptually appealing yet famously poor. An improved subvariant is what I would call "Spotters" Chess, where a piece captures only when another friendly piece has the piece in its sight (the spotter). On playtesting this subvariant is decent, but still not great. Making captured pieces be converted adds complexity. Maybe that would make a worthwhile game for this concept.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2014-07-08 UTC
I just made a Fairy-Max derivative that is able to handle rifle captures, next to its ordinary move repertoire. I used it to test some pieces that could rifle-capture their direct neighbors (cK-bK in Betza 2.0 notation), in addition to other moves. One thing I noticed watching the games is that pieces can be guarded by attacking their attacker. BTW, the K rifle captures on a piece that did not have any K moves was worth about the same, or even slightly more as having all K moves (m + c) on that piece.

R7justin wrote on 2005-01-17 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Rifle chess is excellent as a super-blitz game. I prefer playing sans defending capabilities - no square is defended via normal chess practice (excluding,of course, moves that would bring about self-check) so that captures are sudden, swift, surprising. Though the rifle variant polarizes the relative strength of pawns and back-field pieces it provides an opportunity for very interesting piece dialogue. The opening-move advantage held by white is dramaticized - so too is black's ablitiy to recover lost ground. White does well to call to arms its bishops early: a 1 d4... 2e4 opening followed by 3Bb5 can be a very devastating combination (black should counter with Bd7). a black defense should follow the same plan. actually, not a defense but rather a counter attack - defense strategy should be rare in rifle chess, a game of aggression - 1 ... e6 is a simple way to level the playing field. The d/e pawn openings, for black and white both, should serve only as devices of bishop conscription, never as middle-ground-claiming opening moves. the opening serves only to draw out the bishops - one can see their immediate vicious potency when called upon as a pair in the opening. The queen is not so easily brought to the playing field. she serves better as an end game actor. Decisive board control can be achieved without her - look to the bishops for winning positions when playing both sides - their positioning and livelihood will play a huge part in the outcome of the game.

Frank wrote on 2002-12-24 UTC
Of course guarding will work somewhat differently, 'guarding sightlines' expresses it well enough. As I noted pawns won't be able to do that, but the guarding ability of the queen, rooks & bishops can & should be used. I'm simply saying that the comment it's 'of no use to guard' is incorrect.

gnohmon wrote on 2002-12-23 UTC
Rifle Chess can be saved by the addition of reaction fire. For example, if the Qh5 shoots Pg6, Pg6 can shoot back and kill the Queen, even though it was not his turn to move; as per the csipgs game 'Perfect General' and other such games. This was part of my game Autorifle Chess from the 1970s -- a barely-playable game whose reason for existence was as a demonstration that not only could rifle be saved but even autorifle could be saved! (Just showing off, I was.) In straight Rifle Chess, I'd add the restriction that you get no reaction fire if your last move included a capture -- again, according to several csipgs games.

Ben Good wrote on 2002-12-21 UTC
i'm not sure what frank is talking about, guarding pieces does not work in most situations, unless the removal of the piece captured will open up a sight line between the defending piece and the piece that captured it. incidentally i've never thought this was a good game, the Q's totally dominate, nobody's even demonstrated a way to me to defend against having your army totally gunned down by the Q. i remember one time somebody posted to the yahoo board, can rifle chess be saved? my thought was probably not, and with so many other good variants around to play, why bother?

Frank wrote on 2002-12-21 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
'of no use to guard pieces'...if that's meant to continue 'with pawns', then yes, I guess...guarding with pieces still works fine. This is a good interesting variant.

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