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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2013-03-25
 Author: Edward  Jackman and Fergus  Duniho. Inventor: Vernon Rylands Parton. Alice Chess. Classic Variant where pieces switch between two boards whenever they move. (8x8x2, Cells: 128) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
JT K wrote on 2016-10-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

What a great classic variant I've only recently discovered!  This description mentions that you can use only one board.  I agree and think it's easier visually. After each piece is moved, you could just mark it with some sort of large poker chip underneath (or clip something onto the top) and vice versa - when a marked piece is moved it loses the marker. 

Then, the players could simply have an understanding that marked pieces and unmarked pieces are not in each others' way and cannot capture each other.  So a game could go like this:

1. d4  Nf6

(now the white pawn and black knight are both marked)

2. Qd6 now possible for White because White knows the unmarked Queen can go "through" his/her marked pawn.  Then the Queen becomes marked at d6, threatening the marked Black knight.  The Black knight then moves to e4 and loses its marker. 

 


Kevin Pacey wrote on 2016-02-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Alice Chess is a 3D chess variant that works very well, with only minor trickery required (i.e. that no piece is allowed to occupy the corresponding square on the opposite board). Not only that, but interesting exchanges of differing piece types can still be made, with there still being a variety of 'major' and 'minor' pieces.

Beautiful.

Johnny Luken wrote on 2012-10-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
A pretty playable subvariant would be with both boards full, and ordinary moves, starting and ending on the same board, by necessity, legal.

You could even adapt the mechanic for higher dimensional games, with layers of boards, with the rule that for a piece to move legally from one board to another, the move would have to be legal on all intermediate boards aswell...

charlesfort wrote on 2007-01-03 UTCGood ★★★★
Alice Chess: this clever idea is applicable to virtually all chess versions and is widely played here too. // In view of extensive material why not solicit extra Comments for 2007 alphabetically, so readers get a chance systematically to familiarize with content all the years of this website? There are 26 English letters and 52 weeks, so each letter would get 2 wks. 01.01.07 to 08.01.07 for items from Aa to Al(including Alice Chess), next week Am to Az, then Jan. 15 to Jan. 31, 2007 is for letter-B works. And so on: April for G and H chess games; two letters per month being easier, and that allows discussion of W, X, Y, and Z-alphabetized topics from the Index during December 2007. Then more readers and contributors would be on the same page, the same choir sheet, and find common threads in what went before, duplicative work. You would not teach Abstract Algebra without assuming some ability for proofs, knowledge of sets, familiarity with notation, complex numbers, matrix arithmetic. Same general idea so everyone at least knows a Ferz from a Wazir.

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2006-09-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
hmm this place is a bit frisky lately, anyway, i'm going to rate some
unusual games, and what better place to start than here. 
This is an amazing game, no need to say anymore. Highly original,
strikingly beautiful concept.

Abdul-Rahman Sibahi wrote on 2006-09-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
In the 'Play It!' section, the author mentions variants to Alice Chess : Alice Chess, Alice Mirror, Alice Zero (aka Ms. Alice Chess), Alice Grand, and Alice Extinction. I believe these variants need to be explained to users who don't have Zillions (like me). -- Also, the article doesn't mention the variant suggested be Patron that: 'Alician Chess can also be played on three boards of identical size. ' Patron doesn't clarify that if a square was occupied and the corresponding squares weren't that a piece may move to this square or not; he merely says that there is 'no choice' implying that two corresponding squares out of three can be occupied in the same time. This would be a nice addition.

Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2005-01-27 UTCGood ★★★★
It's true that Alice Chess can be confusing, but the rules are actually very simple. Any move must be legal on both boards and the pieces end their move on the other board. Its a bit of a mind bender, but not more so than 3-D or 3-D positional games, as George points out. This confusion, if you will, is actually thematic with the name. Alice keeps getting turned around. Nothing is what it seems. That's the fun of it. Playable? Yes, but the spirit of fun can't be forgotten. Blunders? Yes, but, hey, the Alice Knight kept falling off his horse, didn't he?

George Duke wrote on 2005-01-27 UTCGood ★★★★
(Large CVs 'ABC' thread): David Pritchard says 'Alice Chess is confusing. Blunders are commonplace.' Antoine Fourriere's excellent script on strategy added within clarifies a lot. Still Alice Ch. is more of an 'idea game' than one of the highest playability. Alice is compatible with 'Positional 3D Chess' concept in article of that name.

Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2004-11-08 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
How many Alice Chess games have been played at the ChessVariants Courier Play by e-mail system? Any favorites from the players here? I would like to correct myself in terms of the knight tour for Alice--the bishops can move forward and backward past the 'goal square' -- like parallel parking a car- -- and thereby hit any square on both boards. But the knights are a bit more trouble mentally, to hit a square on either board. It seems like the piece, on a tour, having hit every other square in the tour once, could shift the pathway and set about coming back to the target mirror squares. If a note from George Jelliss at the website http://www.borderschess.org/KTfeedback.htm is used in reference to an algorithm for normal 64 square chessboards-- --'It is in fact possible to devise rules that will produce an exact tour, without deviation from the rule at any point, and without backtracking. In Chessics #22 (1985) I gave four examples of such 'Synthetic Tours'. They use Warnsdorff's rule ('Play the knight to a square where it commands the fewest squares not yet used') in conjunction with either the Obtuse rule ('Play the knight at as obtuse an angle as possible to the previous move - straight if possible') or the Acute rule ('Play the knight at as acute an angle as possible to the previous move'). The second rule either takes over when Warnsdorff's rule breaks down (I write these rules WO and WA), or the second rule is applied to the choice of moves suggested by the first rule (I write these rules W/O and W/A). The four combination rules all work if the tour is started a1-b3'-- then perhaps the idea could be extrapolated to the Alice boards. I have not yet done so today, but I aim to try. That would mean that the square is a WHOLE TOUR at most from that mirror square, and so would be useless for most short games, but something to consider. (Most games are so far much shorter than a corresponding 'FIDE Standard' game counterpart.) Or again, now that I am sitting still thinking about it, perhaps you are right. Again, thanks to all for their contributions.

Michael Farris wrote on 2004-11-08 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I am thankful for your comments on strategy, but I would add that the knights are N-colorbound in the short-term, but not long-term. Alice piece-teams must rather must think more long-term as in Shatranj; the 'knight's tour', for example, is possible, as is the 'wazir's tour'; it just takes twice as long. I agree that many shorter games are possible with the proper initiative, but with careful (or perhaps not so careful) play, more subtle games can be played. At www.schemingmind.com, we are also running tournaments to explore this great game of Alice Chess, and we have a journal where I posted some points of strategy in the games. I invite your analysis and those observations of Alice Chess fans everywhere. Thank you for your passion for the game, and your insight into gameplay.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-11-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2004-11-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Excellent page!. In my opinion, new comments on strategy by Fourriere are of very high quality, I have learned a bit more about this nice game, but I doubt I can still play it as well as I would want, deep tactics are usually complex, and risks are much more important than in FIDE-Chess. Mastering this game needs certain amount of time, undoubtely.

George Duke wrote on 2004-10-06 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Are Chess and Chess Variants separate like Alice's 'Through the Looking Glass'? Has 14th World Champion Vladimir Kramnik even heard of Alice Chess, re-recognized now at CVP? Would #6 Peter Leko play Ultima? Contrariwise, are CVP readers even aware a World Championship match takes place now in Switzerland between Kramnik and Leko? Would perennial #1 Kasparov hold Recognized Chess Variant Kriegspel in high regard? Or #7 Michael Adams think RCV Avalanche Chess worth anything? Well there are Fischer and Random Chess, and a photograph in Pritchard's ECV of #9 Judit Polgar (and sisters) playing Intense C, being a variant neither known nor recognized here. Probably the realms will remain separate and unequal between Chess and CVs, at large most of the games played being Chess.

Austin Lockwood wrote on 2004-07-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Turn based Alice Chess can now be played on <a href='http://www.schemingmind.com/'>SchemingMind.com Online Correspondence Chess Club</a>. Both the standard version described here (Alice1) and the variation where the black pieces start on board B (Alice2) are available.

Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2003-09-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
An interesting aspect of this game is that game goals or strategies differ on each board. The checkmate goal is the same, of course, but each position has its own intermediary objectives. On one board, the objectives may be more like the opening, on the other they may be more middle game objectives. These objectives must remain flexible because the positions appear and dissapear like summer clouds or maybe dreams. What a great game!

Masashi Yamazaki wrote on 2002-09-10 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The starting setup of graphics version is wrong.
Bishops in 1b/8b should be in 1c/8c respectively.
Knignts in 1c/8c should be in 1b/8b respectively.

The game is wonderful but too complex to play for me.

Thanks.

Masashi Yamazaki

Tomas Forsman wrote on 2002-05-30 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Another variant could be, and this probably exists under some name, to
start with two boards and two sets of pieces each. Except that there would
be no King on the second board.

Just a thought.

The game is very fun to play however.

Tomas

Daniel wrote on 2002-03-29 UTCGood ★★★★
Make your pages have a 'printer option!' That way I could take your data
home with me and actually use it!! Also, put a 'home' buttin at the
bottom
of each page, it would make site navigation easier... Thanks, Daniel

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