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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2008-10-13
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender. Inventor: Dave  McCooey. Hexagonal chess. Chess on a board, made out of hexes. Variant of Dave McCooey. (Cells: 91) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2015-11-25 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

One thing I like about Glinski's game in comparison to the present game is that there is quite a bit less distance on a given file (in terms of hexes) between pawns (especially for edge-ish ones) in Glinski's start position than is the case for the present game. Another thing I like about Glinski's game is that a pawn capture moves the pawn by just one hex 'forward' (in a sense) on the file the pawn finishes its move on, like in chess in that sense. Similar to how a pawn only advances one hex forward on a file when making a non-capturing move in Glinski's game (or the present one, for that matter).

A pawn capture in the present game can advance a pawn by as much as two hexes towards promotion, which doesn't happen in chess - but nor can a diagonal pawn capture fail to advance a pawn towards promotion at all, as often happens with Glinski's game (which is one thing I like about the present game's rules). That is, in both games pawn captures away from more central files are 'rewarded' in terms of being closer to a promotion hex to some degree. Capturing towards a more central file is at least 'rewarded' (to any extent) in the present game (by putting a pawn one hex closer to promoting), I would note. The present game also answers my wish for having similar pawn chains to like in chess, which Glinski's game fails to allow.

Decades ago I saw values given for the pieces in Glinski's that would seem to apply to McCooey's too: P=1; B=3; N=4; R=5; Q=9. I'd add that I estimate the fighting value of K=4 approximately (though naturally it cannot be traded).

[edit: Note that except for a pawn making an initial 2-step move, in McCooey's game it seems it would often take at least 2 moves to make a pawn chain consisting of only just 2 pawns, perhaps more often than is the case in chess.] However, either hexagonal game does not seem to really allow lengthy periods of very locked up ('closed') positions (due to virtually boardwide pawn chains), as can happen in chess, anyway, due to the board's roomy geometry and ratio of pawns & pieces to hexes for both hexagonal games in question. My guess is that lovers of strategic maneuvering might want to look at another sort of variant altogether for that. So far the pros & cons I've mentioned for Glinski's game & the present one tend to balance themselves out in my mind, although I've only played Glinski's game (occasionally), and that was decades ago before my one opponent (my brother) stopped playing. Glinski's game might have a considerably larger over-the board following worldwide, for all I know, though, which could count for something, if only for its having a leg up on the present game. Somehow I received a tube set for Glinski's game a long time ago, but finally discarded it some years ago due to lack of over-the-board opponents locally. In games with my brother, endgames often arose where I'd win with extra pawn(s) - though I'd let him take back gross mistakes earlier in the games since I had more skill at chess-like games than he did. {P.S.: After playing a number of games with an expert in this (McCooey) variant, I've found the game is rather tactical and it's easy to get creamed right from the start! Both sides have a number of tactical weaknesses in the setup, and it seems the number of playable openings may be somewhat limited, at least for the early part of the game. especially from Black's perspective.}

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2014-02-23 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Answer to Charles Gilman: Yes, me, I tried. See Echexs for 3, or 6, players with McCooey's arrangement.

GiViT wrote on 2011-08-25 UTCPoor ★
Trop bidon !

Jonathan wrote on 2006-05-26 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I only have a theory, but I think I know the reason why Glinski had his form of pawn capture. I suspect it was to avoid getting pawns close the the far rank too quickly. In regular chess, a pawn capture only advances the pawn one step closer to promotion, just as a regular pawn step would have. In Glinski's version, a capture only advances a pawn one step closer as well, while in McCooey's, it actually advances the pawn the equivelant of two spaces closer than it already was. Does that make sense? Glisnki was better emulating the difficulty of pawn promotion, while McCooey was better emulating the movement. I guess it just depends on your preference in that case.

Dave S. wrote on 2005-03-05 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I've never understood Glinski's pawn taking manoeuvre. Dave McCooey's version makes much more sense. Great article!

Charles Burns wrote on 2004-09-16 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Very good rules. I agree this is a better game than Glinski's, especially your reasoning behind the pawn moves. I also 'discovered' these moves while experimenting with hex's for a three handed game, before I read about Glinski's game, so I agree they are the most natural rendering of conventional chess into hex's. Look forward to it gaining in popularity!

Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-02-16 UTCGood ★★★★
One advantage of this version over Glinski's is that, as it is more compact, it adapts better into a three-handed game.

(optional) wrote on 2002-10-26 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
My kids and I made a hex chess board and we found this to be a lot of fun! The game is quite faithful to conventional chess and the moves were similar enough that my five-year-old son learned them on his own, just from studying this site; thanks for the great diagrams.

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