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Interview with Timothy Newton

Timothy Newton was the winner of our 84 Spaces Contest for his entry Outback Chess. Below is our interview with him (via email).

Congratulations with winning the first prize in the contest to design a chess variant on 84 squares and thank you for letting us conduct this interview with you.

Thank you! I enjoy your web site and had a lot of fun entering the contest!

Can you tell us something about yourself: what year were you born, where do you live, what your interests are, etc.?

I am the second of four children. I have two brothers and a sister. We are all home schooled. I was born in February of 1992. I live in Kent City, a small town in West Michigan. I love pets and we have a lot of them: two cats, one dog, four white mice, two gerbils, ten fish (they are mine), and my older brother Andrew has a hamster.

How did you come to the design of Outback Chess, your winning game?

Well, I was thinking about entering the contest when the board design popped into my head. After that, I spent some time designing different types of pieces. Once I had decided how the pieces should move I wrote my rules. After I play tested my game with my older brother Andrew and my Dad I submitted my variant!

Why did you pick an Australian theme for the game? And why did you choose the Echidna as the royal piece?

It just so happens that I was studying Australia in school at that time. I really thought that it was a cool country and the echidna is a native creature that I also thought was neat. I would love to visit Australia some day and see a real echidna (and a real kangaroo and a real wallaby, and a real koala...well, you get the idea)!

What was your reaction when you learned that you won the contest?

I was extremely surprised when I found out that my game had made it to the finals. The story of how I found out that I won is really funny! I was sound asleep when my Dad checked his e-mail and found out that I won. He came into my bedroom and tried to tell me the good news that I had won, but I sleep really soundly and he could not wake me up! So the next day he called me from work and told me I had won. I was so excited that I ran through the house telling my brothers and sister "Hey! I won the 84 Spaces Contest!"

What are your favorite chess variants?

Hmmm. I have only played a few chess variants. My favorites are orthodox Chess and Chinese Chess.

Do you regularly play chess, eg., in a club, or by e-mail? How did you learn to play chess?

I really don't play Chess a lot, I occasionally play a game with my brothers or my Dad. My Dad taught me how to play Chess when I was younger. I learned how to play Chinese Chess about two years ago. Dad just bought David B. Pritchard's book, Popular Chess Variants, and I plan to try some more variants in the near future.

Do you play games other than chess and chess variants? What are your favorites? And how do you play them - with friends, over the Internet, against a computer?

Absolutely! I like games like games Monopoly, Yahtzee, and the computer version of Risk. I also really like my Nintendo!

Do you have other hobbies?

I enjoy playing piano, video games, and writing. I especially like writing children's books, and I hope to publish my book Sheep on the Go! soon. This is the first of five children's books I have written in my Sheep series.

Do you plan to design any more Chess variants?

I am working on a design for a Lord Of The Rings variant. If I finish the rules, I will send them in to the Chess Variant Pages. I may even enter a future C.V.P. variant contest!

Are there other questions that we should have asked, but didn't, but that you still want to answer?

None that I can think of!

Thank you for answering our questions!

You're welcome! Thank you very much for your fine web site and for this interview, it was my very first!