CHESSES: chess variants for nonexperts, nonplayers, and the very playful

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I don’t play a lot of chess, as it’s for boobs (it doesn’t even have color), but I did find that the related-sounding Really Bad Chess by Zach Gage helped me to “get” chess in general better. That has challenges like, you have two queens and the opponent has a row of knights and you have to get a checkmate in three moves.


We tried to invent time travel chess, but it didn’t work, cos we were really fucking high. The concept is sound though, I maintain.


I’ve been looking for a fairy chess single player computer game for years but it doesn’t seem like anybody has made one.

I strongly second the “Really Bad Chess” recommendation. I’ve been playing it almost daily for probably a year now.

What’s really fun about it is the random nature takes off the table the shitty aspects of chess, like rote memorization of openings and whatnot. You get a random board, and you can set the difficulty level which determines the relative balance between you and the computer. So, especially for beginners, it’s more of a pure strategy game and feels more fair than actual chess where most skilled players can crush you easily and suck all the fun out of the game.

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A friend once challenged me to a game of chess augmented with a special deck of cards. Each player gets a handful of cards. On your turn, you get to play a card and then make a move according to the rules of chess as modified by whatever is on the card you played.

At the time, I was in the chess club and my friend was in the “I know the rules” class of chess players. He never dared play me until he got that deck of cards.

Around move 4, I played a card that said “rotate the board by 90 degrees.”. Then I moved a pawn to what used to be the side of the board, promoted it to a queen and said, “checkmate”.

We never played again :frowning:

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