Wednesday, July 04, 2007


(PICTURE: The queen is not pleased with the increased power of the king.)
I learned in my many writing classes not to criticize unless I could suggest an improvement. And so it is with chess. I trashed the game in I Hate Chess (Apr. 11 scroll down) because to be a good player you have memorize many openings and variations reducing the first eleven moves or so to rote; a mere memory challenge. Who the hell wants that?

Here’s my idea on how to improve chess: Introduce the fog of war. Make the opponents invisible until one of your pieces are close to them. There go all the openings out the window.

Here’s how it would work:

All the pieces have the same strength as before and move the same way.

A pawn can “see” in the three spaces in front of it, the one straight ahead and the two diagonals.

All other pieces can “see” one space in all directions except the king.

The king can “see” 3 spaces in all eight directions. This elevates the king to a super offensive piece instead of the passive piece it has been.

The rook, bishop and queen can move as far as wanted in open lanes but can be moved one space at a time during a turn until the player is done. Once the piece is advanced it cannot go back (hands on or hands off is not required). The knight must complete its move once started but may be paused before moving diagonally to finish the movement.

Lost pawns must be replaced immediately at the rate of one for one but only if each side is down a pawn. The pawn is placed on any space in the second row that is vacant. If no space is vacant then the prisoner exchange is postponed until there’s a space vacant.

The king can be put in check by any piece that “sees” it and threatens it. When the king is put in check by any piece out of sight of the king, that piece must exposed. The player with a masked piece that threatens the king has the option of declaring “check.”

This is all off the top of my head and much of it has been envisioned only as I wrote this so there are probably bugs. But doesn’t it sound interesting in not intriguing?

I would require two boards with a partition between and a very sharp person to umpire. That is until a computer program is written.


Blogger Iconoclast said...

Want to play a free fog of war chess
computer game? It's nicely done.

Go here
and scroll down to fog of war chess.

Here are the instructions.

November 10, 2007 at 9:11 AM  

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