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Brainf*ck Chess

October 16th, 2009 . by Andy (TANcast's #1 Ear-Rapist)

Andy’s October of Suckage: Day 16

I had a stupid idea, but what the hell, TANcast is a stupid place. Maybe it’s even unique. I certainly haven’t found it documented anywhere yet, despite my attempts to find any mention.

At any rate, if I thunk it up I get to name it and until I hear otherwise I’m calling it Brainf*ck Chess. It’s pronounced “Brainfuck Chess”, but I’m spelling it with an asterisk so people can print the name in semi-polite company.

The rules are as simple as they are (currently) poorly defined: This is standard chess, but the players switch sides. The colors still act in turn throughout the match, so the same person makes the move prior to and the move after each change of side.

I haven’t made up my mind how often this happens, and I suspect that I (or someone a lot better at chess) would need to play some actual games before making an informed decision on how this variant would work best. I’ve kicked around having white and black trade places after every fourth move (two per side), every tenth move (five per side), or every capture.

The first option seems like it might be too spastic, since players would make a lot of back-to-back moves. Any sort of “scheduled trade” rule allows the bookending player to, say, make a purposefully bad play as white and then immediately take advantage of it as black. The more frequent the swaps the more you’d presumably see this exploited.

The “swap on capture” idea has an interesting logic to it, but leads to the possibility of one player repeatedly capturing pieces of alternating color, thus monopolizing play. I’m not convinced this is a bad thing.

Checkmate still wins, stalemates are still draws, and all other normal rules apply.

Now I just need to figure out which makes the more compelling game. The last full chess match I played was years ago and I was drunk at the time, so don’t hold your breath.

I exist in some netherworld where most fellow non-players assume I’ll kick their asses and thus don’t want to play me, while I’m not too keen on getting my ass kicked by regular players. I think it just feels like I’d be trading in bits of my overinflated ego for a skill I don’t need.

I just don’t run in chessy circles…

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