Nine Easy Ways to Make Chess Fun

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550 Comments

  1. What's the story about the Civilization 5 label on the chess board ? 🙂 Is it just a randomly placed sticker ?

  2. Some of the comments made by Quinns show that he could be a 1200 rated player (not meant to be a slight). The more you go up, the more the game opens up to you and you are amazed by the possibilities of the game. I'm not a high level player myself but I'm improving (currently around 1700 only) and I now realize how much I didn't know about this game a few years back and how ignorant I was. I still am ignorant of the magic that 2000+ players know and can do.

    In my opinion, of all the games, Chess is probably one game that doesn't need any variants, certainly not at amateur level. But if you just want to have a casual go at chess, these funny variants are okay but they are also such a disservice to such a great game. That said, Fischer propounded 960 but it's Fischer. It's safe to say most won't reach Fischer's level in their lifetimes and hence won't desperately need a asymmetric and imbalanced variant. He introduced that as he got tired of the theory in chess. But for amateur players, basic and unadulterated chess is a fantastic pursuit. I'd never introduce any of these variants to anyone (unless it's meant to be used as a training exercise to show patterns of threats and opportunities).

    Thanks to SUSD for bringing chess as a topic of debate and discussion among the board gaming community this week but I would strongly recommend anyone not so familiar with chess to not try these variants and focus on learning and enjoying the game through apps like Lichess where it points out your mistakes after the game and helps to find better moves and thereby constantly improve your game. The better you get at the game, the more fun and fascinating it would be. Cheers!

  3. Relay chess: Pieces gain the base abilities of each piece currently defending them. Doesn't affect pawns nor kings.

  4. Did you review Nightmare Chess? It's also awesomely broken.

  5. Have you tried shogi? It's basically the Japanese version of chess. I find it quite fun.

  6. There is art and beauty in chess. But it can take a while before you get good enough to really appreciate it. Chess is a "lifestyle game". You get from it what you put into it. Read a book like "Logical Chess: Move by move", which explains why each move was played in some famous games, and it can guide you to find that art and beauty.

  7. Woah there… I won't sit down or shut up for this – I've a got a board game 'nerd' telling me that Chess needs a makeover – getover ya self! FACTS: Who the flippedydoodah has ever heard of most of these board games and who has heard of Bobby Fischer (case rested)

  8. One that I have had a lot of enjoyment from but didn’t make the list: David Sirlin’s Chess 2: The Sequel to Chess. Variant armies with variant moves and play styles keep things mixed up and pretty interesting, combined with a new win condition where in addition to checkmate, you can win a game by moving your king safely across the midline of the board.

  9. I have also had a lot of fun with Shogi, where pieces you capture can be played on your own side as reinforcements.

  10. Huh… I'm not familiar with that version of atomic chess. Normally in atomic when something is captured, the surrounding pawns don't explode, only pieces.

  11. No "Chess 2: The Sequel"? It's really good! (When you ignore the bidding rule)

  12. Thank you for this! I have always thought chess sets are gorgeous works of art and I have always wanted to get one. However, I have always hated playing it. These variants sound like a joy! Thanks!

  13. Hey could you review amoung us, with the recent COVID-19 pandemic and what not, I haven't seen many people playing chess, but among us. With you also having reviewed werewolf/mafia versions, I think it wouldn't be too much of a strech.

  14. Hey I barely (actually never) get any mention for making halfchess.com. Thanks for not mentioning me again 🙂 kidding… Please try it out.

  15. Disappointed that Sovereign Chess did not make this video.

  16. "Feeling Enlarged" "I am a People Pleaser"
    …I see what you did there

  17. Aw, no mention of Racing Kings or King of the Hill variants? Those are my favorite because of the lower-stakes atmosphere and totally different objectives for winning rather than just checkmate. Another good mention is Three-Checks-Chess where you lose if your king becomes checked 3 times regardless of whether he is checkmated — essentially giving your king "3 health".

  18. In Atomic Chess, the explosion doesn't destroy pawns.

  19. Great video, but you missed the brilliant Quantum Chess…

  20. I'm 57 and have been playing chess since I was 9. Unfortunately, if chess is played with an incorrect attitude it's a horrible game. Firstly, you must play with a clock. Second, if you're not absolutely evenly matched you must give/receive odds; play with a handicap; either time, moves, or pieces. Third, you have to know when to drop your king if you're losing or call 'mate in x moves' if you're going to checkmate. Finally, your focus needs to be on GIVING your opponent the best possible game you can. It has a brutal learning curve (soul-crushing games in the beginning) and if you play with the wrong person it goes south fast. Civility MUST be part of the game; trash talk can get your ass kicked in some game rooms—I grew up with two boxers that are also serious chess players. I learned from my very traditional Mexican grandfather who was very serious about civility, sportsmanship, and tradition. About fairy chess, varients, my favorite is Moab Chess; it's a combination of random and Fischer chess. Other fun chess variants are Portal Chess, Omega Chess, Chess 2, and Knightmare Chess. I still play and love chess but I won't play with just anyone. This is a serious game and it has to be played with the right attitude; it's Diplomacy on roids.

  21. I used to be fascinate by chess varients. I even invented a few.

  22. In school, we played 'Giveaway' – the object being to lose all your pieces first. The only rule change was that if a piece can take another piece, it must do so. Games started slow and cagey but ended fast and furious. You could bang out a game in minutes.

  23. Alice Chess put me in mind of Martian Chess, for Looney Pyramids and in Pyramid Arcade. The key there us that piece ownership isn't based on colour – it's based on which side of the board the piece is on. You can take a piece, but you might be giving your opponent a tool to take yours.

  24. The most fun I've had with a chessboard is Kung Fu chess. Basically, it's normal chess, but not turn taking, you just take your moves as fast as you possibly can. You need a chessboard that you don't care if it gets a bit scuffed and you don't mind a few bruises.

  25. Have you tried Paco Sako? They call it peace chess. I call it combo chess.

  26. Wait a minute, there’s not 7 weeks in a month…

  27. If I played chess again I’d probably want to try “Hand and Brain”. In this 2v2 variant, on each side, one team member (brain) each turn names a piece to be moved, but supplies no other information. The team mate (hand) decides how to move the named piece (any piece with that name). No other communication is allowed…except banter, which I imagine would be hilarious.

  28. Double Lilliputian Monochromatic Alice Chess. That's a bit more fun.

  29. You might like Paco Sako, where instead of the pieces capturing, they dance with each other. It's full of surprises.

  30. I recommend Dark Chess. It's called Fog of War on chess.com. You can only see a square if you can move or attack there. Checks are allowed and you are not informed if you are in check since the goal of the variant is to capture the king.

  31. I'd be very curious what SUSD thinks about Shogi. I was trying to get into chess and somewhere down the line got gifted a Shogi board. Since then, my mind has exploded and I've been trying to convince people that playing a game where you first have to memorize a bunch of different Chinese characters is actually a lot of fun.

  32. Week 7 of Chess month? In Russia, there is one month the entire year, and it is called Chess.

  33. Hey Quinns! Here's how to learn to enjoy actual CHESS:
    (This advice is more relevant & nuanced than it may seem at a glance, so HEAR ME OUT!)
    Play the shortest timed (no increments) games you can handle on chess.com and, at 1st, make a deliberate habit of CONCEDING at the drop of a hat, the MOMENT YOU FEEL DOOMED. At this stage ignore your rating (you can start fresh with a new log-in once you're feeling competent) & don't even try to analyze your losses… just experiment wildly.
    Folks are rude & petty (especially in the lower ratings) on chess.com. Ignore them. You can instantly find a match at any hour, & the competition will sharpen you up fast… it's the best in the world. Use the opponent-rating filter & set the parameters to between 50pts below your own rating & 100pts above it. Maybe even choose to start out only playing as black so you're always reacting & don't freeze in the headlights of having to take the initiative.
    Start with the setting for 12 minute matches. If a game normally takes you an hour, at first this will feel much too fast & you'll be panicking all game, BUT if you force yourself to stick with it, after a few dozen games the panic should subside. Try not to get emotionally attached to the result of any match… these are LEARNING games you're playing here. You can always concede & try again.
    As soon as you feel even slightly comfortable with the length of your matches, switch to the next shorter standard length. Keep doing this until you're playing 5 minute games. Once the panic subsides again, buckle down &start raising your rating:
    At this stage, start analyzing your losses, especially when playing habitual strategies that work less&less well as your rating increases.
    Start trying to come up with your own openings, especially when playing as white. Modify them match by match as they fail.
    Try to start thinking in structures instead of sequences.
    Try to start habitually seeing lines of light radiating across the board from pieces that move in straight lines. Figure out how many moves it will take a knight to get to any space in its immediate vicinity so you always instantly know where to hide from it.
    Install "alert toggles" in your head. Turn them on whenever you recognize immediate threats or extremely vulnerable positions. Turn them back off when the threats are neutralized or backed off a move or 2. For instance, if your king & queen become lined up with nothing between them, especially in an otherwise mostly open column or diagonal, there should be a tiny bell constantly ringing in the back of your head reminding you to check, every single turn, for any less valuable opponent piece that can "skewer" them. Same goes for "forks", especially by knights: check every turn to see if you've moved your rooks, king or queen into positions where a knight could threaten 2 or more at once. If so, start ringing that little bell… etc.
    Once you've formed some truly reliable strategic & tactical habits, force yourself to start experimenting again.
    By then you'll be hooked, individual losses will usually slide right off you, & the challenge will be to force yourself away from the computer instead of playing just "one" more game!

  34. Dude's wrong arrangement of pieces triggered me more than I thought it would.

  35. How about shogi chess? Where you can put your opponent's captured pieces back on your side (you do need something to mark the captured pieces with like sticky notes or just use a shogi set).

  36. chess is a fight in a war go is a battle and full war

  37. In monster chess you had the kings and queen on the wrong squares

  38. Nice to see one of my designs flash by during the scroll of the chess variants page shown. Too bad it's got my buddy Jose's name on it, as he made the preset for the game because I suck at modern tech.

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