No matter how essential traditions are, humans thrive on variety. Nothing is more daunting than going through the same chores every day. Even the most amusing activities eventually start to feel repetitive and boring. But sometimes, a minor adjustment is enough to shake things up. Who limit the chessboard to 64 squares? Why not make it 10×10 instead? The quality and the balance of the classic style is undisputed. This ancient game’s principles and foundations have been forming for centuries. But seeing how prevalent the most popular chess variants are, they are impossible to ignore. This article will showcase five delightful twists on the standard formula. Read on to find out why thousands of players favor them.
Reinventing an existing format is a huge undertaking. Those who pursue it have all kinds of reasons in mind. They range from pure fun to creating additional replay value and interesting scenarios. Whatever the case may be, the possibilities are endless. And yet, the majority of enthusiasts gravitate toward the following variations:
- In Bughouse, 4 participants split into 2 teams and compete over 2 boards at once. Otherwise, the rules are normal, with one exception. After capturing an opponent’s piece, the victor contributes it to their ally’s army.
- Crazyhouse is similar, but designed only for 2. Both can take an enemy unit and convert it into a friendly. Consequently, they can provide their Kings with superior protection.
- King of the Hill is also a slight deviation from the original. In addition to regular checkmating, there is another way to win. Specifically, by advancing the King to one of the four central squares.
- 3-check Chess is exactly what it sounds like. Check the rival’s most important piece 3 times to achieve victory.
- Chess960, also known as Fischer Random, is extremely widespread and well-liked. The name stems from the number of possible starting positions. Competing pawns occupy their conventional second and seventh rows. But then White places the rest of their troops on the first rank deliberately. The King should stay between the Rooks, and the Bishops should occupy different colors. Black mirrors the resulting layout, and the match begins.
These examples represent the cream of the crop and provide a solid jumping-off point. They have numerous alternatives, so the choice boils down to personal preferences. After checking out the aforementioned ones, don’t hesitate to explore the niche further.
Is it Beneficial to Play the Most Popular Chess Variants?
The answer depends on an individual’s goals. Typically, the idea is to break out of the usual routine and change things up. But some argue that the benefits are a lot more meaningful. For instance, randomizing the positioning Fischer-style renders the advantage of memorization of openings obsolete. The adversaries never know what to expect in advance, and have to improvise. That way, their skill and talent can really shine. Among other things, it’s a great way to improve without relying solely on memory.
In conclusion, experimenting with unusual rulesets is optional, but highly rewarding. The most popular chess variants are not necessarily better than their less renowned counterparts. Atomic, 4-player, 3D, Horde, and Antichess are equally wonderful and worth considering.