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Subject: Now I can lose ten games in the time I used to lose one! rss

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j b Goodwin

Lynchburg
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Here is the thesis of this review: QuickChess is pretty cool.

QuickChess is an interesting Chess variant played on a board five squares wide by six squares long. The blue-and-white gameboard in the QuickChess set is two-sided, with the QuickChess board on one side, and a regular chessboard on the other. Two standard sets of Chess pieces are included in the set as well, in white and blue, an odd but attractive choice of colors that sets it apart from most standard Chess sets.

In QuickChess, each player has a force made of a truncated set of standard Chess pieces: one King, one Queen, one Knight, one Bishop, one Rook, and five Pawns. The object, as it is in Chess, to checkmate the opponent's King.

The pieces move and capture pretty much the same as in standard Chess, with the following exceptions:

No En Passant capture,
no Castling,
no inital two-space Pawn move,
Pawns can promote only to already-captured pieces.

These excepted rules are kind of like all the exceptions in English that make it so difficult to learn as a second language. Without these extra bits, you end up with a speedy, light game that you can quickly and easily teach to children and other newcomers.

The starting ranks are close enough that your pieces are within the enemy's field of influence from the first move, and in contact usually no later than the second move. It will be odd to have another couple of turns go by without the first capture (or exchange).

It plays a lot like Speed Chess; you don't develop in depth, mainly because there's no room or time for depth. You have to come out slugging. No matter whether you win or lose, the end is near, and if you don't like the outcome, you'll have time enough to play another game.

Now that I've given you the bare bones about the rules, your acceptance of my thesis about QuickChess being cool depends upon your acceptance of at least one of the following statements:

Chess is generally kind of cool in general. Perhaps a geeky kind of cool, but cool nonetheless. It has the weight of centuries of history behind it. There is an intellectual weight to it, as well. Chess variants are therefore cool by relation to the parent game.

Chess, as visual art, is cool. Chess and its equipment have become universal icons in the present day. Everyone (with the possible exception of some wild tribesmen somewhere who still haven't come down from the hills) has a personal feeling about Chess when he or she sees it. People may or may not be interested in playing it, but it makes them feel something when they see it. QuickChess is still recognizably Chess (of a sort), but it's oddly different. The difference makes it grab your attention...perhaps just a little more than standard Chess when you first encounter it. The simplicity and non-offensive color combination are attractive.

The idea of themselves actually playing Chess is cool to people who haven't had the opportunity to learn to play it. "Everybody" knows how, so there is usually at least some curiosity to the Chess-challenged. Everybody wants to be part of "Everybody."

A Chess game that doesn't take a major investment before you get creamed is kind of cool. Okay, the title lied. Kasparov could probably beat me in QuickChess a hundred times in the time it took him to beat me once in standard Chess...but only because standard Chess takes a few seconds longer to set up. I'm not a great Chess player, but I love it, and I like the rapid series of short games you can play with this game.

Playing Chess with kids is cool. This makes it easier. Kids are smarter than we think they are, and they don't feel quite as bad about beating us in a game of QuickChess as a game of standard Chess.

I don't feel quite as bad about it, either.



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Jared Hayter

Metuchen
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Re: Losing ten games to Kasparov in the time I used to lose one
What are the starting positions used? I'm particularly curious about the placement of the bishops? Can a bishop take a bishop in ths game or are they on different diagonals? How does this variant play compared to other smaller chess variants? I ask because I'm terrible at ches myself and would like smaller, faster board to play on until my game improves a little. A 4x4 would be interesting but it would require removing a lot of pieces.
 
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Mark Reed
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Marietta
Georgia
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Well, this was an old question, so you've probably found your answer by now, but maybe this will interest a future visitor:

Since there's only one of each piece, and no castling, the details of the starting position don't make much difference. However, the two Bishops do start on opposite colors, and so cannot interact (unless one is captured and brought back by promotion on the other color square).

Since the board has an odd number of columns, the right-hand squares are different colors for each player, instead of white for both as in the standard setup on an 8x8 board. Each side starts on the side whose corner colors match the pieces.

There are two documented starting positions for QuickChess, differing in the placement of the Kings and Queens. Oddly, both have the King to the left of the Queen from White's perspective, which is the opposite of the standard array.

The most common position puts the Kings in the middle (c1, c6) and the Queens to their side (d1, d6). This puts the Queens on the opposite color, which adds to the oddity.

The other option puts the Queens in the middle (c1, c6) and the Kings on he other side (b1, b6).

Either way, the Bishop goes on the opposite side of the central royalty from their spouse, the Rook in the corner next to the Bishop, and the Knight in the other corner.

In FEN, the first position is

nkqbr/ppppp/5/5/PPPPP/NKQBR

and the second is

rbkqn/ppppp/5/5/PPPPP/RBKQN



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