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Subject: Simple Doubles Chess Review rss

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Michael
United States
Lincoln
NE: NEBRASKA
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Introduction: I've been trying to review games I've played that currently have little or no reviews and Doubles Chess fits the category. It is a very fun chess variant that I would encourage all chess enthusiasts to try. Here are my thoughts on the basis aspects of Doubles Chess

Brief Rules: Doubles chess is a game for 4 players, but can be played with 2, with each player controlling two players. It consists of a large board with 128 quadrilaterals of various shapes and sizes, and 64 chess pieces. Teams work together to try to checkmate both opponents following the rules of standard chess, except when a piece reaches the middle of the board it changes directions one way or the other. When a player is checkmated, on his turn he may only remove his king from the board, but may continue playing as normal the following turn.

Components: The components to this game are first rate. The board is thick and sturdy, and glossed over real nice. The pieces themselves are large plastic and very similar to the standard sets. They have felt bottoms, and are sturdy enough to be thrown about if you start losing badly. If you get this game you can use them on standard mats without buying the pieces.

Who should play it: Chess purists will hate it because it’s too different from chess, but if you don’t like chess you’ll hate it because it’s too much like chess. Doubles Chess players need to be in the warm gooey center of chess spectrum. It is also difficult to find 4 players of equal skill, so matches may be lopsided.

Learning: Players learning Doubles Chess may have difficulty grasping the movement. It may be tough to see when one of your pieces is in danger sometimes. I’ve taught it to many people and I’ve found either they understand the movement fairly quickly, or it takes them forever to learn. You’ll find out which category you belong into right away.

Teamwork: Can be tough without verbal communication. We played with open table talk, but your opponents could hear it as well. I don’t know the official rules on table talk, but I figure you can set the rules however you’d like. Different rules allow for different challenges. If played naturally, each players force would be half allocated to each opponent, but teams may choose to focus on one opponent at a time.

Popularity: Doubles Chess is a fun game that adds a bit of craziness to standard chess. It had never taken off and I think that is for a variety of reasons. The first is that people are intimidated by the board. The pattern of squares works fairly simply once you get used to it, but can be off-putting to newcomers. The second reason is that it is hard to find a player base for it. Of all my games, this is the hardest one to convince people to play, which is disappointing because it is so fun to play. Games that have a niche target audience suffer when they are essentially a 4 player game. It can be easy to find one chess enthusiast at your level, but if you can find 3 that are all willing to try something new, count yourself lucky.

My take: Doubles Chess is that great game that I never get to play. The direction changing lines is a unique innovation that allows the game to stay true to standard chess, but still have a completely different feel. It can be very fun in the right crowd, so if you think you have the right type of group, I strongly suggest you pick it up. Unfortunately, my consistent lack of players has barred me from getting into high-level doubles chess, but I suspect the game has a very high ceiling.
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Bill Eldard
United States
Burke
Virginia
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Excellent review.

I concur with all your comments.
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Brad Miller
United States
Seattle
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But does it solve the age-old problem of 4-player chess.if not then I can only say that it is no cardchess.lol.
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