Saturday, 4 February 2012


While I was being awoken at 6am on my last day in Queenstown (courtesy of a fire alarm), another group of player were just getting to sleep at around the same time. According to Shannon Vuglar, one of the participants, they were playing a chess variant called "Arm-Brain". It is a partnership game, where one of the players is the "Brain" and the other is the "Arm". The game is played using the normal rules of chess except that the "Brain" must name a type of piece that is to be moved. It is the job of the "Arm" to then move a piece of that type. The players cannot confer, except for the "Brain" naming a piece. It is up to the arm to decide which move is best, including which piece to move, if there is more than one piece of the same type (eg a choice of bishops to move). According to Shannon, it helps to team up with a strong player, as this compensates for the "other" player. In his case, a partnership with GM Gawain Jones yielded victories over a team of greater "average" strength (an IM and FM), where they took turns at being the "Arm" and the "Brain". Whether this is true in all cases would clearly require more testing.

No comments: