Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Bidding Chess

I was having a wander through the byways of the Internet when I came across an article on Bidding Chess. It seems to combine a couple of interests of mine (chess and game theory) as well as looking like a fun party game.
The basics of bidding chess are as follows. Each player starts with 100 chips, which are used to bid for the right to move. Before each turn both players write down a bid for the move, and the highest bid wins (which means you can play more than 1 move in a row). As compensation the losing bidder receives the amount of chips bid by the winner. There is also an extra chip which is used to split ties. If you bid the extra chip it wins any ties (and is passed to your opponent, even if you win a non tied bid). If you don't use it, then you lose any ties (but keep the chip). Moves must be legal chess moves with the exception that the game ends when the king is captured (no checkmate).
The interesting aspect of the game is determining how much a move is worth at any point. You need to balance the need to have a move with the size of your bankroll. Obviously having your opponent in check, while having the majority of chips is an automatic win, but reaching that position may be quite difficult.
The inventors of the game are Jay Bhat and Sam Payne, and they have even written a paper on the game. It gives a complete set of rules plus an example of how the game works. There is even a brief discussion about the theory behind bidding games, for the more technical minded.

No comments: