Thursday 20 December 2018

Mini Chess

If you find playing long games of chess a little taxing (or time consuming), you can always look at the various forms of 'mini chess' that have been developed. Possibly the most famous version is 'Los Alamos' chess, which is a 6x6 game, with bishops removed. It was invented as an early computer chess engine, with the reduced size making the program easier to write (no castling, double pawn move or en pas).
While there have been boards as small as 3x3, these either have trivial wins for one side, or lack sufficient 'depth'. It isn't until you get to 4x5 boards that it becomes a bit of challenge, although a skilled player should work out winning ideas pretty quickly. Once you get to 5x5 (or 5x6) all the pieces can be used. There is an argument that these sort of games should be used to start younger players off, as handling 16 pieces on an 8x8 board is a little daunting (something I tend to agree with for children under the age of 7).
6x6 games might be the right balance between normal chess and fun chess (especially if you are playing non-serious players). One idea is to either play without 1 type of piece (rooks, bishops or knights), while another interesting suggestion is to play with two bishops on one side, and two knights on the other!

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