The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Patrick O'Neal.

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George Duke wrote on 2009-07-30 UTC
Here's Chessbase disinformation today on randomizing Chess on 64 squares: Never mind Aaron Alexandre's formal use of switched-around back-ranks 180 years ago. Never mind Pal Benko's Pre-Chess and ten other similar devices legitimately called CVs in Pritchard's 1994 'ECV'. Chessbase says, ''It is a form of chess, originally proposed by Bobby Fischer, [sure--Editor] in which the position of the pieces -- not the Pawns -- is shuffled randomly before the start of each game.'' The mentality of arch-conservative defenders of OrthoChess, emphatically grandmasters, has its counterpart in that of many fringe CV prolificists themselves.  Both groups think history began on their own date of birth. Referring routinely to FRC as *originating with Fischer* should be insult to CVers, who know better about very similar earlier versions, if exhibiting even slivver of moral sense.  Like similar organs of Orthodoxy (in various other fields too), Chessbase is selective in its accuracy on science and history, so as not to rock the boat, complicated by vested-interest economics. There could be more liberty within certain quasi-religious cults. Now Chessbase further stresses ''NOT the Pawns'' to be shuffled. That's bright. How would that work? Let's play CV version where we switch Rook pawn with Queen pawn. That eminently qualifies, because historically in Jacobus de Cessolis' (of 14th-century chess moralities poems) time, each Pawn actually had his and her own name. In Caxton's 15th-century 'The Game of Chess', the 8 Pawns are labourers, smythis, drapers, marchantes, phisicyens, taverners, gardes, and ribauldes disepleyars. Thankfully they all moved the same one-step and shuffling any two would be picturesque not functional.

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