Simplified chess variants?

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clumma
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Simplified chess variants?

Post by clumma » Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:14 pm

(I know this isn't a variants forum, but HGM and others have posted about variants on occasion and I thought this may be of interest)

Many variants extend the game (adding pieces, increasing board size). Instead, how about a variant that is

1. as similar as possible to FIDE chess
but
2. simplified, so an average club player (say Elo 1800) has a decent chance of playing a perfect game at LTC

What would such a variant look like? I found Simplified Chess, but it's not clear it meets the above goals.

For shogi, there's minishogi. I don't think I'm close to a perfect game, but there's an excellent iOS app that's a lot of fun to play.

It would be fun to work to draw the computer every game. Or play at fast time controls at a 'grandmaster' level.

Does anyone know a variant like this?

-Carl

clumma
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Re: Simplified chess variants?

Post by clumma » Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:42 pm

One possibility suggests itself: The variant could be exactly FIDE chess, but with an engine that would show two possible moves for the player at every turn: the best move and a move that is a bit worse. This second move would be more or less worse depending on the player's rating. A grandmaster might have to choose between the two best moves; a club player might be given a substantially worse (but still reasonable) second choice. The moves could be displayed graphically on the board without further information and they would be the only playable moves.

A drawback to this approach is that it requires a computer.

-Carl

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hgm
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Re: Simplified chess variants?

Post by hgm » Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:52 pm

If it is anywhere similar to FIDE Chess it will be far too complex for humans to allow anything approaching perfect play. This 'simplified' chess is not any simpler than FIDE rules, in terms of game-tree complexity. It just has a bit more regular rules, by abolishing some of the exceptional cases.

But you don't play a game against the rules. The opponent benefits from the simpler rules as well. Even when the game tree is smaller, you just have to think further ahead. Otherwise Draughts would have been a trivial game compared to Chess.

The game-tree of mini-Shogi is about the same size as that of orthodox Chess, due to the piece drops. You would never draw the computer there, btw., as the rules exclude draws.

Better try Tic Tac Toe. That pretty much satisfies the requirements you impose.
Get rid of the shit: vote for SHID!

clumma
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Re: Simplified chess variants?

Post by clumma » Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:19 pm

This 'simplified' chess is not any simpler than FIDE rules, in terms of game-tree complexity.
Sure it is, because of the smaller board. Not enough to make humans much better at it, and there is possibly too much piece power on that board for the game to be well-balanced. It's just the only example of someone trying this that I found.
Otherwise Draughts would have been a trivial game compared to Chess.
Depending what you mean by draughts... in American checkers, it seems Tinsley was close to playing a perfect game. What I'm after here is a chess-like game that is about as easy as American checkers, or slightly easier.

-Carl

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Re: Simplified chess variants?

Post by Madeleine Birchfield » Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:33 pm

clumma wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:19 pm
This 'simplified' chess is not any simpler than FIDE rules, in terms of game-tree complexity.
Sure it is, because of the smaller board. Not enough to make humans much better at it, and there is possibly too much piece power on that board for the game to be well-balanced. It's just the only example of someone trying this that I found.
Otherwise Draughts would have been a trivial game compared to Chess.
Depending what you mean by draughts... in American checkers, it seems Tinsley was close to playing a perfect game. What I'm after here is a chess-like game that is about as easy as American checkers, or slightly easier.

-Carl
If you are looking for smaller chess board sizes, then there are plenty of variants here you could use:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minichess

clumma
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Re: Simplified chess variants?

Post by clumma » Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:47 pm

Madeleine Birchfield wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:33 pm
If you are looking for smaller chess board sizes, then there are plenty of variants here you could use:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minichess
Ah, thanks! Missed that somehow. -Carl

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Re: Simplified chess variants?

Post by clumma » Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:48 pm

clumma wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:42 pm
One possibility suggests itself: The variant could be exactly FIDE chess, but with an engine that would show two possible moves for the player at every turn: the best move and a move that is a bit worse. This second move would be more or less worse depending on the player's rating. A grandmaster might have to choose between the two best moves; a club player might be given a substantially worse (but still reasonable) second choice. The moves could be displayed graphically on the board without further information and they would be the only playable moves.
Has this been proposed before? If not, I suggest calling it Minotaur Chess. And before you tell me there is already a variant with that name, note there is also a variant called Centaur Chess that has nothing to do with engine assistance.

-Carl

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Laskos
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Re: Simplified chess variants?

Post by Laskos » Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:04 pm

clumma wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:48 pm
clumma wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:42 pm
One possibility suggests itself: The variant could be exactly FIDE chess, but with an engine that would show two possible moves for the player at every turn: the best move and a move that is a bit worse. This second move would be more or less worse depending on the player's rating. A grandmaster might have to choose between the two best moves; a club player might be given a substantially worse (but still reasonable) second choice. The moves could be displayed graphically on the board without further information and they would be the only playable moves.
Has this been proposed before? If not, I suggest calling it Minotaur Chess. And before you tell me there is already a variant with that name, note there is also a variant called Centaur Chess that has nothing to do with engine assistance.

-Carl
Carl, have you seen my variant "Theban Chess"?
http://talkchess.com/forum3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6398

It's a dynamical balance low draw rate game much simpler than Chess. Many top engines play it, but they are not tuned to play it extremely well.

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