9 NEW Chess Modes/Variants || AlphaZero and Vladimir Kramnik

On the rest day of the 9LX Champions Showdown from the St Louis Chess Club, GothamChess breaks down the AlphaZero new chess variants and plays a game in Torpedo mode. FULL ARTICLE + PUBLISHED PAPER BELOW.



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  1. Chess 960 is enough for me… also ninja chess or Chezz (pieces have a timer buffer after every move, I.e basically rts chess

  2. Self eating, then torpedo, then no castling, then no stalemate. But imagine if you just combined all of these. Every match would be a blood bath

  3. I would like to see you play "far chess" on an 8×9 chessboard. It is a very simple change but effectively breaks almost all openings strategies. You just have to get used to the squares being reversed for black pieces.

  4. The ultimate upgrade to classical chess: no castling + self-capture + stalemate win

  5. 7:45 to show you the power of pawns… I torpedoed this pawn to g5!

  6. i sent you an email on a variant you played with an opponent whose board was invisible, it's a variant with incomplete information like schrodinger chess. what i don't like about those variants is they have no good way of showing the board to an audience , and thus they could ( but don't) show both boards , one for each player. if you want to kepp the 'invisible' piece incomplete information theme going, you can structure a variant quite nicely. on any given move, i emailed it to you, called invisible chess, where a pieces moves are revealed only after its had an effect on another piece such as capture and check, (including one's own such as castling , promotion, or blocking a check) . the real complexity comes with how to treat invisible pieces for the purpose of blocking other oponents pieces moves or one's own pieces moves. i would venture to say that an invisible piece should not do that, and that a phantom piece ( the piece that has moved an is invisible ) should be more complex in its treatment. because the phantom piece is not eliminated until the invisible piece that is its 'projection' itself is revealed. so until an invisible piece is revealed , the phantom piece remains to have 'phantom effects' on the board. it can longer be moved, but does it block moves of ones own pieces or opponents? what are its influneces on blocking check? and passively threatening check or even check mate? i think a phantom piece should have all conventional piece effects until it is captured. if a phantom piece is captured, then the invisible piece is revealed. —– in my proposed variant on chess with incomplete information, the audience can have a cross hatch red color for invisible pieces and a polkadot red color for phantoms. obviously this can only be played digitally, but incomplete informatoin chess boards are very very cool variants. i'm not really interested in variant of complete information, because they are all just fundamentally different versions of the same game, with different boards, and different piece moves or even piece 'abilities' . in phantom chess, the ability of 'visibility' is the one that introduces incomplete information, rather than randomness. randomness can be inserted into chess but who really cares, may as well play poker, it's more fun. —-inho , the only reason to play a variant is to introduce more people to a chess game, more than 2 people can be MORE fun, or to make the chess game stragically fundamentally about deception, by introducing hidden variables of incomplete information. for whatever reason , this really seems to change the game. however, 'viennese' chess schrondingers chess, the many variations i've seen, do a somewhat boring job of presenting this case.

  7. The one with the friendly fire on sounds fun! Most of them actually!

  8. I've got three for you.

    There is a variant of chess called "waffle chess," which introduces a piece called a "waffle" and which is played on a 10×8 board. The waffle can move 1 square straight or jump 2 squares diagonally, making it a mix of a bishop, a knight, and a rook. The back rank pieces on the white side go RWNBQKBNWR. The name "waffle" comes from mashing together the names "wazir" (a piece which can move 1 square straight) and alfil (a piece which can jump 2 squares diagonally).

    There is also a variant which replaces knights with "knightriders," which are pieces that can make consecutive knight jumps in one turn. The jumps must be in a "straight line," meaning that if your first jump was something like 1 square up and 2 squares right, then the next jump must also be 1 square up and 2 squares right. Any number of jumps can be made. Supposedly, the knightrider is between a rook and a queen in value.

    Now for a weird one. Jester chess replaces the queen with a piece called a jester, which can only move and take the same as the last piece your opponent moved. So if your opponent just moved a pawn, it moves like a pawn. If they moved a king, then it moves like a king. It threatens squares as that piece and the interesting thing is that your opponent cannot move a piece if doing so would make the jester capable of taking their king. Strategy is much more complex in this variant.

  9. Low chance this gets seen, but here's my pitch to make chess great again. In a game of chess, a pawn = 1, bishop/knight = 3, rook = 5, queen = 11. Added up that equals 41. Using those piece values, players should be able to "spend" those 41 points and place pieces wherever they want on their back 3 ranks. There is no minimum or maximum amount of pieces you can have, so you can spend the on 3 queens, a rook, and a bishop, or you can use 13 knights and 2 pawns if you'd like. So, the players would alternate placing their pieces until they've used up their points. It's based on Automate Chess on Chess.com, however, instead of a computer playing out the match through its engine the players are. This will add so much strategy to the game by selecting your formation and creating your tactics on the fly in response to you and your opponent's setup

  10. At 7:00 did you had bishop takes d7?, if he recaptures with the knight then you can fork bishop and knight with the pawn jumping to C6. Otherwise just a free pawn 🙂

  11. Shouldn't en passant be allowed to capture the b6 pawn at 2:42 in torpedo chess?

  12. So far I seem to be best at 3 check on Chess.com. Four player chess goes back a long way. I like chess 960 because it gets you out of a rut and atomic because I like Blondie.

  13. 4:48 I guess piece value depends on the skill of the players, right? (maybe also on personal style of play? idk) I don't think we humans can really get value off the pieces in the way alphazero does.

  14. Am i crazy? Or video really off sync with audio?

  15. Pawn retreat and torpedo are definitely the most fascinating to me out of these variants – the ones that I'd like most to see more games of. So much of chess is down to how pawn formations restrict travel across the board, and those two variants open up sweeping new horizons in pawnplay while still avoiding the (what feels like) total anarchy of pawn sidesteps.

  16. I wish they’d look at Capablanca Chess and get into why he pushed it (more exciting, less draws). Maybe you could sometime. I was interested enough I was going to code an engine to explore it. Interestingly there’s a piece that can mate by itself.

  17. I'd rather see someone port 3D chess(Star Trek chess version) and 4D chess(you can find a guy on YouTube who made 4D chess) into online space.
    Or create different chess figures.

  18. Another new chess variant is Bollwerk 178. Very complex and very cool. It´s unique.

  19. Self-capture sounds like a very intriguing possibility indeed. I'd like to try that. I'd love it if you could do a review of Grand Chess! Here's a description: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_chess [Edit: self-capture in grand, even better, perhaps]

  20. In torpedo chess en pessant should of taken place there

  21. I had these first impressions and welcome any other opinions and thoughts:

    No-castling: I know Kramnik proposed it, and maybe it could lead to less draws. Nevertheless, I feel that not enough is different, and so just play a regular game of chess… plus, it's fun to prevent your opponent from castling as part of the strategy. I heard that no castling was originally the rule, so maybe I'm leaning in favor of castling (trusting the centuries of trial and error on what's fun and interesting). Supposedly people would castle artificially before they made it an ability to do in one move. However, I do think that no-castling should be the rule in a Chess960 tournament when the Standard setup is randomly drawn (with castling allowed on the other 959 positions).

    Stalemate = win: Nigel Short exchanged a few words on Twitter, but he keeps insisting there are "beautiful" stalemate-in-12 type positions with just a king and bishop or a knight. I get what he's going for, but in a professional game, wouldn't they just resign when it's forced anyway? This proposal is not bad though, and there are definitely some "awkward" positions that, despite the winning player having a bishop and pawn vs. a lone king, would still be stalemated and drawn. Not fair! Still, in standard chess I love the idea of king opposition in certain endgames and seeing the grandmasters hunched over the table, making sure it's not a draw (whereas with Stalemate=win, they'd resign much sooner).

    Torpedo (pawns can move 1 or 2 squares at any time, and en passant could apply further up the board as well): Among the variants mentioned, this one sounded the most interesting to me. Pawns increase in value a bit and you can make some serious threats. My biggest gripe is in the end game, as a king or knight would have too much difficulty chasing it down, and the current chess has some elegant calculations because they CAN sometimes catch the passed pawns. However, semi-torpedo sounds like a great rival variant, a real proposal to change the game. Basically, you can only move 2 squares forward once per pawn just like in standard (but you can choose either 2nd or 3rd rank to make your 2-square lunge).

    Capture Anything (you can capture your own pieces) I personally do not like this much, because in my opinion variants should add nuance without ruining an aspect of the chess we love. Making "space" for your sliding pieces seems a very important, interesting aspect of chess that I wouldn't want to lose. Also, I guess there wouldn't be "good bishops" and "bad bishops" or pawn structure discussions any more? I'm sure there are some fun sacrifices that could lead to checkmate, but if I saw it happen a lot I'd just shrug it off like "yeah they were unencumbered and had enough pieces aimed in the king's general direction…" Maybe I haven't played it enough, or maybe someone got tired of smothered mates!

    Sideways Pawns: similar to Capture Anything, I'm sure we'll get less draws here which is beneficial. It'd be fun to try a "locked up/closed" drawish position. However, you may lose the theory of pawn structure, doubled pawns and such. (same with "good" and "bad" bishops).

    In conclusion, Semi-Torpedo, while very subtle, sounds like the best proposal among these mentioned, to improve the game… something I'd like to see professionals try.

  22. I think the update jokes are getting serious right now👍

  23. Atomic is cool, needs completely different tactics

  24. I think the self capture variant is not that good because it will make chess so much easy for example you can't trick you opp and so many chake mates will no more exist if you know what i mean , but the torpedovariant where pawns can move 2 squares forward any time and many en passant ideas hmmm thats kinda interesting .

  25. I want chess where every piece can promote just like shogi, except queen and king

  26. They should make a variant where the moves e3, e6, Ke2, Ke7 are already played

  27. Check out the Jarl board game. Way better and more complex than chess.

  28. they should've made a variant in which the queen can also move as a knight

  29. knight in classical: haha pawn, you are noobs
    knight in side way pawn: why pawn is better?

  30. I’ve made a chess variant and I’d like you to make a video on it

  31. Very first example black could and should respond with en pissant

  32. Far too many ppl have never heard of Dark Crazy Screen chess; where you can set up your army of pieces wherever you like in your half of the chessboard, and your opponents pieces locations are hidden until one of your pieces threatens its attack square. It's like a great combination of Chess with Stratego. I wanna see Chess.com adapt and implement it.

  33. Just gave this a rewatch as I am getting into variants. Amazing what 8 months can do, Mr. 1 Million subs. 🙂

  34. A variant where a queen could move like a knight would be very interesting

  35. 6:55 how about bxd7 then if Knight takes the pawn will move two squares and fork the Bishop and the Knight

  36. 2:08 b6 is actually a terrible move… Black is still winning. Google en passant 😂

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