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Backwards chess

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Start with a check-mate board position from any anthology of chess games. The first player to move their pieces back to the normal starting positions wins.

You can replace your 'taken' pieces when your opponent moves a piece, but make sure you get them on squares which allow them to be moved back to their starting positions (especially bishops).

You can force your opponent to replace a piece by moving a pawn backwards and diagonally - but be careful with pawns that your pawns don't block your other pieces from getting to the back of the board.
hippo, Jan 07 2009

"Physics is when the Gods are playing Chess" http://www.youtube....watch?v=o1dgrvlWML4
Richard Feynman's explanation of physics. [quantum_flux, Jan 07 2009]

benhimself (2005) http://benhimself.l...rnal.com/90728.html
Great minds, etc. [jutta, Jan 07 2009]

http://www.chess.com http://www.chess.com
Interweb chess - with ratings and (for the brave) live action chess - I've become a bit of an addict recently. [zen_tom, Jan 08 2009]

Chess Variants http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Chess_Variant
[Wily Peyote, Jan 08 2009]

[link]






       Hmmm...   

       I like it, but:   

       what about promotion?   

       If in a clearly losing position, I could play for a stalemate - err - stalefinish quite easily, by blocking access of my pieces to their final resting place and using those pieces to block your access.   

       In any game, well a very very large percentage of games, there are numerous instances of possible checkmate. By starting at checkmate and moving into another check mate, what happens? So a kind of anti-checkmate, would I still be the winner if you can't get me out of check?   

       Instead of: "Checkmate!", you could finish with: "Where is your God now?"
4whom, Jan 07 2009
  

       You make me think here:   

       (1) Ouch, talk about trying to make entropy go in reverse, I'd almost give you a perpetual promotion on this one, clearly there is no conservation of chess pieces in this game (see link). Also, I'm limited to one plus.   

       (2) Hmmm, you start with a bias if you start with a checkmate, how about a kings stalemate instead!? .... [+].
quantum_flux, Jan 07 2009
  

       [quantum...] Although at first it looks like reversing things, it isn't really. IN the normal game; From set X -> set Y must be a legal move, and so in this case set Y -> set Z must be a legal move. We are not going from set Y -> set X. Which would be reverse. For which the winner (black) is already determined. The only pieces that exhibit "otherwise" behaviour (moves) would be the pawns. Certain "actions" would also be reversed. Like un-taking, as per idea. Which brings me to:   

       Un-castling the king? After which neither the king could be moved nor the rook, nor a check position be placed on the king by an opponent (intriguing).   

       Un-en-passanting, presumably to force the other player to replace a pawn. I am not sure how this can be resolved. Perhaps the player moving has to declare it? This could be used quite tactically to ensure the opposition could not reach and end game. Much like the checkmate of normal chess.
4whom, Jan 07 2009
  

       How do you decide which side moves first (un-last)?
Jinbish, Jan 07 2009
  

       [Jinbish] that is trivial, at first glance. Giving it further thought it remains a good question. Kind of a coin toss or muggs away? It obviously has a deeper bearing on the game than a normal start.   

       Which gives further pause for thought to:   

       Are all starting sequences of this game equal to others (not possible), and equatebly equal to the situation we find at the start of a normal game? I.e. is there a weighted advantage to any party, that can be associated to a handicap, according to a starting position, thereby inducing equality?
4whom, Jan 07 2009
  

       //How do you decide which side moves first (un-last)?//   

       As 4whom almost said, it's trivial. The winning side obviously made the last move in the forward game, and therefore should make the first in the backward game. The game (Rubik's chess?) is likely to be much harder than Rubik's cube.
ldischler, Jan 07 2009
  

       As an USCF rated chess master (~2280), I have a few reservations, the main one being:   

       Virtually no "anthology" games ever ended in checkmate.   

       That notwithstanding, this smacks of the chess retro-grade analysis of philosopher Raymond Smullyan: "Chess Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes", etc - plus the books of his students. (Absolute genuis manual ... but HOW did they miss this?)   

       One note: the king suddenly becomes ALL powerfull: move it into check (the center of the board), and all enemies MUST retreat...   

       Plus, [4whom] is right: en passant becomes an ultra powerful weapon (could be a game changer: one side might not be able to win if FORCED to put a pawn on a wrong file). Un-castling would violate no rules, though, as the pieces land on the squares that you want to get to, anyway. (Though, should we be forced to remember this? Once un-castled, the king and rook are now immobile.)
Wily Peyote, Jan 07 2009
  

       I don't think it will work. It's a bit like trying to unstir a blob of black paint from a tin of white, but it's all the better for the speculation that it might. [+]
xenzag, Jan 07 2009
  

       I love this idea. I wonder if it might be a bit too easy to block another player, for example putting your knight in one of the corners on his side of the board. As he cannot get the rook back into the corner, but you can still get the knight back to its position. Another possibility would be to wait until your opponent had one pawn left to place on the board and then force him to put it back on the wrong side of the board by moving one of your pawns diagonally. I suppose these are all just possible moves. I want to try this now![+]
MadnessInMyMethod, Jan 07 2009
  

       Is that it? Did [MadnessInMyMethod] just destroy this idea?   

       Put a piece on either of your opponent's back two ranks = Forced draw?!   

       Kudos [MadnessInMyMethod] and [4whom] - (for all of your above ideas); I was almost wetting myself with glee for this new Chess Variant...
Wily Peyote, Jan 07 2009
  

       Yes, it reminds me of backgammon in that winning strategies should take into consideration the prospect of scuppering your opponent - pawns being the trickiest aspect due to their limited motions. However, every pawn has its anti-pawn so to speak, so that might sort itself out in the wash.
zen_tom, Jan 07 2009
  

       //Un-castling the king? After which neither the king could be moved nor the rook, nor a check position be placed on the king by an opponent (intriguing).//   

       You're allowed to castle even if you've been in check (as long as you haven't moved your king to avoid the check). So I don't see why your opponent wouldn't be allowed to put an uncastled king in check.   

       Re. En passant - perhaps you could have a rule that if you can prove your opponent's move made it impossible for you to achieve your starting position, you win. Conversely, if your own move makes it impossible for you to achieve your starting position, your opponent can point that out and claim a win.
imaginality, Jan 07 2009
  

       And re. the forced draw, perhaps there could be a rule similar to the 50-move rule, e.g. "If a player at any time makes 20 consecutive moves [or maybe just 10 moves] without returning another piece to its starting position, that player loses."
imaginality, Jan 07 2009
  

       Thanks! - some help from people who can actually play (unlike me, who struggles to beat his young children at chess) might be useful.
hippo, Jan 08 2009
  

       I see this working better with one player, who plays against a time limit to restore the board.
ldischler, Jan 08 2009
  

       To counter [MiMM]s suggestion you could require that any piece placed on your opponents back row would automatically be changed to a pawn (unless all pawns are in play). It is a lot more like rubix chess than you would first imagine.
miasere, Jan 08 2009
  

       Hippo, take as many pieces as you can without losing any of your own (especially not your queen, rooks, or bishops, and try not to lose even a pawn or a knight either). Follow these simple "quantum's rules of forward chess" and you should be more than 1/2 way to winning. The other part is don't let your king get into checkmate, mostly via rule #1 strategically trying to get them before they get you.   

       The problem with playing defense instead of offense is that you could be forced to move one of your pieces or lose a queen/rook by a knight getting you into check, then defense typically ends in a stalemate or a longer game where you're likely not to go 2:3 on.
quantum_flux, Jan 08 2009
  

       "Always sacrifice your opponents pieces" ~ timeless chess advice from the late Savielly Tartakower [+]
Wily Peyote, Jan 08 2009
  

       I do like [miasere]'s improvement to counter my worry about blocking the back row. It could still result in draws, but it would be a very silly move in most circumstances, so should be a good rule improvement, and entirely within the spirit of the game.
MadnessInMyMethod, Jan 09 2009
  

       The problem lies with the replenishment of taken prawns. You could give them back to your opponent all on one side of the board, where their limited movement would render them practically impossible to get back in a line.   

       Any rule to counter this is defunct as it is basically possible - to a certain extent - to get the prawns on to one side; if, for instance, they had been the stalwarts of your attack and had taken an enemy piece on *every* one of its moves to traverse to the left or right. However, at a very difficult to ascertain juncture it becomes rudimentarily impossible to complete.   

       There's just too many ways to force a draw or cheat for me, so a [-] I'm afraid, unless you can think of a way to scupper this tactic?
theleopard, Jan 09 2009
  

       Ahh, but it's you, rather than your opponent who chooses which piece can be replenished from a square recently vacated by your opponent, so that shouldn't be a problem.
zen_tom, Jan 09 2009
  

       Oh yeah, right you are. Bone rescinded, but no bun as I still think it wouldn't be much fun...
theleopard, Jan 09 2009
  

       Is chess fun? I thought it was more serious than that?   

       Not being derogatory, if you find chess fun more fool me.
miasere, Jan 09 2009
  
      
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