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# Front-row only chess

Chess where each player can only see the front row of the opponent's pieces
 (+9, -2) [vote for, against]

Frankly, i will be amazed if this isn't baked but i don't know how to search for it.

This is a chess set consisting of three boards and two screens. One board is shared between the players and opens with two rows of pawns. The other two boards are private and start with only black or white pieces, depending on which side you're on, but the other side's pieces are also available. Each player plays a private game on their board but places only the pieces which are furthest across the board on the shared board, and removes pieces as they become hidden. When a piece enters the opponent's side of the board and becomes invisible, the game proceeds thus: the piece is moved from the public to the private board of the opponent and the player whose piece is now invisible uses chess notation to describe the moves and the opponent reports on whether the move is possible or not, perhaps preceded by bluffing. Therefore, the game becomes one which lacks perfect information and depending on whether bluffing is feasible, becomes somewhat poker-like rather than just chess-like.

 — nineteenthly, Dec 19 2011

Chess Variants http://www.chessvariants.com/
It is what it says on the box. [Alterother, Dec 20 2011]

Wow, The complexity of this is ass-tounding. Have you been reading up on the holographic universe, by any chance?
 — 4whom, Dec 19 2011

No, this is a by-product of a lesson plan i'm writing on game theory.
 — nineteenthly, Dec 19 2011

But the complexity becomes enormous, truly enormous! I think maybe to big. And the bluffing, that's just cruel. I don't know, maybe eliminate the bluffing bit?
 — 4whom, Dec 19 2011

Well, i'm going to attempt to do this in the next hour, given enough people at the session, so i shall report back if it comes together.
 — nineteenthly, Dec 19 2011

//When a piece enters the opponent's side of the board and becomes invisible//
Invisible? Visible to your opponent, yes, makes sense. But invisible to you? How does that work? Do we then have a third (or possibly also a fourth) player representing the free will of your distant piece?
 — calum, Dec 19 2011

I should be able to tell you if it works in about an hour, [calum], but the piece is removed from the shared board and appears on the opponent's private board. If it moves back beyond the front line, it becomes visible again. The idea there is to make it increasingly mental.
 — nineteenthly, Dec 19 2011

you've been watching Brian Cox again haven't you?
 — po, Dec 19 2011

A piece should only become invisible to it's player if it is screened by the other players pieces (same column).
 — MechE, Dec 19 2011

You need your pieces to report back to you if they spot an enemy piece.
 — FlyingToaster, Dec 19 2011

He wants a chessboard with a bit more realism: in the direction of not knowing where units are when they're too far away to be seen.
 — FlyingToaster, Dec 19 2011

 // I'm not understanding this. //

 No change there, then…

Isn't this "Chess Battleships" ? With some limited visibility of the opponent's positions, though.
 — 8th of 7, Dec 19 2011

Yeah, something like 'Fog of War Chess,' perhaps.
 — RayfordSteele, Dec 19 2011

So, I can only make a move after I have asked my opponent if the move is possible, but I may ask for more moves than I need. For instance, I could ask if the diagonal line between e6 and b3 is clear in order to imply that I have a bishop at e6, even though that may not be the case. If that's what you are saying than I see at least one problem: couldn't I ask a series of questions to determine the place of every single unit on the board? How about if there's a limit, like you can only ask three questions every turn?
 — Alizayi, Dec 19 2011

 I'm pretty sure you need to be able to see the possible moves of your piece that's "behind enemy lines", so your opponent would have to put his pieces on the main board until they were "invisible" again.

Doesn't sound like it'd work too well. What happens when you jump your queen into enemy territory and it lands next to the enemy's queen ?
 — FlyingToaster, Dec 19 2011

*applause* Excellent.
 — calum, Dec 19 2011

 Variant, probably better on a computer than in real life, as it would be much easier to track. You can see anything your pieces see, but they can't see through other pieces, and thus sight lines are blocked by opposing pieces.

 Two sub-variants, the pieces can only see a limited distance (may vary based on piece), and/or they can only see their own legal moves.

In any of the variants you would probably want to modify the check rules, since you may not know when you are moving into a check (and more to the point your opponent may not either).
 — MechE, Dec 19 2011

 So, Basil Liddel-Hart paraphrasing the Iron Duke, "The Other Side Of The Hill" ?

Really, quite Baked…
 — 8th of 7, Dec 19 2011

I suspect that the Queens will be playing the Hokey Cokey with the Bishops - no-one knows how fat they can go and it must be rude to ask.
 — gnomethang, Dec 19 2011

You'll probably find it here <linkthingy>. It took me about 90 seconds to find two variants that are quite similar.
 — Alterother, Dec 20 2011

 Well, if it wasn't baked before it is now. However, the players introduced their own new rule, which was that a piece visible to a player should also be able to "see" into the opponent's side to some degree, which makes it slightly like Go, i think. This might in fact completely destroy the game. The general reaction was that it was quite mind-taxing and stressful, and that it was indeed quite like Poker.

I don't know what i think about the idea of pieces visible to the player rendering other pieces visible because that might turn it into normal chess with a relatively minor quirk.
 — nineteenthly, Dec 20 2011

This is very baked in other forms of wargaming. They are known as double-blind games or command & control games where each side has their own board or map and a third player has a board showing the 'true' position', acts as referee and controls the information that goes to either side. It's a particularly good system for simulating aircraft carrier battles.
 — DrBob, Dec 21 2011

 Logically if communication didn't flow both ways (between a side's units and strategist), how would you know when a piece had been captured ?

I think you have to give the pieces some sort of situational awareness that can be transmitted back to base.
 — FlyingToaster, Dec 21 2011

 // This is very baked in other forms of wargaming. //

Very popular among Battletech players, for one.
 — Alterother, Dec 21 2011

 Yes, i thought it probably was, which is one reason i'm surprised i can't find it as a chess variant.

[FT], you know a piece has been captured when your opponent tells you. Or do you? It might be better if you only find out what happens after checkmate.
 — nineteenthly, Dec 21 2011

 — FlyingToaster, Dec 21 2011

I think I would start with the less complicated, pieces can hide behind your pawns, rules, before you got into anything else.
 — WcW, Dec 21 2011

Double-blind wargames are often played with a 'referee' (terminology varies) who keeps track of things on a 'god- board' (ditto). This would solve the hidden-check dillema and also lead to amusing interludes when strangers approach you in the park and say "pardon the intrusion, but we need a third for chess. Would you join us?"
 — Alterother, Dec 21 2011

It worked the way i described it as far as it was played, but there wasn't time to play it all the way through so snags might have emerged on the way.
 — nineteenthly, Dec 21 2011

 [19thly], you *******: I've thought of 4 chess ideas since you put this up.

5 if you include "Plausible Deniability Chess".
 — FlyingToaster, Dec 22 2011

 //"Plausible Deniability Chess"// Is that the one where your King apostrophises "Will no one rid me of this turbulent bishop?" and then your Knights go and do the dirty work?

(Seriously, you've now incurred an obligation to post that, so we can find out what it is.)
 — mouseposture, Dec 22 2011

"Checkmate"
"No it isn't!"
"Yes it is!"...etc.
 — Ling, Dec 23 2011

Cold War Chess: the players can only use their pawns, and when all of those are gone, they must sit and politely glare at one another.
 — Alterother, Dec 23 2011

There's more to Cold War Chess than that. The players can also use the nuclear option. In tournament play, that counts as a loss for both players, so it's really a rather a stupid move. *Threatening* the nuclear option, is, on the other hand, the essence of the game.
 — mouseposture, Dec 23 2011

 Cold War Chess ought to be a more sophisticated version of Prisoner's Dilemma, and given that it's that, that suggests Chicken Chess, which i think would be slightly different but i know not how because i find it hard to keep Prisoner's Dilemma in my head for long.

Have you posted them, [FT]?
 — nineteenthly, Dec 23 2011

 I'm polishing up on a rebuttal post (I don't think the game needs to involve overt bluffing to be balanced): so there's that one, "POW Chess"(in hb tradition magically moving a captured piece to the dungeon is a nono) and "Packet Chess" (2 variations on multiple moves per turn), plus possibly a gameboard (that's almost certainly baked).

But I have approximately one gross nephews and nieces to buy Xmas stuff for, so I'll promise to post one of them if you can find the time to finish your game and tell us how it worked out.
 — FlyingToaster, Dec 23 2011

I'll see if i can persuade [eleventeenthly].
 — nineteenthly, Dec 23 2011

 : I've actually made some headway on "Plausible Deniability Chess"; it's more Lukewarm War than Cold War: pieces that make captures without justification are subject to demotion if they get too near a superior (thus the "plausible deniability" bit) but can be re-moted if it turns out they were justified (pawn promotion variation).

 Meanwhile... oh I get it now [+]

<random face-saving comment> Is it just pawns that are visible ? or any piece that isn't behind another.</rfsc>
 — FlyingToaster, Dec 30 2011

 (Having spent most of this post objecting to a point I didn't quite understand, it behooves me to add something constructively, towhit...)

 You don't actually need a third board except for redundancy or audience entertainment. In lieu, each player could give, also in chess notation, updates to what the opponent can see.

 Anyways I see a problem: what happens to moves after an invisble blocked move concerning a sliding piece ? ie: the player gives the instruction to move a bishop on the other side 3 squares, but in the second square it ends up taking an enemy rook or something, and stops short of its goal. What happens next time the player goes to move the bishop ?

 And I take it that check has to be called to be officially noticed. (so what happens if a piece accidentally takes the opponents King ?)

Inquiring minds want to know.
 — FlyingToaster, Jan 03 2012

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