Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Grey Chess

Memory Challenge .
  (+6, -1)
(+6, -1)
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Both side's pieces are the same colour. The bottom of each piece, which cannot be seen during normal play, is marked to indicate if it's really "black" or "white." Players must remember which pieces are their own.

Played mostly the same as normal chess. touch/move, but with one addition: The memory challenge. Touch your opponent's piece instead of your own, and they can call a challenge. If they catch you out, you lose that turn. If they call a challenge by mistake (that is, it really is your own piece), they lose their turn.

Version 1 would use traditionally shaped pieces, all in a shade of neutral grey.

Version 2 would use simple flat disks, with the piece colour AND type printed on one side. Printed side up could be played for teaching or just played as regular chess - printed side down to play Advanced Grey Chess - forcing the player to remember not only the colour but type of each piece. The memory challenge would apply not only to touching the wrong colour piece, but making an illegal move (e.g., moving a rook diagonally).

a1, Sep 21 2021

I don't *think* it's in here.... https://en.wikipedi...t_of_chess_variants
... But wow, there sure are a lot of chess variants! [a1, Sep 21 2021]

Blindfold Chess https://en.wikipedi...iki/Blindfold_chess
By extrapolation, this would be Version 3 of grey chess. [scad mientist, Sep 22 2021]


       Most good chess players would find this quite easy
xenzag, Sep 21 2021

       I'm certain they would (at some minimal level of "good"). But the world is full of players at all levels, cheaters, and kibbitzers. At the very least, it would be a training tool.
a1, Sep 21 2021

       Chess board mounted on a lazy susan, can be spun in between moves while light is switched off.
pocmloc, Sep 21 2021

       50 shades of chess.
xandram, Sep 22 2021

       [pocmloc]; parabolic chess board? Pieces NOT magnetic, so board must be spinning all the time to keep the pieces in their squares. Adds hand-eye co-ordination & dexterity to the game play.
neutrinos_shadow, Sep 22 2021


       //50 shades of chess.//   

       50 shades of play scans better.
AusCan531, Sep 22 2021

       Traditionally, in chess you must move even though there are are occasions where it would be beneficial if you could skip a turn. With your grey chess rules, someone could choose to skip their turn by moving their opponent's piece on purpose. If the opponent challenges the move, they get to loose a turn, if the opponent doesn't challenge the move, well, then they still got away without moving any of their own pieces, and probably put an opposing piece in a worse position. You could allow the challenger to choose not to let you skip a turn, but then there's no penalty in that situation.   

       Or just simply say that anyone who looses a challenge (either challenger or the one who is challenged), looses the game, so keeping track of your pieces is more important than playing a winning game. If you're unsure of a piece, you can quit using it, or attack it and see if your opponent moves it. Of course if your opponent realizes that you don't know if the piece is yours, you can start moving it anyway. Also, you could park a piece and purposely not use it in hopes that they would forget and think it is theirs.   

       I suppose you could get a lot more bluffing and trickery going on if the penalty was not too severe. Maybe 3 strikes before you loose.   

       Presumably all captured pieces go in a common bin so you can't look at them to remember how many of each piece you have left.
scad mientist, Sep 22 2021

       [a1] are you aware of blindfold chess? Grey chess could be a step in that direction for those who aren't quite up for it.   

       In high school chess club we'd sometimes try play blindfold chess without a chess board (or blind folds) while eating lunch or in some other situation where we were bored without access to a chess board. (I guess that doesn't happen so often any more now that everyone has smart phones.) Of course since we didn't have someone keeping track, the game generally broke down once one person lost track of their pieces. I'm not sure I ever finished a game that way.
scad mientist, Sep 22 2021

       'Grey chess' is also a metaphor for the oneness of humanity, and the futility and waste of warfare; by representing all pieces in the same colour it makes the point that we are really all the same. You might think you're a white pawn fighting a black pawn but in reality we're all just grey pawns.

In fact, 'grey chess' should go one step further and also remove any distinctions between the shape of the pieces (so the player has to remember which piece is which), showing there to be no real differences between the king, the bishop and the pawn - fundamentally, we're all the same. Zen Chess.
hippo, Sep 22 2021

       [scad_mientist], thank you for pointing out the strategic possibilities.   

       [hippo], did you ever read “The Lathe of Heaven”? Before I decided to play it straight, an early draft of this idea was a joke about utopian/egalitarian chess - and the uniformly grey pieces were a reference to an effective dream.
a1, Sep 22 2021

       [a1] No - will look it up... (later - I’ve ordered a copy)
hippo, Sep 22 2021

       //no real differences between the king, the bishop and the pawn - fundamentally, we're all the same// So their permitted moves and powers are also the same? That sounds like draughts. Though seeing how they are all the same colour and the squares on the board are all the same colour, perhaps we have invented tiddleywinks?
pocmloc, Sep 22 2021

       // no real differences between the king, the bishop and the pawn - fundamentally, we're all the same // We may all be WORTH the same, but we many have different strengths and weaknesses. Some of those strength have more value than others in terms of accomplishing the goal of subduing your opponent, even if the value as an individual is the same.   

       I'm not sure how best to represent that with a modification of chess rules. I guess for starters, eliminate, check/checkmate since this makes the king seem more important. Hmm, what about having the game run for a set number of moves. The person with the most pieces left at that time wins. For example 3 pawns wins over 2 queens. Of course that still favors the powerful pieces because you'll try to preserve them to use in wiping out your enemy. Maybe the scoring value needs to be somewhat inverse to the playing value.
scad mientist, Sep 22 2021

       //are you aware of blindfold chess?// //generally broke down once one person lost track of their pieces//   

       I know you said you didn't have one but the trick is to play with a real board, actual blindfolds & a third person to move the pieces for you [scad] if you attempt a move you can't make because the piece isn't where you thought it was you lose the move, should be fun & a good memory exercise.   

       //go one step further and also remove any distinctions between the shape of the pieces//   

       Just go for full-on blind chess [hippo], like up there ^
Skewed, Sep 22 2021

       + I have decided to bun this, a lot of what others said gave me a better view, but I could not play it.
xandram, Sep 22 2021

       [skewed] // but the trick is to play with a real board // Even with a board and ref, it would basically break down once someone started forgetting pieces. I guess we would have known for sure who forgot first and have a winner, but we were just doing it for fun and practice. Maybe once we got good enough where we could sometimes play a whole game, it would be worth it. Hey, you could make an app for that. Google... Oh, it already exists: "Blindfold Chess Offline"
scad mientist, Sep 23 2021

       Blindfold chess would be hard. I think I would have had to have started practising at age four to have any proficiency.   

       //I guess we would have known for sure who forgot first and have a winner//   

       You could go that way of course [scad], but I still prefer the option I gave before as it prolongs the game.   

       //if you attempt a move you can't make because the piece isn't where you thought it was you lose the move//   

       Meaning that you lose your turn to make a move & it passes to the other player as if you had made a move despite none of your pieces having actually moved.   

       What's the "Blindfold Chess Offline" rule for it?
Skewed, Sep 23 2021


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