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The Chess Variant Pages

The 39-Challenge Chess Variant Tournament

What is it?

The 39-Challenge Chess Variant Tournament is a contest to see who can play the various Chess Variants the best. Only chess variants submitted (and accepted) for the "39-Challenge" will be eligible.

The purpose of this tournament is three-fold:

  1. To have some fun.
  2. To provide variant designers play testing for their variants.
  3. To provide players a better idea of what these variants are like.

The Rules

  • It is assumed that contestants will play via email, although there is no restriction on how players interact.

  • There will be two rounds played.

  • For the first round, the players will be divided into two (or possibly more) groups. Players within each group will play against each other. Then, the top players from each group will play each other for the final round.

  • If 2 players tie, then I'll have a playoff round where each player picks a 39-variant and plays the other. If they still tie, then I'll pick the winner at random from the two players.

  • If more than 2 players tie, then I'll chose a winner at random from those who tied.

  • Players may take up to 15 days to make their first five moves, then up to three days per move after that. It will be up to the players to decide when and if a game has been lost due to a player taking too much time. It is suggested that when you receive an opponent's move, that you give a short response to indicate that the message got through.

  • The winning player should notify me David Howe of who has won the game, and a list of the moves involved, possibly with some comments. If the game is drawn, the players should decide among themselves who will notify me.

  • Points will be awarded for winning (1 point) or drawing (1/2 point) a game.

  • The names (or aliases) of all players, the games they played, and points earned will be published at the end of the tournament. Email addresses will be published only with the player's permission.

  • The winner of the tournament will receive a copy of Zillions of Games and also have the choice between receiving a Chess Variants 39-Challenge T-Shirt or a CD-ROM with an offline version of The Chess Variant Pages, and receives the honor of being announced the 39-Challenge Tournament Winner. The player coming in second place receives a Chess Variants 39-Challenge T-Shirt OR a CD-ROM with an offline version of The Chess Variant Pages, but may not choose (i.e., he receives the prize not taken by the winner.)

How do I join?

Send email to me (David Howe) with the following information:

  • your name (or alias),
  • your email address,
  • up to four 39-Challenge chess variants (in order of preference) you'd like to play, and
  • an indication of whether or not you want your email address published

You will be notified whom you are playing (name and email) and which variants will be used for each game. I will try to match players who are interested in playing the same variants, but since that will not always be possible, I might have to assign players games that are not within their preferences.


Registration will be closed after February 7, 1999, and play will begin on February 8, 1999. (Deadline was extended a week from earlier deadline of January 31, 1999.)
See also:
Written by David Howe, small additions/changes by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: December 10, 1998. Last modified: February 1, 1999.