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The Chess Variant Pages



This page is written by the game's inventor, Rich Hutnik.

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Charles Daniel wrote on 2009-08-19 UTC
Rich - I'm a bit confused here. You are referring to speed chess as a variant. The implications are astounding. Imagine if the 285 million players on the internet are told they are not playing chess but a variant! - since most do play some variety of speed chess 
I for one don't think so. Speed chess is simply an agreement to complete x amount of moves in y time. Even current classical chess is played at faster controls than before. Since chess was actually not meant to be played with clocks in the first place, are we all playing a variant? 
Clearly not.  
The issues of strong players drawing more often, stale opening etc only affect about 2-5 % of the chess population, and the chess community is driven by class A to class D amateurs. Draws are not even an issue at classical time control for many of them. 
The FIDE is not a 'community' and has absolutely no control on how online chess is played. It serves no purpose except to enforce the  rules of FIDE sponsored chess events.
Some variants like losing chess, Bug House catch on because they are different and not considered serious chess. IN a similar vein, one can market a game if different enough from chess  such as maybe Arimma maybe even Rococo, but not as a next chess.    
The best one can do to promote chess variants is to advertise the events that take place. The categorization scheme works too. 
With the exception of Chess960, (and only because it was suggested by Bobby Fischer), it seems to me that the chess community is simply not interested in any other chess-like game. Perhaps its the nature of chess being too complex, perhaps it is their need to master the game or their inability to think outside of chess ... 
So I believe chess variants will have to compete on equal footing with any other unknown Board Game X to attract a niche audience. 
Trying to convince the chess purists that we have the 'next chess' is probably fruitless, but I will be very interested in reading the comments if anyone starts such a promotion targeting chess players on forums etc.

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