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The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Sam Trenholme.

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Sam Trenholme wrote on 2009-10-19 UTC
I have now have had Joker80 play some 30,000 games of Schoolbook chess (20,000 of those games were played as part of my search for a reasonable black reply to 1. c4).

Some general impressions I have gotten from this research:

  • 1. c4 looks to be white’s best first move.
  • 1. c4 Mh6 looks to be black’s best reply.
  • Black should reply to f4 with 1. f4 c5 (The “Winther defense”) and e4 with 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nb6
I have only scratched the surface of opening analysis for this variant; with two new pieces and a larger board, there is a depth and richness in the opening that FIDE chess does not have.

This is just one of many, many possible opening setups for the Capablanca pieces—there are some 126,000 possible setups if we use this set of pieces (two each of rooks, knights and bishops, one each of the strong pieces), force the bishops to be on opposite colors, and the queen to be left of the king. There is a nearly endless land to explore with just Capablanca chess and the many, many possible setups.

But, real life is calling me and this will be my last look at Schoolbook for 2009. Well, except to finish up the game with Wolff.

As an aisde, I have 132 games where one side thought they were even or ahead, but the other side found a mating combination to win the game:

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