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The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Robert Price.

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Robert Price wrote on 2003-05-06 UTC
Right, the 'illegal move' consists of picking up one of your pieces and moving it to any empty space, or using it to capture any enemey piece other than the King. All that extra verbage is just to prevent you from inventing a move that has the convenient side effect of slaying multiple enemy pieces (like the atomic bomb from Tank Chess, for example). <p> Anyway, it just occurred to me today what I found interesting about this variant when I wrote it up a year ago. The <a href=>FIDE Handbook</a>, as a document that regulates tournament play, has a twofold job. First, it must describe the rules of the abstract game Chess with mathematical precision, so that for any board position that can possibly occur, it is unambiguously known what moves are available to the player. Secondly, it has to provide <i>procedures</i> to resolve disputes of a more 'human' and imprecise nature. <p> In particular, the handbook needs to say what to do if a piece is physically moved in a way that is not 'possible' in the abstract game (and is detected before the end of the game is declared). What I suddenly realized is that Cheapmate Chess came from modifying one of those <i>procedural</i> rules, and leaving all the abstract rules of Chess alone. In a perfect world, the procedures of chess playing would be completely separate from the abstract game. But it seems that this is a case in which they are inextricably related. No matter how precisely the rules are defined, the problem of <i>enforcing</i> them is still an imperfect matter of procedure. When I removed that last part of article 5.1a of <a href=>Laws of Chess</a>, the problem of enforcement spilled into and altered the abstract game.

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