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Game Reviews by John Lewis

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Castling in Chess 960. New castling rules for Fischer Random Chess. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lewis wrote on 2007-08-08 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The original intent of castling was to move the king to either wing, centralize the rook and connect the 2 rooks.

You clearly don't have a grasp of the history of castling and are confusing what modern strategy guides explain as the advantages of castling as opposed to the reasons for castling.

You assume that the original inventors of castling had the intention you mention but didn't both to read the article(s) I linked to which explained how castling evolved.

I understand your 'bunker' concept, but even in this case if the King is already in his bunker there is no use for castling from that position. You have to admit that is true. In Orthodoxed Castling there is at least a reasonable and tactical use for Castling to extract a king from a dangerous situation.

Fischer is, of course, a brilliant man, but that does not make him a game designer. I am a game designer and I can tell you that his castling rules are overly complicated, cumbersome, and take up almost half of his explanation of his variant. No, I think Fischer just dropped the ball on this one.

John Lewis wrote on 2007-08-08 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Both the previous poster claim that the use for Castling is to move the King from the center of the board to safety in the corner but both give extremely ignorant reasoning when there are numerous positions in Chess960 where the King does not move at all if he Castles.

If Castling is about moving the King to safety then I challenge that Chess960 is much less helpful in this regard because of the cases where the King is already in the spot it would move to.

In these same situations, using Orthodoxed Castling, the King would indeed move to a safer position two spaces away regardless of his starting position.

Benedict Chess. Instead of being captured, enemy pieces switch sides. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lewis wrote on 2006-09-16 UTCAverage ★★★
I agree that white almost always wins unless the player is a novice.  The
game is very interesting but I think for it to be a good or excellant
variant it will require a tweaking to make black more competative.  

Perhaps Black must be the first to force a color switch.

Stanley Random Chess A game information page
. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lewis wrote on 2005-10-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I think I can clear up the problems presented by those who are mystified by
the rules of Stanley Random Chess.  As the current American Grand Master, I
can assure you that even I find it hard to keep up with the volumes of
rules and stipulations that are involved.  In fact, I would suggest that
about 50% of the moves I make feel as if they were chosen at random from
all the possible moves available at that time.  It's only afterwards that
I'm able to determine the reason for my own errors, after looking up the
specifics of the situation in my leatherbound library.  (My personal
Achilles Heel are the moon phase transition instituted in Berlin, 1484.)

So while I often like to open with e4, about half the time my opening move
is substituted with the nearest legal ('random', to the layman) move from
all the available legal moves.  Again, I've never failed to be able to
find the rational for this transition upon review of the historical
journals.  I almost always find time to note these transitions to my
opponent, who sometimes finds such things humourous.  For example, when a
King joins inline with a row of pawns, this is known as 'Slumming'. 
When a Queen is prematurely brought into play she is often refered to as
'Dancing'.  The terminology is quiet liberating.

Should you have further questions, I'm sure playing a game would satisfy
your curiosity.  Feel free to challenge me on Scheming Minds.

Chess480. Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lewis wrote on 2005-10-08 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Because there is no standard numbering system for Fischer Random Chess (Chess960), it would be hard for me to make a rule to explain which are duplicates due to being mirrors. It's likely that any system for generating all 960 positions would probably start mirroring at 480... so 480 and 481 would likely be mirrored positions.

John Lewis wrote on 2005-10-02 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Both sets of 480 are played for aesthetic reasons.

Stanley Random Chess A game information page
. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lewis wrote on 2005-09-26 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
As a Master level player of SRC, I can tell you that it is indeed as
demanding and tough as any variant you are likely to play.  As for the
amount of background material required to play at even a novice level, it
dwarfs Standard Chess and requires the assistance of computers for modern

As I mention this, the 37th Annual SchemindMind Tournament has just
opened, so if you are interested in observing, or taking part in some
games, now would be an excellant time to do so.

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