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The Chess Variant Pages

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Los Alamos variant. Chess on a 6 by 6 board from the early days of computing. (6x6, Cells: 36) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

It's surprising how much action can be squeezed in on such a small board variant.

Joe Joyce wrote on 2012-04-03 UTC
The board is too small to use the common set-up rules: 'white is right' and 'queen on color'. This arrangement is closest-looking to standard chess. If you put the queens on their own colors, the kings and queens reverse positions, or the right corner square becomes black. Quite literally, this is the best-looking choice, the most normal and comfortable to chess players.

Rodrigo Zanotelli wrote on 2012-04-03 UTC
Why king and queen are flipped in los alamos chess, there are any reason to that?

exdeath wrote on 2012-03-05 UTC
One question, los alamos has the Threefold repetition, The fifty-move rule and Impossibility of checkmate rules?

Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-06-30 UTC
Presumably not, as programming for a piece with a Bishop move but no Rook one would cut into the saving in complexity.

Anonymous wrote on 2010-06-28 UTC
Can pawns be promoted to bishops?

Filip Rachunek wrote on 2005-10-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This game can be played on BrainKing.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-10-22 UTC
Well whatever the reason for dropping the Bishops in particular, it is appropriate for an American location with a Spanish name. In Spanish the Bishop is called Alfil, a link to to its elephantine roots, and presumably elephants have never been used in warfare in the Americas.

John Lawson wrote on 2003-07-22 UTC
'At the time Los Alamos chess was invented, computing power was at a

I did some quick research, and came up with these facts about the MANIAC,
on which this variant was played.

Memory - 1 k
Storage - 80 k
I/O - paper tape
Time to multiply two numbers - 1 sec.
Contained 2,400 vacuum tubes

In those days there were no compilers, programmers wrote directly in
machine code.  I think they deserve a LOT of credit.

Glenn Overby II wrote on 2003-07-22 UTC
I second Eric's comment.  At the time Los Alamos chess was invented,
computing power was at a premium.  :)  A 16 2/3% reduction in piece types
to factor in, a 25% reduction in pieces on the board, a 40+% reduction in
number of places to move...taken together, that's a huge savings. 
Combine this with the likelihood that the early algorithms were nothing
more than brute force calculations...

Eric Burgess wrote on 2003-07-19 UTCGood ★★★★
I would guess the difficulty wasn't with the bishops themselves. Rooks or Knights probably could equally well have been omitted. Reducing the number of pieces (at the outset) by 8, and the number of board squares by 28, drastically reduces the number of legal moves from any position, which in turn reduces the computing power needed to look ahead by a given number of moves.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-04-27 UTCGood ★★★★
I am curious to know why Chess without Bishops was easier to deal with. Was there a difficulty with the concept of colourbinding, such as wasting computing time on considering positions that could not arise?

Anonymous wrote on 2000-11-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Excellent short and sweet.

Anonymous wrote on 2002-06-27 UTC
Knight's tour is possible on 6x6 refer to

Sam wrote on 2002-06-27 UTC
The site is to short. Give more information about this. Also I have read some were before that the knight's movement was changed in ordor to fit the board. They did that because on a regular chess board the knight can land on every spot on the board with out going to the same spot twice. That is why they changed it. Please look into it more and make sure your facts are more complete. Thank you.

Anonymous wrote on 2002-06-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I really enjoyed reading about Los Alamos Chess! I think that it is great for you to show a pirture of the board. All of the other Chess variants are also very interesting to read about. It is fun to learn that there are other ways of playing chess! I'm glad you wrote about Los Alamos Chess because it was very informative and was easy to understand.

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