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Omega ChessA link to an external site
. Commercial chess variant on board with 104 squares.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Simon Jepps wrote on 2010-01-29 UTC
Actually I will express another criticism, and that is, not only does the Champion not have enough range but it is placed right on the edge farthest from anything, making it even longer for it to become useful. Furthermore, I find it is the only piece that suitably protects the end pawns and so you can't really develop it even if you wanted to because you'll leave your side ranks exposed to attack. If anyone can dampen my firey claims please feel free to.

Simon Jepps wrote on 2010-01-27 UTCGood ★★★★
I am kind of more attracted to it than I was. Indeed, it must be said that it is quite a good variant. The only problems I have with it is the slight divergence from the classic and somewhat 'romantic' absolute square board. The Champion at either end unfortunately takes away that all familiar routine of castling 'into the corner', nice and smoothly, with your fianchetto all lined up. It is the sentimental concepts that have been slightly tampered with. But that said it is 'enchanting' in its own way too. I would prefer 100 squares with no corner squares in a variant, but then may be I'm asking too much. I am only interested in it for the time being because it is commercial and easy to get started in tournaments. I would still like to see something more to my taste. However, it could catch on, I suppose. If they get their act together and manufacture an actual 'Fool' piece for the advanced version I might buy.

Nuno wrote on 2008-11-02 UTC
Mr. Duke, can you please tell me the link to the page about triples of Mr.
Betza? I wanted to see the other no knight triples.. I' trying to find
the page but failed.

Many thanks

George Duke wrote on 2008-05-03 UTC
Champion (D + W + A) is third of the six possible Betza triples. [My error. There are 10 triples in question, but 6 having Knight. Found so far used are only two NDA and WFN.]

Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-08-22 UTC
Review of Omega Chess

David Paulowich wrote on 2007-08-11 UTC
Correction: as the Rules of Omega Chess page states,
The board used for this game has 12 row(s), 12 column(s), 104 cells/squares.
This game is a 2 player game.

George Duke wrote on 2007-08-11 UTCGood ★★★★
Just going to normal 8x10, as game ended 20.Sept.04 Peter Leyva-Uwe Kreuzer, would make Omega okay. That is how fine-tuned design becomes. Shako (1997) and Omega are near-duplicates, with Cannon instead of Wizard and 'Elephant-Champion' having Ferz option too. Shako deals with awkward wide Pawn spacing when implementing Centennial-described 'holy grail' 100 squares by having Grand Chess empty file behind (except Cannon). 'Too much of a good thing' detracts Excellent 84-square Quintessential in 144-square Quinquereme. Likewise, in other typical cases, Lavieri's Achernar's 81, or Eight-Stone's 72, or Carrera's 80 for that matter suffice for sizing, with more unnecessary in best interest not having so many sliders or long-range leapers. Re-rating usual other factors than game rules, now that Omega material is back, game scores, popularity, theme, clear rules. Wizard/Champion complement in respect of going to mutually exclusive squares together with Knight, so it appears illogical to criticize colourbound Wizard alone of  cross-pair. Instead each overlaps unexpectedly in their own way with Bishop, Rook, and Knight. To change at all either W. or Ch. would be different CV in another direction, whereas board decrements might be permissible staying within the conception.

George Duke wrote on 2007-08-10 UTC
Omega is Grand Chess level of lower 20%, but Uwe Kreuzer, whom I played both CVPage and BrainKing, played one Omega in GC here on 10x8, an improvement; so Omega could evolve somewhat now they are seeing their Champion/Wizard just re-configures known quantities. Keeping sort of standards and needing to add 30 or more Large CV to 'Excellents', thanks Abdul-Rahman for asking and please anyone else try a list ideally if ten or more, since otherwise it amounts to advocacy or just bias, we name for fun some Large CV Excellents at own thread following, that were mostly buried in aborted Tournament vote 2006 at only (0), 1, or 2, or 3 favourable.

Abdul-Rahman Sibahi wrote on 2007-08-10 UTC
Thompson, George Duke has played a few games of Omega Chess, one of them was against me.

Personally, I think Omega Chess is a good game in its own right. However, the endgame does play out like a prolonged and boring Chess ending. The existence of all those leapers (and the huge space between the two armies) makes pawn pushes somehow unnecessary, and pawns are the soul of chess.

I wonder though, what George Duke considers to be the 'best' decimal variant, (my bet is that he will say Rococo, but I would call it an Ultima variant, not a Chess variant.)

Mark Thompson wrote on 2007-08-09 UTC
I notice most of George Duke's criticisms of Omega Chess are the theoretical kind: weak pieces, low piece density, piece components have been done before, mathematical analysis... But no one understands game design well enough to be able to substitute theory for experiment. It doesn't matter if a game SHOULDN'T be fun according to the Duke Theory, what matters is whether it IS fun. I'm curious about how many games of Omega Chess George Duke has played, and I'd be more convinced by his review if he would cite particulars from those games that led him to consider Omega Chess uninteresting.

The game is long and builds slowly, no doubt about that, but whether that's good or bad is a matter of taste. Some people like movies starring Bruce Willis, others prefer novels by Charles Dickens.

Greg Strong wrote on 2007-08-09 UTC
Brand new Omega Chess sets are now available, and come with a very nice 10x10 vinal board!  I just received two sets today.  (I actually think Omega Chess is a mediocre game, but I wanted the board and the pieces for use playing other variants.)

The sets sell for about $30, which is reasonable, until you find out that the shipping and handling charge more than doubles the cost!  The board is nice.  The pieces are pretty nice, although they are not nearly heavy enough to match the website claims that they 'have just the right balance and weight for smooth playing.'  Also, the pieces come in nylon carrying bags that are useless.  Each set comes with two bags - all four that I received had already torn at the seam and spilled pieces out in shipping.  And they bounced around and damaged the rule sheets slightly.  I don't really care all that much about that, but when I paid over $30 *EACH SET* for shipping + handling, I would expect slightly better.  But I will say that the sets arrived at my house very, very fast!  I think it only took two days, but it might have been three.

Anyway, since it is hard to find any nice chess-variant pieces, this set is probably worth buying for the pieces alone.  I wish they were a little heavier, but they are nice, durable, and estecially pleasing.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-08-09 UTC
As it happens, Omega Chess has been attracting some more attention lately.

Sam Trenholme wrote on 2007-08-09 UTC
My general feeling about this variant is that it is, like Chu Shogi, a slow yet strategically rich variant. Games can easily last 100 moves or more. I personally prefer games that aren't as slow, but that is just a personal preference.

For people who like games like Chu Shogi, I can see the appeal of this variant.

- Sam

George Duke wrote on 2007-08-09 UTC
We have surveyed 300 of 700 large Chesses one by one in Comments beneath each, never got to Omega til now and rate Omega rules in bottom 20% because CVPage has many very average and 50 or more Excellent large CVs. Like Grand Chess (in bottom 20%) O. suffers from low piece density making long games broadly reminiscent of Shogi variates. Its weaker piece mix, not Pawns per se, is reminiscent of very different Shogi in 15 Omega games played in GC. Notice Cavebear compares to no other large CVs staying within comfort zone of familiar Omega and Shogi as exotics. We too hope people acquire Omega sets, if available, to play other variates since several complimented physicial pieces. 'The Champion works' on 8x8 compared to what? How about (N,F), (N,W), (Dab,F), (Alfil, W) and six or seven other commonplace and established substitutions for either Bishop or Knight instead? Does it best replace B or N? Anyone with nothing better to do, go for it, find whether this Champion(D+A+W) in particular is better than any of those, or better than Bishop, on reasonable 8x8 not oversized 104. 'Bears no resemblance' could apply pairwise to FIDE Chess and FRC, or Falcon Chess and FC with Airplanes: totally different games. Faced with proliferation we compare and contrast closely and afield, even mathematically by Game Design Analyses. Macdonald's 'Positive feedback' comes because people, seeing that mad Queen ran its course, it is finished to be given chance want any 'something different for a change', as CVPage website Intro has said for 12 years.

Cavebear wrote on 2007-08-09 UTC
I'm afraid I'll have to take issue with several of the things that George
Duke has stated.  I'll also agree with him on one of the other claims that
he makes.

 'Omega Chess is absolutely one of the Poorest of the 600 Large Chesses
in CVPage.'

I've played several dozen face-to-face games of Omega Chess.  It's
fairly enjoyable and easy to teach to standard chessplayers.  Many of my
opponents have also enjoyed playing Omega Chess.  It's not even close to
the bottom of the list of large chess variants.  To my mind, it is one of
the better efforts.  

 'Its short-moving Wizard and Champion would worsen an 8x8 adaptation if
either were substituted for Bishops or for Knights.'

I'm in agreement with regards to the Wizard; I've tried the minor piece
substitution on an 8x8 board and it created problems.  The Champion

 'To put both of them on 10x10 (plus four corner squares) makes for
long-playing Pawn-heavy-like game reminiscent of Shogi, whose variants
unappealing most Western-style players.'

I've played hundreds of games of Shogi, and I have to say that Omega
Chess bears no resemblance, not in flavour and not in pawn structure.  And
I daresay that there are plenty of chess players in Europe who find Shogi
quite appealing.  It seems to me, from the perspective of one who has
helped organise Shogi events in Canada, that it is an aversion to learning
a few oriental calligraphy characters that North Americans find
unappealing.  Those that actually get beyond that to actually play Shogi
often have good experiences with the game. 

 'All they are imaginatively, Wizard being Camel plus Ferz, Champion
being Wazir plus Dabbabah plus Alfil, are compound re-makes, each leg up
to a thousand years old, although they never explain it straightforwardly
that way in Omega Chess write-ups, as if making something from scratch.'

It is quite possible that Mr. Macdonald had never heard of a Camel or an
Alfil when he designed the game.  It seems that as a young man the creator
had a graveyard shift job babysitting corporate computers, and came up with
his chess variant to pass the time with a co-worker.  Apparently the
original board was sketched out on the back of a pizza box.  So it was a
bit of a craft project after all.  It was only after receiving quite a bit
of positive feedback that he decided to market Omega Chess. 

One great reason to pick up an Omega Chess set if you can find one, even
if like Mr. Duke you dislike the actual rules, is that the regular pieces
are standard plastic tournament Staunton, while the extra pieces are
attractive, and can be used for Chancellors and Cardinals and such.  

Now, if only someone came out with a nice vinyl 10x10 board...or maybe
someone has and I'm just unaware...

In summary, while it would be a bold claim indeed (and one I am not
making) to say that Omega Chess is the ultimate 10x10 variant, and it is
true that the new piece moves are composites of older historical pieces, I
personally would give it an A for effort, and the physical incarnations of
the new pieces an A+.


George Duke wrote on 2007-08-09 UTCPoor ★
Omega Chess is one of the Poorest of the 600 Large Chesses in CVPage. Its short-moving Wizard and Champion would worsen an 8x8 adaptation if either were substituted for Bishops or for Knights. Bishops perfected mad-Queen Chess, and no (Camel+Ferz) or (Wazir+Dabbabah+Alfil) could have. A clever use of either Wizard or Champion might find a place on a small Chess 7x8 or 7x7. To put both of them on 10x10 (plus four corner squares) makes for long-playing Pawn-heavy-like game reminiscent of Shogi, whose variants unappealing most Western-style players. All they are imaginatively, Wizard being Camel plus Ferz, Champion being Wazir plus Dabbabah plus Alfil, are compound re-makes, each leg up to a thousand years old, although they never explain it straightforwardly that way in Omega Chess write-ups, as if making something from scratch. Yet seeing the nature of Wizard's and Champion's coming from Wazir/Ferz etc. could lead to Capablanca-Random-Chess-type extensions. For anyone with nothing better to do, actually (F,W, Dabbabah, Alfil, and Knight) are also fundamental combinations and more logical to base thousands of initial arrays on, than clumsy Marshall(R,N) and super-Knight Cardinal(B,N), if one would just avoid so many as ten ranks.

Charles wrote on 2007-08-06 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This game is incredible. 
And I will like to point out a beauty of this game that a previous poster
does not see (and probably does not understand in chess either)
A rook and king cannot mate a king. So I can potentially in R and K vs R,
K and pawn sacrifice my rook for the pawn for a draw. 

The use of the W1-4 squares to force a draw is beautiful, like the
stalemate threat in regular chess. 

Yes, this game will have a lot of draws between EQUAL players but draws
are NOT A problem with chess . Only draw offers and the fact that openings
are making the game played out is the real problem with chess.

David Short wrote on 2006-08-08 UTC
I would like to make all enthusiasts of Omegachess aware of the fact that I am currently organizing a new Omegachess tournament by email. This tournament will be conducted on Richard's Play By Email server, and to play in this event you must have a current Richard's PBM userid. is the link for the front page to Richard's PBM server. tells you how you can sign up for a free userid and password, if you don't have one already. teaches you how play is conducted on the server. The key thing to remember is that all moves are sent in the subject line of an email sent to [email protected] using a precise syntax. The body of the email is used for sending comments to your opponent. Every time a player sends a move, the server sends out an email to both players with an ASCII diagram of the up-to-date position and a list of the last few moves played. The syntax is usually something like so for instance, if my userid were 'jsmith' and my password was '27train' and I were playing on Omegachess Board 227 and I wanted to play Wi5 (short-hand algebraic is used) then I would send an email to [email protected] with the following in the subject line: Omegachess Board 227 jsmith 27train Wi5 It's that simple. My tournament will be a single-round-robin event in 2 rounds. First a preliminary round and then section winners and a few wild card players advancing to a finals section. How many wild cards I make eligible for the finals and how many sections I create depend upon the number of entries received. There will also likely be some kind of total time cap on reflection time limits for the tournament but I haven't decided yet what that will be. If you are interested in playing in my new Omegachess tournament then please email me at [email protected] and don't forget to tell me what your userid on Richard's PBM Server is.

Derek Nalls wrote on 2006-04-04 UTC
[Comment deleted.]

Jeremy wrote on 2005-10-17 UTC
I'm having difficulty getting ahold of an omega chess set. Could someone please email me at omegachessenthusiast *at* gmail *dot* com if they have one they'd like to sell? THANKS!!

Onno wrote on 2005-06-04 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Very interesting, especially the match played by the grandmasters. <p>I wonder whether the fact that R+K againt K cannot checkmate becomes a problem when players get more experienced with this game. For example, R+K can achive a tie againt R+K+P by sacrificing the rook. <p>To overcome this, one might consider prohibiting walking on w1-w4 with any piece or at least with the king. Or one might change the roles to make a stalemate a loss for the stalemated player.

Anonymous wrote on 2003-08-08 UTC
never mind

Skye wrote on 2003-07-23 UTC
I was wondering if I could get permission to play omega chess at I emailed them but never heard back. Is there anyone who can help me?

st wrote on 2003-07-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Omega Chess is an awesome variant. I've been playing the game for about a week and i just keep playin'!

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