[Retros] Beta Chess

andrew buchanan andrew at anselan.com
Thu Mar 29 09:15:37 EDT 2007

Hi Hugo,

Your second variant sounds functionally equivalent to the pre-existing
Refusal Chess, where the player has the option to refuse his opponent's
first proposed move, but must accept the second? There is at least one
published composition in Refusal Chess, but it's not retro.

Your first variant sounds novel, and is related to the Fuddled Men concept
where any unit must "stop for a rest" after moving. One clarification
required for Beta Chess is at what point in the turn cycle the unit

In Fuddled Men, the unit freezes just after it moves, and unfreezes exactly
a full turn later when the next unit is moved by that player. In Beta Chess,
apparently the freezing happens before a player moves (and so you can't
defend against a check by freezing that piece). For simplicity, would you
want the unfreezing to happen at the same point in the cycle, a turn later?
So Beta Chess is not an exact generalization of Fuddled Men.

And do you intend that attacking (i.e. checking or prevention of castling)
is also disabled by freezing?

I have some fuddled problems on my website, mostly by Ronald Turnbull. These
aren't retro, but they do use generalizations of the orthodox conventions
(www.geocities.com/anselan/FUD.html) but I hadn't published them because I
don't really understand the concept of "prove it by doing it" or "Ceriani
ethics". For what it's worth though, here they are.

Do you intend that every check is mate? If so, can we show that White wins
this game? (1.e4 seems strong. Must Black freeze that pawn at the

You specify that the frozen piece must be one that has a legal move. This
means that when a player only has one moveable unit, the game ends in

Note for non-native English speakers: the word "Fuddled" is a humorous word
meaning confused, especially by drink.


-----Original Message-----
From: retros-bounces at janko.at [mailto:retros-bounces at janko.at] On Behalf Of
hv at crypt.org
Sent: 29 March 2007 12:51
To: peter.fayers at virgin.net; The Retrograde Analysis Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Retros] More on en passant chess.

"peter.fayers at virgin.net" <peter.fayers at virgin.net> wrote:

:Any more contributions on this topic are welcome: I am planning an article

in the magazine Variant Chess on this, to demonstrate the difficulties of
inventing new variants: how a seemingly simple idea ("all units can be
captured ep") can lead to such world-wide debate.

I was considering another variant (actually 2) a little while ago; I think
of them as 'beta chess'.

Before each move a player makes, the opponent must nominate one of the
player's pieces that has a legal move (1st variant) or a legal move the
player can make (2nd variant). The player is constrained from moving the
piece (or making the move) so specified.

A draw by stalemate can be reached either before or after the opponent's

In the first variant, castling is disallowed if either of the pieces
has been nominated.

(I didn't see any great scope for retros with these variants, so I hadn't
mentioned them before now.)

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