[Retros] Beta Chess

hv at crypt.org hv at crypt.org
Thu Mar 29 10:33:25 EDT 2007

"andrew buchanan" <andrew at anselan.com> wrote:

: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.

I wasn't aware of that variant, but it is indeed similar.

The main difference in play would be that the non-moving player must
specify the disallowed move in advance; in analysis, they would barely

: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'm not sure I fully understand the question, but I'll try to explain
further: the only effect of nomination is to restrict the moving player's
choices, so the scope of the nomination is limited to the moving player's

I think it is necessary to refine the concept of "in check" to ignore any
attack from a nominated piece, and to make sense of that it is best to treat
a player's move and the subsequent nomination for their opponent as a unit
(except in the case of Black's nomination before White's first move).

Thus, putting the disallowed pieces in parens, after:
1. (Pd2) Pe2-e4; (Pe7) Pf7-f6
2. (Pe4) Qd1-h5; (Pg7) ...
.. Black is "in check" from the WQ only if he doesn't now nominate it, so:
2. ... (Pg7) Ke8-f7
3. (Qh5)
.. would be a valid move.

Defining the variant this way makes winning quite hard, I think, so might
be less interesting to play, but more interesting for problems.

: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.

I don't understand these, I'm afraid; looking at the solution to the first
might help, but the solutions link seems to be broken.

:Do you intend that every check is mate?

No; even if the concept of "in check" is not modified in the manner
described above, a check + nomination of the King can still be defended
against by interposing another piece.

: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




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