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Laszlo Polgar had differently sized boards too in his book "reform chess"
From playing experience, I see that a false move by either side is decisive.
semi chess,up-side down chess, lost chess,960 chess....... Fisher still lingers.
The down-side of Semi Chess is that correct play leads more easily to draws, compared with standard chess; the up-side is that these Semi positions are good puzzles for chess beginners! A good illustration of all this is the continuation of the “2…g6 Semi-Sicilian” above, which does lead to a draw after some tricky maneuvering.
Hey SaharanKnight, I think there is a challenge in creating Semi-Openings since you only have half the board. With the Sicilian Defense (a generalized Sicilian), the first moves for black (1...c5 2...d6, etc), can be applied if you're playing on the Queenside of the board but then there's the question of the Kingside moves. Often, when I'm introducing the most basic opening principles, we concentrate on central file play (temporarily ignoring the flank files until the student understands the importance of central control). However, eventually the student is going to have to deal with the other files on the board. With that said, I still think your idea is a good one. By reducing the playing area, a student is forced to work smartly with a smaller number of pieces which might make learning piece coordination easier. I'm playing with a board on which only the Kingside pieces are in place and the empty half of the board is off limits. I'm enjoying this immensely. I really think you're on to a good teaching tool!
@ Hugh_T_Patterson: Yes, as you said, in the Semi we are teaching BOTH control of the center squares with initial pawn moves and taking care of the flank files, especially when the rooks are there.
Now, before going on to new openings, the following is a brief summary of the “Semi-Sicilian 2…g6” as a teaching tool.
For experienced players: The “Semi-Sicilian 2…g6” could be just a curiosity, with a draw possible after 22 moves, although we haven’t exhausted the possibilities yet.
For chess beginners: The “Semi-Sicilian 2…g6” offers…
1) White’s answer to Black’s checkmate threat at move 4;
2) Black stopping the threat of a White pawn advance at move 5;
3) The value of centrally-placed knights, with White’s knight staying put at f4, in contrast with the standard Sicilian Defense, and Black’s knight gaining the forward g4 square at move 8;
4) The value of pawn formations in control of the center (you can see the pawn formations in quote #25);
5) The opportunity to explore the optimal placement of bishops and rooks;
6) The lesson that the King has at least a defensive role, if not pre-occupied with saving his own skin!
7) The opportunity to calculate moves in advance and to see the pitfalls of bad moves and the security afforded by good moves.
FYI, I am looking at a couple of other Semi openings and would like to post them very soon. Have any readers to this blog tried out any openings, especially anything that may lead to an advantage for one side rather than a draw?
BISHOP’S PAWN SEMI-OPENING: Combat at g4 square
Semi openings offered here are a work in progress. There are a few weak moves, but at least they give us a feel for the Semi Chess game. The following Bishop’s Pawn Semi-Opening has an intriguing symmetrical position after two moves.
"Reykjavik Open, Round 6 | Commentary by FM Ingvar Johannesson & Fiona Steil-Antoni"
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