Chess has taken me to places I never considered going. Besides the travelling to other cities and states, chess has expanded my mind and enabled me to accomplish things I never considered before. Simply put I never knew that chess was actually more about life than chess.
When I began playing I didn't recognize the benefits. Chess helps with math, logic, art, memory and so much more. One substantial game of chess (more than fifteen moves, not necessarily between grandmasters, and with good ideas) is enough to demonstrate those fields which chess develops. Take a look at the following board, which is about the game variant "Queen's Chess", see the introduction in my earlier blog post
Chess.com doesnt recognize Queen's chess... yet, so I cannot show a full game from the starting position. What this offers, though, is a chance to revive the game's splendid infinitudes. Chess 960 and other variants attempt to make the game more unpredictable and less dependent on book moves and so forth. We always want something new in chess, which is why we look to the grandmasters to develop new lines for us to explore. But, what about using the a single piece as our motivation. What if the Queen, being the strongest piece, is also now the most vulnerable? If the Queen is to be checkmated then her power becomes checked instantly. Although she can fly all over the board, she must do so with even more restraint and vigilance, as she, too, can be checkmated. Take a look at the following position, only this time we'll discount the kings so that we can focus on how to checkmate a Queen.
Now onto a real checkmate against the queen.
We know all about the 2 move checkmate for Black... 1. f3 d5 2. g4 Qh4#, but what about the shorted checkmate in Queen's chess??The game goes 1. f4 g5 2. Qg4 Bh5#.
Again the two move mate is possible, however very unlikely. What does this teach us about chess? Well, for one thing that the game may change from King to Queen being the object, but the ideas are the same. Some more or less calculation may be necessary but the game has not yet changed. We do not want chess to die, as that would mean the world has nothing else to look forward to. Let me give you one more example of a nice game of Queen's chess, and then describe what chess has brought to my life. Here is a nice game, which was played between J. Hector and C. Wallace, two imaginary players with two imaginary different styles. Hector is an attacker, Wallace is a defender, by nature of course. Wallace will use the open back rank to protect his queen. And Hector will attempt to eliminate defenders as quickly and cleanly as possible.
A magnificent game which has gone down in the annals of Queen's Chess for beginners and masters to learn from! Given the restraints of the constant king check, I cannot provide a full game as the last move creates a pin on the queen. Indeed the game is full of surprises and ideas that exist in the normal game. Chess has brought me to a level of understanding that I never had before. Namely I can appreciate the game for what it is and what it can be.
In this last ditty I will share just a fun way to 'open' to the Queen's Chess position. Enjoy!
What has chess done for you?