Cylindrical Chess?!
'Ice floats because heat rises.' - Gus Logozar

Cylindrical Chess?!

LogoCzar
NM LogoCzar
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13

'Since we don't have eyes on the side of our heads we cannot easily anticipate horizontal moves, especially if they reach from kingside to queenside or vice versa.' - IM Yochanan Afek


The purpose of the Vibbert Postulate is to assist in candidate move selection so that relevant long moves can be found consistently and easily. However, there are other ways for which candidate move selection can be improved upon. I'll let rook specialist FM Sean Vibbert explain.


One day at the Vanderbilt chess club, Elijah and I were rolling up our boards to head home, and before putting the pieces away, I said to him Hey, Elijah, what if we play like this?

We are often exploring different variants of chess and decided that playing on a pseudo-cylindrical board would be a refreshing change of pace. After playing a few games, we realized that there is much benefit to be gained from thinking outside the box.

The rules were as follows: Any piece that could move to the right edge of the board would appear on the left side of the board, and visa-versa. Mathematically speaking, this board is a cylinder, and surprisingly, the overall strategy was mostly unchanged. Most positional concepts that were working in regular chess were working in cylindrical chess, the only main difference being that rerouting pieces were significantly easier.

Of course, playing chess on a cylindrical board is ridiculous. Still, it got us thinking: what if we could expand the standard routing methods in calculation by using non-standard board geometry? That is, we can utilize non-standard routes to find real destinations.

'The idea of ideal squares is not an exact science, rather it concerns how we get a better feel for the position. From the point of view of a coach discussing a position with a pupil, this is an excellent indicator of positional understanding - or the absence of it. I mentioned it briefly in Excelling at Chess, where I called it the Christmas exercise. The key idea is that you ask your piece: 'Where do you want to go, my little friend? What would you like for Christmas?' - GM Jacob Aagaard


Now it is up to you to look for application of cylindrical candidates in your study and games.