"Really Bad Chess" - Game vs Rank # 99

Mar 12, 2018, 7:41 PM |

What is "Really Bad Chess"?
It is an app available for iPhone and Android where the gameplay is based on "odds". It's a one-player vs computer/program game where the board set-up changes based on how well you have played. The starting position is manipulated to give you (or the computer) the better chances to win! Kings seem to be on the e-file, but ANY OTHER PIECE/PAWN may be located on ANY OTHER square. Also, there is no definition to how many of each piece you or the computer will start with. There is a ranking system that is utilized on a scale of 0-100, where "0" is where you will have great odds to win (based on material), "50" is equal, and "100" is great odds for the computer. I believe the app will start you off at Rank 23 (well, start the computer off at that setting) and you can work your way up (or down!) from there. The strength of the computer (which always has the Black pieces) is unaffected by the Ranking - it's not a strong system by any means. I believe the key to winning is to have a "cautious initiative." That is, be aggressive when you can - but attack if it leads to material advantage or mate. If you're losing in an endgame, it will probably beat you. However, the computer plays like it's impatient and will (in my own words) go kamikaze more often than not. 
The first handful of moves are very important because you need to have proper development without incurring further material losses. That's hard to do when you're tempted to resign 5 moves in! If you do feel like the position is resignable, then it is resignable in an endgame where you are overwhelmed and have zero counterplay. I have lost vs Ranks 100+ because I'll mistakenly trade my only queen away too early and I run out of ways of fending off the enemy material.


Below, I present a game that I have notated against a Rank 99. As you can see, White should be obliterated by the Black pieces. However, it goes berserk early and never really gets its queenside going. I played this game quite a long time ago, so I don't remember every little variation or alternative that I was thinking about. Honestly, I didn't even verify if my annotations are correct - but this is intended to be fun and entertaining.
Side note: White HAS A PAWN on the h1 square. I cannot set it up with a pawn because that position is illegal in chess, so I decided to omit it altogether. It never moves or is captured and barely affected the game at all. I hope that you enjoy!