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Yesterday I met the guy who invented raindropchess and is now promoting it in all of Western Europe. He came to my old high school to organize a tournament for our junior high students. While I was helping him, he told me a lot about it. For example, in his experience, many consider raindropchess to be a 'non-geeky' version of chess, and it's incredibly popular among kids 7 to 12, which was confirmed by the tournament being a huge success.
In elementary schools, students who perform badly in school are often good at, and enjoy playing raindropchess.
Raindropchess can be used as a training tool too. By playing it, children will automatically find out about forks, mating patterns, pins and skewers, and they will develop a feeling for where a king stands safe and where it doesn't. Also, when children have to practise certain aspects of chess, there are variants possible. For example, when they have to practise rook endgames, instead of the whole set, you can give children only 8 of the 16 cards: the king, a rook and 6 pawns. It really works!
At the tournament yesterday, there were a few competitors who had never played chess before and didn't understand. Even those children, right after learning how the pieces move, immediately started placing their pawns on the 6th rank close to promotion, they started connecting their rooks intuitively, they centralized their knights and bishops, etc.
Raindropchess is a great way for children to be introduced to chess, and some children who play raindropchess in elementary school might discover a talent, learn the rules of real chess, and join a chess club.
Forgive my overenthousiastic rant here, but I really think that this is a brilliant game. Not as a chess variant, but just as a board game related to chess.
To give you an idea of the awesome chaotic positions possible in raindropchess, here's a puzzle from a game I actually played against my teacher (I have a picture :D)
There are 2 solutions, one of which is (in my opinion) very beautiful.
Well, I have never hear about this before in my life. What is "raindropchess"?
I'd never heard of it either, but I know how to use the internet ;)
I haven't either - please elaborate, Mr. OP.
Basically players start with an empty board with all pieces on the side. They take turns taking 1 card off their deck. Every card has a chess piece on it, and the player has to put the piece on the card onto the board. As soon as the player's king is on the board, he's allowed to choose between picking another card + placing another piece, and to play a move on the board. Checkmate wins the game. Pieces can be placed on the board with check and with mate.
Sounds fun...I wanna try it sometime.
That looks kinda fun. We have a card-based chess here in the US called No Stress Chess and a more serious card-based one called Bosworth. (There's also Knightmare Chess, but that one is super chaotic.)
You can try it out on the website Alucardll posted. You can only play against yourself though!
You can also just use a normal chessboard and create some cards yourself.
I will do just that. Thanks !!
Played it and liked it a lot. Definitely not just for kids. You can develop some amazing positions. Sort of like a chess construction set. I want to see what happens when the kings come out early. The two times I tried it, they came out quite late.
Bravo to the designer.
That's really interesting actually. The sooner your king comes out, the sooner you can start gobbling up your opponent's pieces, but the sooner you can get checkmated.
Think of this game: 1. Ke1 Nc3 2. c4 Qe2#
Obviously that doesn't happen often, but that's how the guy I spoke with beat GM Nijboer :)
If early kings are a source of too much luck, you could always shuffle them into, say, the bottom eight cards of each deck. That way they would come out late but you would not know exactly when.