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# Need help to create a handicapsystem for a chessvariant based on ratings

• #1

Hey everyone!

Im trying to make a handicapsystem for a chessvariant. The chessvariant is You can download the game from chess.com/downloads for free.

In this variant everything works just like standard chess, except that players conquer the squares of the board by moving their pieces onto them. Each turn players recieve income (coins) and those get added to their savings. These savings can be used to buy new pieces.

Watch this youtubevideo to learn all the rules in a couple minutes. It's not nescessary to know them all to help for the handicapsystem though.

This variant has good posibilities to add a handicap. Normally both players start with 0 coins in their savings. But it would be nice if a weaker player could start with an X amount of coins. Nice for the weaker player because he has a chance to win, nice for the stronger player because the game is challenging.

There are two ways a handicapsystem could be applied:

1) Based on the rating the weaker player gets an X amount of coins.

This system should have the following requirements:
- 2 players with the same rating both start with 0 coins
- when 2 players have different ratings the strongest player starts with 0 coins, and the weakest with X coins.

I have been reading on wikipedia about chesshandicap and I learned that the higher the players' ratings, the more impact a handicap has.

Example:
2400rating = 1800rating + extra knight
1800rating = 1400rating + extra knight
1400rating = 1100rating + extra knight
1100rating = 900rating + extra knight
etc.

This is because bad players blunder away their pieces more often so an extra piece (or extra coins) have less impact.

Thus to calculate how many coins a player gets we have to factor in how low the weakest rated player is (lower rating = more coins) and how big the difference is between the two players (bigger the difference = more coins).

Since equal strength gives both 0 coins, and with a difference strongst gets 0 coins it seems logical that first both players get an X amount of coins depending on their rating and then the amounts get subtracted:

Starting saving weakest player = "amount of coins weakest player - amount of coins strongest player"
Starting savings strongest player = 0 coins (strong-strong=0)

But the big mysteryquestion (to me) is: how to calculate the amount of coins that fits for a certain rating?

To get an idea for quantities involved:
The prizes for a piece:
Pawn = 25 coins
Knight = 75 coins
Bisshop = 83 coins
Rook = 113 coins
Queen = 219 coins

2) A ratingsystem that does not have ratingpoints as unit, but coins as unit.

Requirements:
- the losing player gets an +X amount of coins added to his 'coinrating', the winning player gets -X amount of coins to his 'coinrating'.
- The strongest player starts with 0 coins in savings

So again at the start of the game the players get:

Starting saving weakest player = "coinrating weakest player" - "coinrating strongest player"
Starting savings strongest player = 0 coins (strong-strong=0)

Well... I hope all this makes sense to some of you who are reading this :) And I hope a mathgenious could help me out here. Any (critical) questions that help me find a good system or errors in my thinking are welcome as well.

• #2

Still hoping that people got ideas how to create such a system :)

• #3

The problem is that you don't know how the coins relate to the rating. First, you need to get a sizeable pool of players with solid ratings in the game. Then you need to have them all play several games with various handicaps. Then you could analyze how those handicaps affected the predicted results and statistically derive a function of coin handicap based on rating and rating difference.

• #4

We`ve spoken about it a bit in our PMs already. I`ve tried out higher prices of pieces for a stronger (based on normal chess skills) player and it worked fine. Consequently, I would go this way.

I take it you want to use a handicap only when a friendly game is played. There should be no advantage when it comes to tournaments.

• #5
ironic_begar wrote:

The problem is that you don't know how the coins relate to the rating. First, you need to get a sizeable pool of players with solid ratings in the game. Then you need to have them all play several games with various handicaps. Then you could analyze how those handicaps affected the predicted results and statistically derive a function of coin handicap based on rating and rating difference.

Thanks for the good advice! Letting a bunch of people play with stable ratings and derive a function emperically is a good way indeed. *notes this down*

Boletus_CZ wrote:

We`ve spoken about it a bit in our PMs already. I`ve tried out higher prices of pieces for a stronger (based on normal chess skills) player and it worked fine. Consequently, I would go this way.

I take it you want to use a handicap only when a friendly game is played. There should be no advantage when it comes to tournaments.

Yes, thanks for the elaborate PM! I will get back to you asap (Im leaving for dinner now). Im pondering on how the different prices for a piece differs from getting startingincome.

If a player gets starting income: then he/she can build in turn 2. The advantage is gone when he/she has spend all money. Else?

If a player can buy pieces for a cheaper price: player buys relatively quick. The advantage is continuous all game. Else?

Indeed it would not be suited for tournaments. But one thing that I think is fun, is that if there will ever be a lobby where people can play this for rating, then a strong player can get a ratingincrease that is as high as if he was playing someone of his own strength. Or if he doesnot play with handicap, then the player gets a very small rating increase- but winning those games is not very forfilling.

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