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Subject: Chess - with dice? rss

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Alan Barrett
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History
Anne Sunnucks writes that there is evidence from the literature of the period that dice were used to play chess in Europe between the 11th and 14th centuries, and even earlier in Burma and India. The dice were thrown before each turn to determine the piece to be moved; the same numbering system as set forth above was used (1=pawn, 2=knight, etc.).In the Burmese form of the game, three dice were thrown and each player made three moves at a time.Vladimir Pribylinec writes that the cubes in the Cubic chess are moving as in orthochess by a symbol uppermost it is described in both editions of Pritchard´ Encyclopedia of Chess Variants, first time published in 1977-th. In the variant Protheus cubes are turned on the adjacent squares.
Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dice_chess

Rules I've tried:

Each player has three dice. Each face of each dice is marked with the figures of the six pieces. A player throws all three dice of his or her colour; he or she may then move any one piece, as long as it appears on any one of the dice. A player MUST move a piece in a turn, unless no piece of the type showing on the dice is in play. If a player cannot move, he or she forfeits the move.
All normal moves and rules of chess apply: to castle, a player must show both king and rook on the dice.
If a player is in check, the check must be addressed, if possible. Throw the dice: if no piece move which would allow the check to be broken is available on the dice, then the King MUST move and the dice are ignored. If a king move is not legally available and the dice have given the player no piece move to prevent the check, then this is QUICKMATE: quickmate is NOT a draw – the winner scores ½ point and the loser 0 points.


Has anybody ever played such a variant? It is obviously a DIFFERENT game. It seems to have some antiquity, though.
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ENEMY OF THE STATE

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I seem to recall that the oldest known incarnation of chess, Chaturanga, was played both with and without dice. I think I tried the dice when I was a kid, but I don't remember so it didn't make much of an impression on me if I did.
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Alan Barrett
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I just wondered about whether it was useful teaching moves/piece selection and recognition. I know it can't possibly have the tactical depth of the evolved game, but I wondered whether, as a DIFFERENT game, it had any virtues at all. As Rob says, it didn't make much of an impression - but is that partly because it was seen as an inferior (disapproved of) 'version' rather than as a distinct game? Or does it just fail to satisfy, full stop? Just thinking aloud!

And this is me:

I also like games which are NOT just dumb luck: chess, for example. A beautiful, perfect artifact. If Earth were to be destroyed tomorrow and only one thing could be left behind floating in space to mark what we once were, it would be a chess set (and rules), I think: we were game-players, we were artisans,we had a developed aesthetic beyond mere functional efficiency, we were war-like, we were competitive, we were social, we were clever.....You get the idea. Games MATTER, as cultural manifestations beyond the trivial.
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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In the divinatory form of Enochian Chess, the throw of a single die is used to determine which type of piece may be moved.
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ENEMY OF THE STATE

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StinkyHarry wrote:
I just wondered about whether it was useful teaching moves/piece selection and recognition. I know it can't possibly have the tactical depth of the evolved game, but I wondered whether, as a DIFFERENT game, it had any virtues at all. As Rob says, it didn't make much of an impression - but is that partly because it was seen as an inferior (disapproved of) 'version' rather than as a distinct game? Or does it just fail to satisfy, full stop? Just thinking aloud!

And this is me:

I also like games which are NOT just dumb luck: chess, for example. A beautiful, perfect artifact. If Earth were to be destroyed tomorrow and only one thing could be left behind floating in space to mark what we once were, it would be a chess set (and rules), I think: we were game-players, we were artisans,we had a developed aesthetic beyond mere functional efficiency, we were war-like, we were competitive, we were social, we were clever.....You get the idea. Games MATTER, as cultural manifestations beyond the trivial.


Sorry I wasn't clearer. I actually like Chaturanga a lot - It's a pretty good representation of an ancient Indian battle. What didn't make an impression was the use of dice. I can't imagine I cared much for the way they would limit a player's options.
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Alan Barrett
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The rules I played by allowed a player to choose from any of the three dice thrown, which I suppose is a little bit less limiting - although still quite capable of frustrating plans ('the fog of war')! It is still chess in terms of layout, moves etc.
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Jake E. Stief
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This is very interesting! I shall have to try it out. Thanks for posting! It may be interesting to try this with four player chess too.
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Alan Barrett
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CrazyJake wrote:
This is very interesting! I shall have to try it out. Thanks for posting! It may be interesting to try this with four player chess too.


There is the addition of 'quickmate' (stalemate CAN still occur, as can checkmate). Quickmate is worth 1/2 points, with the opponent scoring nothing. My daughter and I played several games of this, many years ago now.
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Minden
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Brainking.com has a form of dice chess, where you essentially reroll until you have a viable move. The winning strategy seems to be purposely limiting your move options by only moving your end (A and H) pawns, so you'll only roll pawn, rook, and knight, with your queen, king and bishops locked in. Optimally, you can capture the enemy King with your Queen's Knight in four moves, and that's not an uncommon way for the game to end.

Kinda fun, but trivial.
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Alan Barrett
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I've just happened to run into PROTEUS. This is a very different game, but the dice that come with this game would seem to be ideally suited to this variant. I've no idea whether PROTEUS is good in its own right, though. These are my own dice label templates on my computer screen:

 
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Russ Williams
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StinkyHarry wrote:
I've just happened to run into PROTEUS. This is a very different game, but the dice that come with this game would seem to be ideally suited to this variant.

Proteus is a game of no randomness (the dice are not rolled in it, but intentionally placed and turned.) I've been interested in trying it for a while, but it's long out of print and I've not seen it cheaply.

The past couple times I was at Spiel in Essen I asked at all the dice stands if they sold dice with chess symbols, and (somewhat to my surprise) none of them did. It seems like an obvious idea for those various dice manufacturers who make all kinds of custom strange dice (e.g. I have an 8-sided die with N, S, W, E, NW, SW, NE, SE, and a 6-sided die with various happy, sad, frowning etc faces, and a die with the Polish words for numerals 1, 2, 3,... so why not a die with chess symbols?)
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Alan Barrett
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This fella does chess symbol dice:

http://www.ericharshbarger.org/dice/

Al.

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Todd Redden
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The Grinch wrote:
I seem to recall that the oldest known incarnation of chess, Chaturanga, was played both with and without dice. I think I tried the dice when I was a kid, but I don't remember so it didn't make much of an impression on me if I did.

The game Chaturanga used the same pieces as chess but had 4 armies set up in the corners of the board. Chess has evolved significantly since then.
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Alan Barrett
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Couldn't agree more. This dice version does use only two armies, though, which happen to have the same values and moves as modern chess pieces. However, it is another game, really, rather than a 'throwback'. If one accepts that it is not 'chess' but merely within the chess family, it can be enjoyed as such. I, for one, happen to think chess as chess is the best evolved game EVER.....

I also like games which are NOT just dumb luck: chess, for example. A beautiful, perfect artifact. If Earth were to be destroyed tomorrow and only one thing could be left behind floating in space to mark what we once were, it would be a chess set (and rules), I think: we were game-players, we were artisans,we had a developed aesthetic beyond mere functional efficiency, we were war-like, we were competitive, we were social, we were clever.....

(from my profile page) - Al.
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George Husted
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I had come up with an alternative for Chaturanga dice (although I personally like them).

I made cards that could be used instead of the dice.


Each player starts with 3 cards and may play 2 during their turn and draw replacements. The hand building is limited, but it does reduce the randomness of dice a bit and provide for a bit more planning.

I have played both ways and enjoy them both for different reasons.

BTW, I think of Chaturanga as the Jeet Kune Do of Chess.
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Alan Barrett
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There is one other rule suggestion: should a player be unable to move a piece, his or her opponent (before taking his or her turn proper) may remove any ONE piece indicated on any of the dice, except the opponent's King. This move must also NOT lead to immediate check, although it is allowed to lead to checkmate, stalemate or 'quickmate'.
I feel that pawn moves do not come up frequently enough, however. Perhaps a pawn move could be made in exchange for a turn with the dice??

 


A 'neutral' red set of dice, used by both players.-Al.
 
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Jan U
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Interesting... Years ago (>20) I programmed a simple chess programs. Being lazy, I also used the throw of a die to determine which type of game piece to move (both for the computer, as well as the human player).

It made a quick and fun game. Then I added another variant: Chess pieces advance in rank once they beat another piece. So you could end up with multiple kings in the end, queens would be promoted to kings after a kill.
Game was over when you lost your last king.
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riko dewayne
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how about chess with variable results of capture. let say those results are:
-win. default chess capture
-draw. capturing pieces may choose either moving 1 square to any empty square like king. or stay not moving at all. this could make you have 2 bishop for 1 square color either black or white. choose wisely.
-lost. capturing pieces is captured by one being captured and may choose to either move to the capturing pieces square or stay.
even pawn may move 1 steps to any empty square.
the only horrible move is lost. would ruin planned badly
ratio of
win : draw : lost = 12 : 3 : 1
use dice to determine the results of capture.
this is going to add risk management too.... whistle
oh ya. one more thing. to win you must capture the king successfully. not check or whatsoever.

other moves is the same for traditional chess.
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riko dewayne
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riko dewayne wrote:
how about chess with variable results of capture. let say those results are:
-win. default chess capture
-draw. capturing pieces may choose either moving 1 square to any empty square like king. or stay not moving at all. this could make you have 2 bishop for 1 square color either black or white. choose wisely.
-lost. capturing pieces is captured by one being captured and may choose to either move to the capturing pieces square or stay.
even pawn may move 1 steps to any empty square.
the only horrible move is lost. would ruin planned badly
ratio of
win : draw : lost = 12 : 3 : 1
use dice to determine the results of capture.
this is going to add risk management too.... whistle
oh ya. one more thing. to win you must capture the king successfully. not check or whatsoever.

other moves is the same for traditional chess.

about the dice. it can be d4 or d6
by d6, any roll results with 5 or 6 or combination of both means reroll, cause 5 and 6 is not valid value. this is d4 simulation with d6
now for the results of rolls:
different number means normal capture
same number is the what the variant captures result takes place
there will be 1 1, 2 2, 3 3, and 4 4.
1 1 means one who is capturing is captured. one in turn to capture is captured instead. let say a pawn is to capture a knight. if 1 1 comes, this means the pawn is captured by knight, knight move to pawn position as if knight captures pawn. of course if pawn threat a knight, knight can not threat back. but this dice results makes knight capture as if it's a valid knight move to capture.
and the rest, 2 2, 3 3, and 4 4 means draw. draw will result in, if white to capture black, and results in draw, white should move 1 step like king's move from white original position regardless the piece default move. even though the move may results in check.
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Chad Smith
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Anyone tried 32 Dice?
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