Anti Chess, also known as Losing Chess or Giveaway Chess, is one of the most popular chess variants (and the first one I ever tried over the board, as far as I remember). The objective – make the opponent capture all your pieces – is pretty straightforward. There are some specific rules to keep in mind:
- No castling is allowed.
- A pawn can promote to a king.
- There is no check or checkmate.
- Who loses all pieces, including the king, or cannot make a legal move, wins the game.
- Capturing of the opponent’s pieces is mandatory. The player can make a move only with a piece that can capture an opponent’s piece, and they must capture this piece. Only if the player cannot capture any opponent piece, it is allowed to make a move with any piece.
The game is often played as a fun and challenging variation of chess, as players need to think in a completely different way to be successful. For example, players may intentionally sacrifice pieces early on in the game to force their opponent to capture them, giving the sacrificing player more opportunities to capture their opponent’s pieces in return.
Anti Chess has gained popularity over the years and is played in various tournaments and online platforms. It has also been the subject of research and analysis by computer scientists and mathematicians, as it provides a unique challenge for artificial intelligence algorithms.
To demonstrate a typical winning strategy, I picked the following game as a spectacular example of a play where Black forced White to capture almost all pieces with bishops. Enjoy the video:
One interesting aspect of Anti Chess is that it can help players improve their traditional chess skills. By playing Anti Chess, players are forced to think strategically about their moves and consider the consequences of every capture. This can help players develop their tactical skills, as well as their ability to calculate and predict their opponent’s moves.
Another benefit of Anti Chess is that it can be played quickly and with less pressure than traditional chess. Since the objective is to lose all of your pieces, players can take more risks and experiment with different strategies without worrying about losing the game.
Overall, Anti Chess is a fascinating and challenging chess variant that offers a unique twist on the traditional game. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced chess player, Anti Chess can provide a fun and rewarding challenge that will help you develop your skills and think outside the box.