Rifle Chess, also known as Shoot Chess and Shooting Chess, was invented by W. B. Seabrook in 1921. This man noted that the origin of chess coincided with a time when warfare emulated close combat. However, with the advent of firearms, the nature of warfare experienced a profound transformation. The dynamic shifted to striking adversaries remotely while the attacker remained stationary. Rifle Chess symbolizes this evolution in warfare.
Typically, the game is played following an extra regulation where capturing becomes a requirement, allowing the player to select from available options. This rule stems from the necessity to balance the considerable strength of the line pieces (especially the queen) in the absence of this requirement.
1. e4 e5 2. b3 ♞f6 3. ♗b5
The capturing is mandatory, so Black is forced to take out the e4-pawn, as it is under attack by the black knight. Since the knight will remain in its place, the capture move notation contains only the target square: 3. … xe4
4. xd7+ (Again, the compulsory “shoot” must be made. Take a look at the following diagram.)
Black is in check, and has only one viable option to resolve it – by moving the king. Blocking the line b5-e8 by another piece would only cause shooting it down in the next move.
4. … ♚e7 5. ♗a3+ ♚e6
The position is hopeless for Black, as the long-distance bishops will demolish their defenses. The following moves are forced:
6. xf8 xd2 7. xd8
White’s material advantage is overwhelming.
1. d4 e5!
Why the exclamation mark? Due to the mandatory capture of the pawn, White cannot stop Black from delivering a deadly check on b4:
2. xe5 Bb4+
To avoid a checkmate, White must give up the queen to create an escape route for the king:
3. ♕d2 xd2+ 4. ♔d1
Without the queen, White can resign the game.
As evident, careful consideration and deliberation are essential before initiating the opening of a diagonal or file towards the king. It would be highly advantageous for the variant to undergo comprehensive analysis, resulting in well-defined strategies for both players.