I’ll admit that my experience with chess is basically limited to two frustrating eras: childhood summer vacations in which I got waxed by my stepdad in a house in Maine where we had nothing better to do than play chess, and in English class in 7th and 8th grade where Mr. Sotella liked to play with a clock and take out his frustrations on we preteens by holding daily chess massacres. It’s just one of those games that for me, never took.
Well, it turns out that there are a wide variety of chess variants, which range from random piece placements to manipulation of the board to a chess game that computers can’t get good at (TAKE THAT, Deep Blue) to King races. Yes, King races. Pish-posh, says Richard Mansfield, of North Carolina. What Chess really needs is more pieces. Added Ranks is Mansfield’s Kickstarter project to create a new kind of chess with extra knights and extra pawns:
Chess has been around for 1600 years. It has pretty much remained the same for all those years, and for very good reasons. Chess is a great and noble game. It doesn’t need any tampering. There’s little doubt about that. Also, most of the people who have messed with it, have come up with some of the stupidest ideas ever to escape the mind of man; making changes that only demonstrate their misunderstanding of the game and their total disregard for the dignity of Chess.
But, since I was a little kid, chess has needed more knights and a LOT MORE pawns (and of course the expanded field to accommodate them.) I’m not talking about weird new pieces, strange new rules, boards with peculiar shapes, the cloak of invisibility, special squares with magical powers–none of that. I’m talking about a few more knights, a few more pawns, and an expanded field. No rule changes, no new pieces; respect for the game and its grand tradition. This board will do only one thing– require some additional consideration into mid-game.
Anyhow, I’m all for it, except I’d like a name change if it gets big. American Chess, we oughta call it.