Last week we held an ‘alternative chess’ evening. We started with a doubles round, in the second round we played towards ourselves, in the third we had random piece placement on the bottom rank, in the next round we had knights being bishops and vice versa (I lost count of how many times someone said ‘no, that’s a bishop’), and in the final round rooks were also queens.
It was fascinating to see which people thrived or struggled. For example, John Huthwaite, who is an expert 5 minute hacker, surprisingly struggled. On the other hand, Keith Roper, our classical grinder who dislikes 5 minute chess, thoroughly enjoyed these alternative forms. The real revelation though was Brian Hayward, who flourished under these conditions; then again, thinking about it, anyone who knows his favourite (only?) opening as white won’t be that surprised!
The final scores, for what they are worth, were:
3: Gretton, Roper, Swain
2.5: Hopkinson, Naylor, Padvis, Maciejewski (from 3 games)
2: Harper, Huthwaite, Sudar (from 2 games)