Antichess, also called losing chess, loser's chess, zero chess, giveaway chess, suicide chess, or reverse chess is a chess variant in which the objective of the participants is to get all of their pieces captured. The most widely played variation, as described in the book Popular Chess Variants by D.B. Pritchard, is described below.
The rules of the game are the same as those of chess except for the following additional rules:
- Capturing is compulsory.
- When more than one capture is available, the player may exercise choice.
- The king has no special prerogative and accordingly:
- In the case of stalemate, there are different rules:
- It is a win for the stalemated player (international rules).
- It is a draw.
- It is a win for the player with the fewer number of pieces, and if both have the same number it is a draw. The type of the piece makes no difference (FICS rules).
A player wins by losing all his pieces, or being stalemated (as detailed.) Apart from move repetition, mutual accord and the fifty-move rule, the game is also drawn when a win is impossible, such as if a dark-squared bishop and a light-squared bishop are the only pieces remaining. In another little-played version, forcing the opponent to checkmate the king is another option to win.
Because of the forced capture rule, antichess games often involve long sequences of forced captures by one player. This means that a minor mistake can ruin the game. Losing openings include 1.d4, 1.e4, 1.d3, 1.Nc3, 1.Nf3, 1.f4, 1.h4, 1.b4, 1.h3. Some of these openings took months of computer time to solve, but the wins against 1.d3, 1.d4, and 1.e4 consist of a single series of forced captures and can be played from memory by most experienced players.
Kamikaze chess variation
Kamikaze chess is similar to Antichess, but with one main difference, players must lose their king last.
As with Antichess, players must take at every opportunity and make a choice if more than one piece can be taken. Players must not move into check until they only have the King left. If an opponent's move puts them in check, they must get out of it, as per standard chess. If they only have the king left, they can just make a move which still leaves them in check, their opponent must take the king and then the player who has lost the king is the winner. If they are checkmated before all the other pieces are gone, they lose. Pawns may only be promoted to a Queen.
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