Synchronous chess or thinking about some of the drawbacks of a classic chess game

    In classical chess, for all their undoubted merits, there is one “drawback” that even beginner chess players know (or guess): a player with white pieces moves first, which gives him an “advantage” over his opponent. This “advantage” is not particularly significant when playing two amateurs, but it becomes more significant when more experienced players sit on a chessboard.

    Assuming that from a basic position in chess there is no known winning strategy (for both white and black pieces), by the “advantage” of white I mean a slightly larger number of “favorable” development scenarios for the player making the first move, with enough a good balance of chess, as such. And in general, with the “faultless” game of two chess players (or the game of God with himself), the inevitable result of a chess game should be a draw. Moreover, the draw zone in chess is the widest among the widespread board logic games. So the “advantage” of whites is relative, and manifests itself mainly statistically in chess tournaments of various levels in the form of more games won by whites than parties won by blacks.

    Before starting work on this article, I was very clear that I was not the first to raise a similar question and not the first to try to find an answer on how to get around such a “flaw." However, the aim pursued by me is not scientific research of this issue, but only games of the mind for fun, and therefore I did not want to explore the Internet in search of other people's solutions and ask the all-knowing Google. And I wanted to develop my own independent idea, which obviously would not improve the almost perfect game called chess, but it would become a “new” look at it and, perhaps, it would seem interesting to someone else.

    As you may have guessed, the most obvious solution would be to “cut the problem down” by allowing both opponents to make moves at the same time. So, we just cut down a wonderful tree that brought us delicious fruits for over a thousand years and has grown tall, beautiful and branched over the years. Well then, let's grow a new one.

    The new principle of simultaneous move of both players has a very strong influence on the gameplay and modifies the rules that exist in classical chess, because players can only speculate on what the situation will be on the chessboard after their simultaneous move. For example, the opponent’s pieces can simultaneously try to occupy the same square or “jump over” the square occupied by the opponent’s piece, the “classic” pawn may try to diagonally attack the opponent’s piece, which will move to another field in the same move, and wound the opponent’s king in The "classic" style will be much more complicated.

    Solving the "problem" with the pawn is quite simple - you just need to let it attack those fields that it could only go before (one or two squares forward), and allow it to go to those fields that it could only attack earlier (diagonally forward ) Now our pawns are free to move one square diagonally forward, as well as one (or two, if the pawn is on the second horizontal line from the player) the square forward, regardless of whether the enemy’s figure is there or not.

    The “problem” of the movement of the figure through the field occupied by the opponent’s figure on the same move can be considered insignificant by allowing such movements.

    Now let’s try to solve the “problem” of the simultaneous movement of enemy figures on the same cell. Alternatively, it can be suggested that each attempt to simultaneously occupy the same field be considered invalid with the prohibition of the next attempt of similar movement of both pieces on the same move. It can be assumed that such situations will happen quite often, and “failure” when moving the pieces will significantly reduce the dynamics of a chess match.

    The next option for such a development of events will be the simultaneous departure of both pieces from the board (the most dynamic of the options). Unfortunately, this option can quickly empty the chessboard and lead to a small-figure endgame.

    The third option is a miscalculation of the outcome of the “battle” between the figures simultaneously attacking this field, according to certain rules. There are countless criteria that can be used to identify the results of a “collision” of two shapes of different colors. For example, the color of the disputed cell can be considered decisive in battle, which is one of the simplest selection criteria. Having considered one of the solutions to the “problem” of simultaneously moving to the same chessboard field, we will consider terms such as “check” and “checkmate” (from which the Russian name for the classical chess game comes from) in a new context.

    The simultaneity factor introduces some “unpredictability” into the game, because each subsequent move, both players are invited to respond to a situation that will appear on the board only after this move. Thus, it is not superfluous to introduce into the game the possibility of taking the king, as an ordinary figure, which will be considered the main goal of the game and the only opportunity to win it. If the players took the kings at the same time, a tie is counted.

    We will try to draw up a structured set of rules, which so far does not explicitly take into account all possible situations that may arise during the game.

    The main differences from classical chess:

    1. Players walk at the same time.

    2. You can skip the move. If both players missed a turn twice in a row, a tie is counted.

    3. The same figure cannot walk twice in a row, but retains the attack area.

    Note: A figure that does not have the right to move still has an attacking effect on the movement fields, which will become available on the next turn. Thus, the opponent’s king cannot go to the cells that are under attack by this piece and also cannot castle if his attack extends to the king’s initial, intermediate or final position in the castling procedure.

    4. The goal of the game is to capture the enemy king.

    5. If the rivals simultaneously took each other's kings, a tie is counted.

    6. A pawn gets the opportunity to move or attack the cell in front and diagonal cells in front, as well as move two cells forward or attack this cell, if it is on the second horizontal line from the player.

    Note 1: Thus, the set of cells that a pawn can now move to is completely identical to the set of cells attacked by it (in classical chess, the set of attacked cells does not intersect with the set of free cells that the pawn can move to). The same pattern is observed for any other pieces other than a pawn.

    Note 2: In view of the significantly increased attacking power of the pawn, we introduce the rule written in the next paragraph.

    7. The transformation of a pawn on the last horizontal is limited by pieces of the same color already taken by the enemy. If no such piece was taken, the pawn cannot advance to the last horizontal, however, it continues to attack it.

    8. The pieces can “skip” over the pieces of the opponents, if on the previous move their path in this direction was clear.

    9. With the simultaneous movement of the pieces of the opponents on the same square, the figure whose color matches the color of the square remains on the chessboard, and the second leaves it.

    Note 1:This factor leads to the strengthening of one of the elephants relative to the second for each side. For example, for white an elephant moving along white cells has a stronger attack than an elephant moving along black cells. For blacks, on the contrary.

    Note No. 2: Also, this factor leads to the possibility of taking one king by another.

    10. In a mutual attack, the pieces change places.


    We got a chess game devoid of “lack” of order, but with an element of unpredictability. It is most convenient to play a game with similar rules with a partner online using computers or mobile phones, or in hotseat mode using one computer (although this option does not seem appropriate). Similar rules can be taught and a computer program. However, to measure my strength with a computer in chess games I personally do not seem interesting.

    Is it possible to play such “simultaneous” chess at a regular chessboard? This is real, although each of the players will have to write down the planned move, in order to then compare it with the opponent’s move (in the end, do not believe the treacherous opponent’s word).

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