Benedict's Chess: A White Opening Study

Lemme Howdt

Benedict’s Chess is a variant that plays like the game Othello with chess pieces. The game is named after the notorious traitor General Benedict Arnold from the American Revolution, who defected to the British (lack of faith?). A piece attack joins the attacking side. Since the piece colour changes at each point of attack, the goal is to change the colour of the king. Only direct attack causes change, so a safe defensive location is generally at the point of attack.

02/08/2006

Perdition catch my soul
But I do love thee! And when I love thee not,
Chaos is come again.
(Othello III.iii.90-92)

Benedict’s Chess was introduced at SchemingMind.com in October, 2005. The creator of the variant, Dan Troyka has been known to drop in for a game or two. http://www.schemingmind.com/game.aspx?game_id=35029 . The games are fast and furious, with potentially eight pieces changing colour on a single move.

Lemme howdt has played in 127 games (78-69), almost evenly divided between white and black. SurfnSuds has played 200 games in this same period. The average length of Lemme’s game was 9 turns, the longest being a pitched 26 turn battle with grenv winning as black. http://www.schemingmind.com/game.aspx?game_id=34219

Lemme professionally teaches science and math to kids. In order to become more familiar with numbers, Lemme did this study of Benedict’s white openings. The data from each game was compiled in an excel spreadsheet with information fields including format, opponent, colour, opening, result and game length. Since Lemme white prefer e3, there are more e3 games in the subset. To be a valid science, this analysis should be repeated using other player. The initial field was sort by openings, and then resorted into similar move groups by inspection. The records show that white has an advantage – and that Lemme is a reasonable good player of black. (Time will tell, but the pyramids should have the best black players rise to the top.)

By far and away, the most popular opening is 1.e3. There were three categories of response, the most popular response was 1.e3…e6. The second response favored was 1.e3…c6. The third response, everything else, produced a white record of 13-5.

When players opened 1. e3…e6 2. Qe2, the record is 24–8. However, if 2. Q elsewhere, the record is 0-4. when 1. e3…e6 2. not Q, the record is 10-3. This creates a combined record for e3..e6 of 34-15. The best game of the lot was with surfnsuds, a 13 move battle. http://www.schemingmind.com/game.aspx?game_id=31999

For 1. e3…c6 2. Qf3 scored a perfect 9-0, while any other queen response was 1-3. All non-queen responses scored 2-8, for a very bland 12-11 record. This game features some strong play by Archr. http://www.schemingmind.com/game.aspx?game_id=34142

As for other openings, all six games where white opened with a knight move, white lost. For pawn openings, the records are as follows:

e4 7-4 d3 3-0 b3 0-1
c4 2-0 c3 8-5 g3 0-1

So when playing white benedict’s chess, the opening e3 is favoured. If the response is 1…e6, then 2.Qe2 is Lemme’s preferred move while 1…c6 should draw a white move of 2. Qf3. Feel free to challenge Lemme to benedict's chess at any time.

Benedict Chess Rules: http://www.chessvariants.org/difftaking.dir/benedict.html

Benedict Arnold: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benedict_Arnold

Comments

AuthorComment
Ashmaster
02/14/2006 21:59
i feel this article is straight to the point.
it has some useful statistics also.
unfortunately, this are the opening moves i already played. i.e. 1.e3 e6 2.Qe2.
great help though to know that it is probobly the strongest start for white.
burek
06/27/2006 20:12
I'm surprised not many people used 1...e4 as their starting move. Bruno Parma (one of the best chess players in the world) always used it and was nearly unbeatable: even the best players in the world never beat him and if they did, none of them did it more than once.

 
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