Dark CrazyHouse

(Under Construction)

This is just about as outrageous a game as you can get whilst still being considered a chess variant. As far as we are aware it is unique to SchemingMind. Your opponent's pieces are invisible and start in normal chess positions. However, the playing rules are those of CrazyHouse so they can be dropped invisibly back on the board whilst you're least expecting it!

Note: in this variant you have far more info about the board, than in DarkCrazyHouse2


1. Game Rules

The game is played according to the CrazyHouse rules - the pieces are initially set up in standard way, the pieces you capture become yours, and can be dropped on the board, the game ends in checkmate, etc.

Captured pieces can be dropped on any empty square, including checking the King. Pawns cannot be dropped on the 1st or 8th rank, and if a promoted pawn is captured, it reverts back to a pawn.

The board is partially hidden. The following visibility rules are in place:

  • all your pieces are visible,
  • squares available to your pieces (squares where your pieces can move, or capture) - including attacked enemy pieces, if any - are visible,
  • if you have any piece at hand, all (empty) squares you can drop it on are visible,
  • you can see which pieces you have taken (and have at hand),
  • you can see which pieces your opponent has taken (and can drop).

Opponent moves are displayed as question marks (however, they are appended with '+' and '#' for check and mate).


2. Dark CrazyHouse fog of war examples

To make visibility rules more clear, here are a few examples.


The board on the beginning of the game (white player view)


Another board after a few initial moves, no capture yet (note how white pieces make some squares visible)


Some captures were made, white has bishop at hand - so all empty squares are visible


White has only pawn at hand, so the empty squares on the last rank are not visible (in the game from which the diagram was taken only four black pieces were at the last rank at this moment)


3. Hints

If you never played CrazyHouse, play a few games of it, to familiarize with piece drop concept, and general game strategy and tactics. Dark CrazyHouse adds some uncertaincy, but in general follows the CrazyHouse rules and playing style.

Pay attention not only to the board state before your move, but also after it. Something interesting could be visible only then. So, when you visit the game after opponent move, navigate half-move back to verify the board state at this moment.

While having a piece at hand, you see all the opponent moves (you do not see the pieces, but if you see that something moved from f6 to g4, it is not hard to guess which piece it is). Therefore it make sense to always have some piece at hand. Of course the same applies to the opponent. So, in particular, it is important opening decision, whether to exchange something quickly (and, de facto play the open game where both sides know the opponent moves and position), or to avoid exchanges for some time (and be able to organize the pieces in a way for some time uknown for the opponent).

If you have only pawn at hand, then empty squares at the first and the last rank are not visible. This also means, that if your opponent captured only pawn(s), he or she does not see any moves on the backrank (and, for instance, he is not sure whether you castled, and in which direction).

With some care (and if the game last long enough), you should be able to guess most (or all) enemy piece positions. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that this is main purpose of the game! Even if you know everything about opponent pieces, there is still difficult game to be played (CrazyHouse is by far not a trivial game).

Pay attention to the material possessed by the opponent. If he just dropped last piece from hand, you have unique opportunity to make some invisible move. If he stayed with only pawns at hand, you can make some invisible reorganization on your last rank.

To summarize: Dark CrazyHouse game in many ways plays as normal CrazyHouse. But there happen game periods (opening, but also situations when somebody drops all possessed pieces for some reason) when it is possible to make something invisible and unexpected. Of course, one must also put some effort into reconstructing opponent position - and mistakes happen.


4. Example games

Some example games:

Winning knights - nice mating attack, note how white forces exchange to get additional knight,

CrazyHouse-style king hunt

More examples welcome

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