I learned chess when I was 4 years old and haven’t stopped playing. I’ve played in a few tournaments and have recently become a chess coach to a few students. But it wasn’t until January of 2021, with the pandemic still a very real thing, that I got really creative with chess. One dull day at my kitchen table, I decided to turn the board on a diagonal and rearrange the pieces.
Bizarro Chess is Born
After playing myself in this new version of chess a few times it became clear that there was more to explore with this new game. So I quickly developed some opening theories on how to best gain an advantage. If you’re feeling nerdy, you can check them out HERE.
For those of you who want the quick summary, Bizarro chess differs from regular chess in a few key ways.
1. The pawns move diagonally and attack forward.
2. There is no pawn promotion.
3. The bishops are more valuable in this version due to the orientation of the board and therefore score a numerical value of 4 (as opposed to 3 in regular chess).
4. There is no castling.
The object of the game is still the same – checkmate your opponent’s king, but with the new ways the pawns move and the diamond board there are key differences on how to best do that. If you have a chess board I encourage you to try this new version out!
Creating this new version of chess was a way for me to keep my mind sharp when I wasn’t working and couldn’t see any friends or family. I’m still hard at work creating the opening theories of this game.