Skip to main content

A New Chess Variant for Gaming AI

  • Conference paper
  • 1561 Accesses

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 8215)


In this article, we describe a newly-invented chess variant called Switch-Side Chain-Chess that is demonstrably more challenging for humans and computers than the standard, international version of the game. A new rule states that players have the choice to switch sides with each other if a continuous link of pieces is created on the board. This simple rule increases significantly the complexity of chess, as perceived by the players, but not the actual size of its game tree. The new variant therefore more easily allows board game researchers to focus on the ‘higher level’ aspects of intelligence such as perception and intuition without being constrained by a larger search space as they would be if using a game like Go or Arimaa. They can also immediately build upon the tried and tested approaches already being used in strong chess engines instead of having to start from scratch or a lower level of progress as is the case with other games of this type.


  • Chess
  • variant
  • complexity
  • intelligence
  • intuition
  • perception


  1. Gollon, J.: Chess Variations: Ancient, Regional, and Modern. Charles E. Tuttle Co. Inc., North Clarendon (1973)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Bodlaender, H.L., Howe, D.: The Chess Variant Pages (2002),

  3. McCarthy, J.: AI as Sport. Science 276, 1518–1519 (1997)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  4. Hsu, F.-H.: Cracking Go. IEEE Spectrum 44(10), 50–55 (2007)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  5. Wu, D.J.: Move Ranking and Evaluation in the Game of Arimaa. BA diss. Harvard College, Cambridge, MA (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  6. Cukras, A.R., Faulhammer, D., Lipton, R.J., Landweber, L.F.: Chess Games: A Model for RNA Based Computation. Biosystems 52(1-3), 35–45 (1999)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  7. Faulhammer, D., Cukras, A.R., Lipton, R.J., Landweber, L.F.: Molecular Computation: RNA Solutions to Chess Problems. PNAS 97(4), 1385–1389 (2000)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  8. Newborn, M.: Deep Blue’s Contribution to AI. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence 28, 27–30 (2000)

    CrossRef  MATH  Google Scholar 

  9. Friedel, F.: Ludwig - A Synthesis of Chess and Music. Chess Base News (December 4, 2006),

  10. Etzioni, O., Banko, M., Cafarella, M.J.: Machine Reading. AAAI Spring Symposium on Machine Reading. Technical Report SS-07-06, 1-5 (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  11. O’Neil, H.F., Perez, R.: Computer Games and Team and Individual Learning. Elsevier (2007) ISBN: 0080453430

    Google Scholar 

  12. Ferreira, D., Palhares, P.: Chess and Problem Solving Involving Patterns. TMME 5(2 & 3), 249–256 (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  13. AF4C: First Move Program Info. America’s Foundation for Chess (2008),

  14. Cavezian, C., Berquand-Merle, M., Franck, N., Demily, C.: Self-training for Cognitive Remediation in Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 98(suppl. 1), 53 (2008)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  15. Ciamarra, M.: Checkmating Alzheimer’s Disease. FIDE (2013),

  16. Dahl, M.: Being a Bookworm Boosts Your Brainpower into Old Age. Today Com. (July 3, 2013),

  17. Rubin, J., Watson, I.: Computer Poker: A Review. Artificial Intelligence 175(5-6), 958–987 (2011)

    MathSciNet  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2013 IFIP International Federation for Information Processing

About this paper

Cite this paper

Iqbal, A. (2013). A New Chess Variant for Gaming AI. In: Anacleto, J.C., Clua, E.W.G., da Silva, F.S.C., Fels, S., Yang, H.S. (eds) Entertainment Computing – ICEC 2013. ICEC 2013. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 8215. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-41105-2

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-41106-9

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)