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: I saw the Piececlopedia over at our old friend the Chess Variant Page. Looking at all the wacky new pieces people have come up with for chess variants I was reminded of those less intellectual games where in between levels you buy items from an enormous stock of weaponry. Since there are already standard accepted point values for the standard pieces, why not extend that to the weird pieces as well, give each player some number of points, and let them pick and choose from the list to populate their army?

It turns out that when I thought this I reinvented BuyPoint Chess, which is less enthusiastic about allowing every single chess variant piece but was written by someone who's actually good at chess and can figure out game balance, and also who came up with it eight years before I did. I've got other ideas for introducing basic other-game mechanics to chess: bidding on pieces, drawing pieces from a Scrabble bag. But if I just spend enough time looking through chessvariants.org I'm sure I'll find any idea I might come up with on my own. It's the Library of Babel for chess variants.

Bonuses: semi-derogatory names for "real" chess by variant enthusiasts: "orthochess" and "FIDE chess". And the funniest chess variant I've seen: Accounting Chess, with two sets of rules.

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