The conference hosts a Game Design Competition with a prize of £500 for the winner. The deadline for entries has been extended until 25 November 2014. For the detailed rules go here.
One purpose of the competition is to add variety to chess instruction at school. Whilst orthodox chess holds a special place in the realm of board games, there are many other games which can be played with the same board and pieces. Popular variants such as Loser´s Chess or Avalanche Chess keep the essential nature of chess and adjust one or two rules which can make the game feel very different. Importantly, the disparity between playing ability at orthodox chess is often reduced or vanished.
Another purpose of the competition is to encourage creative thinking. A new game could use the board and pieces in a different way. An example is the Polynesian game Konane that can be played on a chess board using 31 white and 31 black pawns, checker pieces or counters.
Designing a new game is not that difficult. Whether other people will like it depends upon many factors. The ultimate test is have the game played many times by different people. Let’s try a new game.
The Game of Interference
With both armies to the side of the board, White goes first and players take turns to place any piece on any unoccupied square. There are a number of possible squares to which it could move: your next piece placement must be to one of these. However you cannot move to a square attacked by your opponent. Also bishops must be on different coloured squares. The player who cannot move loses the game. If all the pieces have been played, the game is a draw.
In the diagram Black can place any piece on any of the dotted squares. It seems that there are not many free squares left in the game. However, a newly placed piece can block other pieces and so squares can become available for placement.
Now we have a start. What could be conditions for ending the game? Several options can be compared and the best chosen after testing. Be inspired.