Thread: Dukes Chess
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Old February 13th 18, 01:33 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
Andy Walker[_3_]
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Default Dukes Chess

On 13/02/18 04:35, Quadibloc wrote:
Yes, while many different three-person Chess variants have been
designed - many inspired by an ancient one for Chinese chess - unlike
normal Chess, the way to lose is to make the other two players gang
up on you, so while it can be a fun game socially, playing it
seriously to win the way one does normal Chess seems to be
impossible.


This, of course, is a problem with all three-sided [or more]
games. Either the game is structured so that the sides cannot play
as a team [eg, a race], or else it is so one-sided that one side can
win even if all the other sides gang up [boring!], or else any one
side loses to a coalition of the others. Strategic games are almost
always of this last sort; but then the game has much more to do with
setting up the coalition than with the actual play.

As you say, this can be fun socially, but it is death to any
serious play. Effectively, the weakest side becomes king-maker, and
is therefore open to bribes [overt or covert]. The strong sides can
win only by offering the best bribes; the weakest side only if the
chosen alliance causes the initially-strong sides to take enough out
of each other for the weakest side to sneak through [but then there
is a risk of the strong sides noticing and temporarily sinking their
differences].

The game stops being Chess [or Carcassonne, or whatever] and
becomes a matter of who is best at making friends. At that point, it
stops being subject to rational analysis. Nothing wrong with that --
many real-life situations are like that! -- but it's not why most of
us are interested in chess and other strategic games.

--
Andy Walker,
Nottingham.