A simpler variant of chess, the game can be played on a mobile or computer, and has the simplest set of rules.
A game like chess that challenges the brain helps improve concentration and develop logic. But let’s admit it, it can be quite slow.
Plus it’s not an easy game to learn and involves patience, especially for millennials of the internet generation, with a shorter attention span than a goldfish. So how does one make chess interesting and less complex for them?
Naval Saini came up with an interesting variant, where he cut the 8×8, 64 square board into half, and called it Half Chess. You’re left with only 32 square boards and half the pieces. He has essentially super-simplified the game, made it more fast-paced by introducing time constraints and added new chess pieces like Crab instead of the Pawn.
You can choose to play with the computer or challenge friends by inviting them to the game.
Available as an app for Android and iOS users, it can also be played via the web.
The rules are simple – you stalemate the opponent; you win. Pawn is always promoted to Queen. There is no castling. The Crab attacks diagonally like a Pawn.
Although it may take some time to understand them completely, once you start playing, the rules becomes clearer.
Through 18 stages of human vs computer challenges, the computer gets tougher to beat with each stage. The stages of ‘Easy mode’ are free but you need to pay to unlock the ‘Hard mode’.
What makes the game interesting is the multiplayer mode and the little elements like Crab including the overall design. A game goes on for one to three minutes on an average.
While talking to YourStory, Naval spoke about how Half Chess is best-suited for mobile screens and quick games. He talks about what made him come up with a variant of chess, and how it could be an interesting value proposition for adults.