Cooperative Chess


This game is actually an idea taken from a puzzle written by James Fingas, available on Meandering Medley. Here is the relevant part:

Bert grinned. "We're playing cooperative checkers, and boy is it hard! We're following all the regular rules:

"We're using only the black squares of a chessboard, with white pebbles starting on the 12 North-most squares, and black pebbles starting on the 12 South-most squares.
"We alternate turns, and cannot pass.
"We must move one of our checkers diagonally - either a single space or jumping, if there is a pebble of the other color there and jumpable. All non-kinged checkers can only move forward.
"When a checker gets to the opposing end of the board, it is 'kinged' and can move both backwards and forwards.

"We're trying to figure out whether we can get every single one of our pieces kinged, with none having been taken. Of course, to make it interesting that means that you have to jump a piece if you can. It's turning out to be pretty hard."

The puzzle was to figure out what combination of moves would make this possible. The solution was found, and it is composed of a gargantuan 204 moves.

Despite the fact that this puzzle was solved, it still seems to me that the idea of Cooperative Checkers is a very good one, mainly because the solution is so complex and not likely to be remembered unless you memorize it on purpose. No general principles have been established that would make the game easily winnable without memorizing the solution. Therefore I see no problem with making this an official game, with the caveat that it should be permissible to finish with an imperfect solution, i.e. with some pieces having been taken. Presumably a game would be considered as better than another if fewer pieces have been taken. One could also deliberately try to play a game where one and only one piece is taken, or two, or three, and so on.

Perhaps some other cooperative variant could be developed which has a lower difficulty level, maybe some kind of positional game? What do you think, Checkers players?

If you are the maker of this game, or if you have played it and want to submit a review, please email me.