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  3. Chess Variant 'Bronstein Chess', 'Pre-Chess'

It would be great to add the chess variant Pre-Chess. The game begins with white and black having just their second rank full of pawns, each player starting with white places one of their pieces on their back rank, and once all pieces are placed, play begins. The only limitation on piece placement is that bishops must be on opposite colored squares. If king and rook are placed on traditional squares, castling is possible, otherwise it is not allowed.

This variant retains all the benefits of chess960 (eliminating opening theory), while removing the drawbacks, the randomness of starting position, and sometimes unfair starting position. Since the players are responsible for deploying their forces as they wish, they are strategically engaged from the beginning. You can either place your pieces in a formation you like, or try to respond to the choices of your opponent and find the optimum reply.

I thought they removed some of the randomized positions of fischer random chess piece arrangement if it held a clear advantage for white, meaning chess960 wouldn't have any position with too big an advantage for white.

@OldPalHappy Nope. Only limitations on positions are about opposite colored bishops and rooks (one on each side of the king). Now, I never heard of 960 positions that actually were that imbalanced, do you know of one ?

This is discussed at (also citing and same, they don't find any position that is that good for white.

In Arimaa you could place your starting pieces as you'd like, but as far as I know people didn't actually make much use of the feature, mostly a couple top setups prevailed.
Here in chess what "adaptative" setup would you choose if your opponent decided to go with the orthodox placement ? I suspect you can't come up with something better than playing orthodox yourself, and then even if you do, I don't expect it to make up for more than a ~50 elo points difference, unless you prep openings.

For what it's worth, my Stockfish fork and CuteChess call this variant "placement chess" for disambiguation purposes:

@lecw Oh, alright, thanks. :P

>Here in chess what "adaptative" setup would you choose if your opponent decided to go with the orthodox placement?

Pre-castle to save one move?

Such a variant would not eliminate opening theory. Chess960 eliminates opening theory because there are 960 different starting positions. Your described variant has exactly one starting position. It may have many more possible positions after the first 8 moves (when both players place their pieces), but regular chess also has hundreds, if not thousands, of different positions after the 8 moves. You will just have *different* opening theory, it will all be about what piece do you place where.

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