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  1.  Atomic Chess Theoreticians
  2. Forum
  3. Let's Switch to a Different Starting Position

@cat_person So far in all tests and rating lists I have seen (or done myself), SF was the strongest atomic engine. But if someone can point to a stronger engine, I would be very interested, since stronger opponents help to identify (and resolve) weaknesses.

Atomkraft and BigBang are decent engines, but significantly weaker than Stockfish. There have been some older decent private engines (TrojanKnight was the best of those), but I'm very sure that Stockfish is significantly stronger than them too.

@onubense I haven't checked if this rule would save Black in all the lines. Perhaps not, but it would definitely increase drawing chances. It would be a sad change in a way though, as atomic endgames are quite interesting and to my mind this would simplify them a lot.

That aside, I still don't think this rule would solve all the problems. You'd still have weaker booked up players going for the critical lines, happy to draw in the endgame if Black makes it that far. It would have to be combined with a change in rating calculation for draws.

For sure a mix of both rules might be okay. I have nothing against 960 but i think that to change the initial position may be hard in terms of making atomic chess more popular worldwide. I will agree in atomic 960 as last chance in order to save atomic, but at the moment maybe its not needed

How good. I started to play a variant seriously, and it becomes strange, and should be changed immediately.
I'm very unlucky.

@savagechess2k I think it makes you lucky actually, but feel sorry for yourself if you want.

Atomic has been played differently on different servers over the years - I've played with 3 different rule sets. The changes were all related in some way to checks and how the kings interact. A small tweak to the rules along the same lines isn't such a big deal if it helps keep the game interesting.

Horde rules also changed once on lichess already (that I know, I wasn't there), and may well change again as black is currently an easy favorite (and some players abort games when they have white, more than in atomic I find).

Good times :)

I think this ranking of variants is food for thought:

Atomic is a challenging game and inspires intellectual effort. No wonder that it attracts that many titled players.

Modifying the rules in a way which make it "more balanced" run the risk of taking out this element of hardship which make the game so challenging.

( For the method how the list was compiled, refer to: )

@savagechess2k I will compile SF on my own laptop and try. This sounds interesting.

My computer is not so strong. I also use a GUI.

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