Chess

AFTER THE end of the main events at the World Open in Philadelphia last week, there was a session of "Doubles chess", in which each pair had to average less than 2,000 (175

BCF) and they moved not alternately, but rather in runs with one playing the opening two moves and then sequences of four.

The BCF coach David Rumens teamed up with eight-year-old David Howell for this event, which included nearly 50 pairs of players; and despite taking a half-point bye in the first round and the not entirely child- friendly schedule - it was held between midnight and 2am - they came third with 3.5/4. Included was this excellent win, in a favourite opening from the British weekend tournament circuit, in which Rumens played moves 1-2, 7-10 and 15-18 and Howell the rest.

White: Rumens and Howell Black: Dykes and Woodward

World Open Doubles, 1999

Sicilian Defence "Grand Prix Attack"

This version of "Doubles chess" is very close to the normal game, however. My own favourite team game is what is normally termed "Double Bughouse" or simply "Bughouse": but I call it by what I first encountered it as - "Baby Chess".

Very suitable for disreputable evenings after the end of tournaments, though I believe it's played seriously in several countries, this is a game for teams of two in which they play on adjacent boards with reverse colours and at the same fast time limit on each. The big feature is the treatment of captured pieces which are transferred to your partner to be placed on their board as they see fit. There are different possible rules about dropping pawns - can they be promoted and do they stay as such when captured - and whether pieces can be dropped with check.

In my (possibly rather crude) opinion, it's much better if you can drop with check and even mate, as in the following example.

Apparently about to be mated, Black to move might have a queen in hand. He would then scream (or whisper, though the former is more likely) for a knight.

1 ...Nh3+! 2 Kh1 (if 2 gxh3 Qg2 mate) 2 ...Qg1+! Now if 3 Rxg1 Nxf2 is mate, so White would have to stop and hope that his or her partner could win in time on the other board. Mayhem!

1 e4 c5

2 Nc3 Nc6

3 f4 g6

4 Nf3 Bg7

5 Bc4 d6

6 0-0 a6?

7 d3 b5

8 Bb3 Nf6

9 Qe1 0-0

10 Qh4 e6

11 f5! exf5

12 Bg5! Be6

13 Rae1 f4?

14 e5! dxe5

15 Ne4 Nd4

16 Nxf6+ Bxf6

17 Bxf6 Nf5

18 Bxd8 Nxh4

19 Bxh4

1-0

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