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Jeff's Gameblog
Friday, 9 April 2004

Today I dinked around a bit with a book about Enochian Chess, a weird occult chess variant played by members of the original Golden Dawn. Even stripped of its occult trappings I think the game merits an entry at chessvariants.com, if only as a historical curiosity. Since Enochian Chess was a divination method as well as a game, I'm not sure how high a priority the designer placed upon gameplay. The setup is weird and the pawn promotion rules are different from any chess variant I've ever seen. Still, I think the game is almost certainly playable, even if it isn't a particularly good game.

I also looked at a couple of entries in my copy of Sid Sackson's A Gamut of Games. Two items in that volume interest me in particular. First is a little chess variant called Knight Chase, devised by Alex Randolph. Knight Chase also merits a chessvariants.com entry in my opnion. Mr. Randolph is also author of two or three 3M bookcase games and a chess variant called chessgi or Mad Mate in its commercial incarnation. Chessgi is basically FIDE chess with shogi-like drop rules.

The other game in Sackson's tome that I find intriguing is a little political simulation called Origins of World War I. This game was written by a young Jim Dunnigan back in the sixties. I think I may have to put together a playable set of Origins of World War I. It doesn't look hard. You basically need a large chart, some poker chips, and a few index cards. The game is designed for exactly five players, with four or three being doable. I think my brother-in-law Jim would give it a try. His boys could be drafted. Maybe Don McKinney or Bruce Gletty could also get in on the action.

Posted by jrients at 8:23 PM CDT

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