Sunday, January 31, 2016


After things had gone bad at the Manhattan, I decided to see whether bughouse could be promoted the same as chess.  The short answer is that it can't be.  Many of the criticisms of bughouse are provably untrue.   But bughouse isn't played by as many people, and doesn't have the same roots in international culture.  The way it is played now is as a game of speed, which makes it unsuitable for older people.

There are a number of photos of top grandmasters playing bughouse.  I don't know how representative they are.   I do know that GM Lev Aronian is one of the top bughouse players.  All of the strong bughouse players I have met (not counting a very long time ago) are at least masters in chess.  For example:  Richard Francisco, Kazim Gulamali,  Peter Minear, Will Stewart, Dan Yeager.

As far as the use of bughouse educationally: it  teaches defense as well as attack.  Because there is so little literature about bughouse, it encourages creativity.  There is so much about it that isn't known or hasn't been written about.   It can be used to teach teamwork.

Now a little history:

Crazyhouse was invented before bughouse, a long time ago, before the invention of the chess clock.  It wasn't practical.  It was only devoted gaming geeks.   Originally it was called... bughouse.  Bughouse was originally called double bughouse, and it became popular among young chessplayers with the invention of the inexpensive analog chess clock.

Bughouse changed with availability of the cheap digital chess clocks.  Prior to that, you couldn't tell who was up on time unless the difference was large.  It seems to me that Bob Dodge and Wesley Ward were the ones who first worked up basic sitting strategies, though these days bughouse champions (and I don't mean this disrespectfully)  are better at chess
than they were.

No comments:

Post a Comment