Auto Crazy Chess Tournament

Tuesday, 1st February 2022 ◆ Confirm friend's final defeat (9) Chess

A while ago I spoke about Crazy Chess, a chess variant where you can spend your points budget on whichever pieces you like. Eventually, I plan to make a game where you can create boards and play against friends or strangers. In the meantime, I wanted to try dipping my toe into the world of "auto-chess".

Auto-chess and its ilk are games where you create and improve armies which automatically battle against those of other players. However, I find the name a bit of a misnomer, as the pieces are not real chess pieces and the game is not chess. In an attempt to see if a real auto-chess would be fun, I decided to run a tournament with some friends where each player designs a board, whilst an AI plays the matches.

Assassins aren't all I thought they'd be... My board

The Rules

  1. Each submission must be a 40 point board, with pieces only on two ranks, and with 1 King
  2. The piece list includes all the normal pieces, plus a Jester, a Monk, an Assassin, a Flag-bearer and a Spearman
  3. The tournament is single-elimination, and brackets are drawn randomly
  4. An AI (a very bad one of my creation) plays all matches
  5. Each match-up is played twice, once with each player starting as White. If each player wins one game, then the winner is the player who won in fewest moves. Otherwise, the winner is the player who won both games.
  6. The rules are those of Chess except
    • there is no stalemate (after 200 moves, the game is considered a draw)
    • there is no check nor checkmate (you win if you capture the opponent's King)
    • there is no castling (because pieces don't have to be placed in a layout which is conducive to it)
    • there is no en passant (likewise, plus there are pawn variants)

The Matches

I drew the names from a hat to determine the brackets. Click on a player to watch their match at that stage with that player as white.

Sontrax Sam Jack Jack
Jack Jack
tann Almouse Almouse
Pawntoe4 Pawntoe4

Congratulations to Jack for his 1st place finish. At time of writing, he is the #1 Wodka player too, so this was not a huge surprise!

The Results

We also played additional matches to disambiguate the other positions, leaving the final leaderboard as follows:

  1. Jack
  2. Almouse
  3. Sam
  4. Pawntoe4
  5. tann
  6. Sontrax
  7. Francie
  8. sunil

Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, I came last.


This was a successful experiment! The matches were fun to watch, despite the AI being dubious at best. I think this means my "real" auto-chess has legs... However, one thing at a time: first I plan to get player-vs-player Crazy Chess working.


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