Pawns in Chazz may make a non-capturing move one step backwards as well as forwards and they promote only to Rooks, Bishops or Knights. Pritchard notes that Chazz in normally played on a fast clock. All this is well and good. Nothing particularly remarkable about Chazz in the wild and wooly world of chess variants. Most variants I putter with involve nonstandard pieces and ridiculously-shaped boards. Here's an overwrought derivative that I've been working on for several years off and on:
Anyhoo, the reason I bring up Chazz is because Pritchard (who I should note is a Brit working in that mysterious era before we could all surf the net while sitting on the crapper) claims that this variant "is said to have swept America 1991-2". Now obviously no chess variant became a full-blown fad in America in any decade I've been alive. Our popular culture just isn't that awesome here. Among gamer nerds the only chess variant I recall gaining any traction in the 90's was Knightmare Chess from Steve Jackson Games, which was basically a set of exception-based mechanics cards and a rule pamphlet for how to use 'em with a normal chess game.
But the main place that chess variants get played is in chess clubs. I've never been a chess club member, so if it was even a little bit popular in that scene I could have completely missed it. So here are my questions for the inhabitants or former residents of the New World reading this:
- Have you ever heard of or played Chazz?
- What context (where?, with whom?, in a club?) did you play it?
- Was it a single game or did it get played regularly for a while?