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Stealth Chess has the same set of pieces as traditional chess--16 black pieces and 16 white pieces. Unlike traditional chess, you can't distinguish the identity of your opponent's pieces by sight. All pieces are conventional when viewed from the front and possess a uniform design on the back. The only clues to the identity of your opponent's pieces are offered by their movement and your memory. Like chess, the object of Stealth Chess is to capture the opponent's King.
The game begins with pieces being randomly placed by each player in the first and second row of each side of the board. You decide the strategic possibilities of the placement of your pieces. For example, you might put your Queen front-row center and hide your King in a corner. The excitement begins with the first move. From that point forward, you must try to figure out your opponent's pieces by their movements and seek out and capture the King. Of course, you may "disguise" a powerful piece by moving it as if it were a mere Pawn--until you strike without warning. No check, no checkmate. Boom! Victory is yours.
Kreigspiel is a game described as a chess variant in many Hoyles. It is played with three boards and a referee. Both people make a move and a third person tells the consequences of the move or whether the move is legal. It is like playing against an invisible enemy. While some books have recently been published on the game, it is rarely played for obvious reasons. Stealth Chess gives you much of this feeling. It requires being sneaky as well as being smart, clever as well as being wise. I love this game, but it shares a small market. Chess purists will be turned off by the game; those who don't like chess won't look into the genre. All I can say is: try it.
My gaming group are rabid [page scan/se=0035/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]chess players. We started the regular event by strictly playing four player chess. (If you havent played, you should. AMAZING.) Stealth Chess adds the best of [page scan/se=0101/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Stratego and chess at the same time. This game is a pleasant diversion, but far from a show stopper. If you are a fanatic chess player and enjoy Stratego, pick this up. Not for everybody. A lot to watch and think about. Concentration Chess.
Splicing together two good classic games isn't always successful, but this combination of Stratego and chess introduces an intriguing extra dimension. Only you can see your chess pieces, set up in any desired formation on the first two rows. The knight's identity is revealed as soon as it moves, but other units can easily hide their powers, allowing cunning weaker players many chances against stronger opponents. There is no check here: You must capture the King to win. Chess variant enthusiasts will recognize a subtle flavor of kriegspiel with some blundering about the board for a few moves and the occasional stab in the dark.