When I was active playing bughouse, I came to the conclusion that there were a lot of chess openings that didn't work very well. Wikipedia confirms this:-
There are significantly fewer bughouse openings than there are chess openings. Many chess openings create weaknesses which can be easily exploited in bughouse.
An obvious solution to this drawback is to introduce chess960 start positions (SPs) into bughouse. When I mentioned this idea to a friend who is both a teacher of traditional chess and a keen bughouse player, he answered,
Fischer Random Bughouse seems logical, because the choice of bughouse openings is not a large one. On a practical level, however, it is unlikely to take root just because it takes to long to set the board up. Among young players now, there is practically no down time between the end of one game and the start of another. It's all I can do to get them to wait a second so that the clocks can be started simultaneously. It could be an interesting idea for bughouse tournaments.
This is useful feedback, and I see no reason why the same SP couldn't be kept for the duration of a session. It would allow the players to explore some of the subtleties of the chosen SP. At the same time it occurred to me that keeping the same SP would also be an advantage in a chess960 blitz match.
The upshot of all this would be some sort of a gadget that allows the players to record an SP and then refer to it at the start of each new game. Nothing fancy is required. Eight tiles showing the pieces and a rack to hold them in place would be sufficient.
As a radical suggestion for new technology to keep track of the starting position, I suggest a piece of paper and a pen.
Mark from your experiences and the experiences of your chess teaching friend, what do kids want these days?
"Among young players now, there is practically no down time between the end of one game and the start of another. It's all I can do to get them to wait a second so that the clocks can be started simultaneously"
I get the impression from what your friend says, kids like playing the same position over and over again very quickly. The clatter of pieces in the first few seconds in the chess halls at tournaments remind me more of exam rooms and I do not understand why chess players are actually accepting of this mad rush through the first quarter of the game....Is this a phenomenon of the age we are living in?
I ask a genuine question even if it sounds naive or that it sounds like I am making a statement.
HarryO: Re 'I get the impression, kids like playing the same position over and over again very quickly', the discussion here is about bughouse, not about traditional chess. Since the game proceeds on two boards asynchronously, the positions taken together diverge almost immediately from previous games. My friend says that kids love playing bughouse and there is a lot of anecdotal evidence on the web to support his opinion. - Mark
Fischerr Bughouse--I like it! Same starting position for whole session is good. The order of pieces could be displayed at the front or sides of the room.
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