"buy bc" from the vending machine in the lounge (bc stands for Binford Chess)
Bughouse is 4player / two-team chess. This comes from the root words
"bug", meaning ugly shitboy insect, and "house", meaning man-made
shelter intended as a private dwelling place. What the fuck this has
to do with chess I dunno. Here's how it works..
You get on the bughouse channel and say 'hey fuckers i wanna play bughouse.'
Type 'pending' and you'll see what pools of players are waiting to play.
Pools just kinda sit there and collect people (when they type 'play 1',
they get into pool 1) until they are full (4 people). Then they are
partnered at random and the match starts. You can start a pool using the
'seek' command (see your bc for help, or ask on bughouse channel).
Or, if you don't wanna do random partners, you can like team up with
some other shitboy on the mud who also has a chessboard, then you find
another couple of shitboys teamed up in like fashion. Now you gotta
use the 'match' command to challenge one of the other puds to a bughouse
match. Look at yer bc for more info on that.
Which color you play is random (but you can request a color in the 'match'
command), and whatever color you get, your partner gets the opposite on
his board. (Each team has one white player, one black player.) Then you
got a game goin, and just play against the opposite color member on the
other team, and ditto for your partner. Sooner or later someone'll
capture something, which is when it gets kewl. Whenever you capture a
piece, it's taken off the board and passed to your partner's hand for him
to use as he fucking pleases. Likewise, he'll pass you whatever he
captures, and the other team will be passin schitt back n forth too like
the shitboys they are. How do you use these pieces (your "arsenal")?
Like, instead of making a normal chess move, on your turn you can take
one piece outta your arsenal and drop it on your board where it can be a
peniswrinkle to the guy you're playing... there are some restrictions to
dropping, explained below. Your opponent can do this shit to you too,
(if his partner doesn't suck so bad that he can't capture a fucking
thing) and the game goin on next to you also has this happening. Your
team wins and both games end when either you or your partner checkmates,
or when some wuss on the other team resigns like a weiner.
a) You can't drop pawns on the farthest rank, that is, on the
rank they'd get promoted on. This should be obvious, but most
of y'all are fucking stupid, so ohwell.
b) You can only drop on empty squares.. no drop-capture shit.
c) Might not be obvious, but if you promote a pawn (doesnt matter
whether or not the pawn was a drop) to somethin cool, then that
coolass piece gets captured, it changes back and gets passed as a
d) It's perfectly alright to keep pieces in your arsenal as long as
you like. A piece isn't removed from your arsenal if you don't
use it within a certain number of turns or something like that...
only whenever you choose to drop it.
e) Dropped pieces stay on the board til they're captured and can be
moved around just like any other pieces etc etc etc and schitt.
f) Whether or not you can dropcheck or dropmate is decided by whoever
creates the pool you join, or whoever initiates the challenge you
accept. In the game parameters description, you'll see either
'bughouse', 'bughouse+', or 'bughouse#'. The '+' means you can
dropcheck, and the '#' means you can dropmate. Neither means you
caint be a dickhead in either fashion.
First and foremost, I recommend a GUI client to play with. Type
'ihelp gui' for information on obtaining, installing, running,
and using a GUI client like WinBoard, XBoard, Fixation, etc. If
you can't use one of these for one reason or another, here are
some tips to using the plain textmode interface:
a) Read 'ihelp'. Get a comfortable-looking design going.
b) Move notation is the standard chess piece-square notation. I
can't fuggin remember what the technical name for it is right
now. Here's an example beginning of a game, alternating turns
like a normal game, starting with white. Note that you gotta
type 'bc' before these moves (ex: 'bc e4'):
d5 (queen's pawn. fear it)
ed5 (longer form: exd5; the x means capture, but isn't needed)
qd5 (again, Qxd5, but the x isn't needed)
nc3 (checking the queen)
qe6 (Qe6+ is the long form; + means check, but isn't needed)
be2 (bishop move to get out of check)
<hopefully, white's partner has passed him a pawn by now...>
@d5 (or p@d5; you can always omit the p; pawndrop; forks q & n)
etc... for dropping pieces other than pawns, you have to specify
the piece initial (b=bishop, n=knight, r=rook, q=queen)
c) A dropping alias might come in handy. Try this on for size:
alias dr bc $1@$2
This lets you type 'dr n e4' to drop a knight at e4, etc.
Here's a few pointers for EOTL's variant of bughouse
I. Why you should play fast/slow if you're a better/worse player.
1. The faster you play the emptier your board will be.
Corollary: Your teammate's board will be crowded as hell.
2. It's easier to win on an empty board.
Corollary: It's easier to lose on an empty board.
Corollary: On an empty board initiative is all.
3. It's a bitch to win on a crowded board.
Corollary: It's harder to lose on a crowded board.
II. Basic Bughouse opening theory
1. Kings openings offer the most balanced offensive/defensive positions.
As white, they are an opening bid for supremacy of the center.
As black, if you feel you can wrest invitiative away with relative ease,
an e5 is a good move in anticipation of an early counterattack, but
leaves the critical pawn on f7 open to attack. A practical strategy
against strong players is to attempt to control the black squares,
huddling your king behind a fortress buying time for a counterattack
late in the game.
2. Queen openings lead to unpredictable, highly positional games. The
result is often a rapid series of exchanges laying waste to both sides'
forces, or massive overcrowding in the center. Timing of drops is far
more crucial than in a king's game, and communication with one's partner
becomes a paramount concern. It's a good opening if a) your opponent is
a stronger player b) your partner is a strong player or c) your partner's
opponent is a weak player.
3. Indian openings (knights)
Solid openings, unless your opponent gets some really early drops. Given
the immobility of 2nd and 7th rank pawns, they often lead to kp and qp type
They create an early vulnerability to knight drops. If you open
Sicilian, you'd damn well better castle. Unfortunately, castling doesn't
provide the safe haven it does in chess. A higher premium is placed on
initiative, and a few drop sacrifices can quickly tear apart a castled
5. Gambit openings
You must be kidding.
Well, I don't like em. Plan on a long grueling defensive game. If I
wanted one of those I'd play chess. If you don't know what this is
then you shouldn't be trying it.
1. As long as your opponent's in check you're winning.
Corollary: When you realize you cannot keep your opponent in check, take
steps to keep your own king out of check.
IV. Material and Position
1. Knight vs. Bishop fallacy
An early knight-bishop trade is an even trade. Knights are good endgame
mating pressure and for forks against weaker players. Bishops are more
versatile, exert long range offensive pressure and have excellent defensive
value. Early knights have a nasty tendency to boomerang into your
opponent's arsenal later in the game, when they really do count.
2. King's Bishop pawns.
a bishop sacrifice is well worth the effort if you can get your opponent's
uncastled king out of position. However, be sure to capture quickly
to minimize the effects of your partner's material disadvantage. Only one
member of a team should do this, otherwise the material disadvantage can
quickly put you up that creek.
3. Piece values:
For strong players: Q-4 R-2 N-2 B-2 P-1
(I arrived at 9 4 4 4 2 independently)
These are the accepted values by the top bughouse players worldwide.
The rationale is that queens are limited to mating positions, and quantity
counts for as much a quality. Pawns have increased value thanks to the
mobility afforded by dropping. I give queens additional value
in EOTL bughouse because we allow passed queens, rather than passing
promoted pawns back as pawns.
For weaker players: Q-9 N-4 R-4 B-2 P-1
For players lacking a deeper game, queens offer unparalleled attack whilst
knights have the unanswerable check. Weaker players have great difficulty
making effective use of bishops. Keep these values in mind if your
partner or his opponent is relatively weak.
V. Tips for the beginner
1. Don't move pawns except for kp and qp.
2. Nothing announces suckitude like opening with a rook's pawn, cept for
maybe proceeding to develop said rook.
3. Guard your king's diagonals. Leaving them open to bishop attacks
can prove fatal.
4. Don't leave your king open to knight drops.
5. I've seen beginning players commit suicide time and time again by
making an awkward capture with a pawn rather than with a far more
sensible (even obvious) knight or bishop move. This is placing far
too high a value on the material value on knights and bishops. If
your knights and bishops aren't controlling the board you're just
giving up control to your opponent.
6. Sometimes the best way to defend a threatend queen is to attack
your opponent's queen.
7. A knight dropcheck can only be countered by capturing the knight
or moving the king.
8. A stalemate type defense is sometimes your best bet. Maneuver your
king into a position where he can't move, and your opponent is
hampered by the inability to dropmate.
9. Plan for and against discovered checks, that is, checks created by moving
a blocking piece.
10. Don't waste drops chasing after unthreatening queens, unless you're
reasonably certain of its capture.
11. Don't casually sacrifice pieces unless it buys time (increases your
initiative) or space (increases your control of the board). This
one should fall in the bloody obvious category but apparently not.
12. Every move should have a purpose.
13. Remember that the pieces you capture can come back to haunt you.
14. Drop pawns on the the next to farthest rank.
15. Don't be greedy. Beginners often capture a piece out of play rather
than going for the kill, allowing their opponent to regain the initiative.
16. Bughouse offense as a rule isn't a very deep game. If a good player
on the attack is taking more than 10 seconds to make a decision, clock
their ass. He/she is stalling.
17. Communication with one's partner is vital.
18. Immediately clock an opponent with an empty arsenal.
19. Be aware of your teammate's situation. What you pass or don't pass
at any given time could be the gamebreaker.
20. Never give up. A single mistake could enable you to regain the
initiative, and there's always the chance that your partner could
pull a rabbit out of their ass.
21. Bishop dropchecks should either be contact checks, or as far back as
safely possible. Be on the lookout for forking opportunities.
22. While you can't dropmate, you can often drop a bishop/rook/queen one
space farther back, which amounts to pretty much the same thing.
23. When moving an endangered queen, be leery of potential forks in
both the space you just vacated and your destination.
Rules by Luger and Zippo
Strategy Guide by Nyg
[EotL Help Files]