Check this out. Awesome, indeed! Vassily Ivanchuk, the grandest genius among current chess players, has created a new variant of chess! There is a great deal of friendship (Leko and Aronian, for example) and animosity (Topalov and Kramnik, Topalov and Morozevich) between the players in the super-elite, and a lot of differences in opinion. But according to Vishy Anand, one thing they all do without fail is be amazed at “Big Chucky.” A sentence that is repeatedly heard in their circles is: “Chucky, you’re a genius!” (again, according to Anand). His recent blindfold win over Kramnik in the Melody Amber tournament is a masterpiece and an all-time classic, according to Kasparov. (Incidentally, Chucky has the habit of not looking at the board during normal play—not quite possible in blindfold!)
I am very excited about his variant. To me it looks more promising than Fischerandom, which seeks to negate opening theory to a large extent. But Kiss the Queen is close enough to chess, but with just the right amount of deviation. One can expect quite a lot of solid opening research in this too, once it catches on.
Briefly, the rules are that the Queen should be treated like a King in that when she is attacked, she is under check, and hence has to be moved. She cannot be exchanged off or sacrificed, nor can a pawn be promoted to a queen. She can be “harem-mated.” And when you come to the rules regarding what happens when she is “undressed”, it gets extremely interesting. Briefly, she can be kissed to death! The rules get a bit complicated, but it’s all quite logical, and easy to remember. (Though Srikanth wanted to know if a queen can kiss the rival queen, and I couldn’t answer!) Check out the rules, and also the videos. The guy is a delight to watch!