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What Is Handicapping in Chess?

Learn how to handicap a chess game from Chess NYC in this Howcast video.


Hello, this is David Sullivan for Chess NYC. I wanna talk about handicapping in chess. I teach chess to young people and they often wanna play with their parents or if a parent wants to teach chess to a child they might think that, "Oh, I'm so much better than my kid, how can I possibly play a game of chess with them?" but chess is perfect for handicapping. You, if you take off material, like let's say you are much better than your son and you are playing black against your son, well if you take off, let's say, most of your pieces and you leave yourself with a king and queen and your pawns versus the whole army, well, you might not win, and so you can find an, an accurate handicap.

Maybe when you, when you play somebody, you should just take off a rook. Maybe you should just take off a queen. In fact I do this with a lot of young people, I, I play them a game of chess but I give them the queen at the beginning of the game and we see if they can win. If I play them with my queen on the board it, it's, we know how the game is gonna go. But if we take off enough material, you know, they can win. So, any game of chess can be a fair game if you find the proper handicap.

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