“Captured pieces can be dropped back on the board instead of moving a piece”
These are the rules of Crazyhouse chess:
“All the rules and conventions of standard chess apply, with the addition of drops, as explained below.
– A captured piece reverses color and goes to the capturing player’s pocket. At any time, instead of making a move with a piece on the board, a player can drop a piece from their pocket onto an empty square on the board.
For example, a check that would result in checkmate in standard chess can be answered in Crazyhouse, if the defender can play a legal drop that blocks the check.
– Drops resulting in immediate checkmate are permitted.
– Pawns may not be dropped on the players’ 1st or 8th ranks.
– Promoted but captured pawns are dropped as pawns.”
To the above I will add that each player can see what pieces they hold in their pocket. The notation for a dropped piece on the chessboard uses the symbol “@”.
The games are far more vicious. Tactical bombs can be dropped at anytime and, attacking the opposing king first is a big advantage. Have a look at the following position played last week in our club tournament. At the time the players held the following pieces in their pockets: White had two knights and a bishop, while Black had 2 bishops.
In normal chess this position is unassuming. The queen retreat is rather obvious. However, with 3 pieces in your pocket and pointing to the opposing castled position, you must attack. The combination that arises is truly incredible. I have not felt for a long time such excitement for a queen sacrifice. Truth being told none of us saw it coming. In this particular case I am happy that we had the opportunity to run the engines and get the hint. We were even able to figure out the possible checkmates based on how Black might have responded.
After the missed opportunity Black pushed on with his own storming the castle attack. That one ended as well with a nice checkmate attack. White could never recover from the lost chance. I believe Crazyhouse could be helpful to the regular player. It absolutely forces you to pay special attention at every move. Also, it should be helpful in sharpening one’s tactics, as well as with the creative aspect of both the attack and defence. Hope you will be able to follow below diagrams and replay the entire combination!
My diagrams/ games creating software has limitations and does not allow more than 8-pawns per side. I eliminated the a2-pawn to be able to display it, so please consider White still has the a2-pawn on the chessboard: