QUANTUM, by talpa, circa 1998

Historic View

Quantum is a fast variant of Lightning, invented by the awesome twosome theblob and woof, and Sentman. We can trace the origin of Quantum very exactly in time. On april 29, 1997 the first Quantum game was played. It is also called 'Subzero' (Sentman) sometimes (woof suggested 'tachyon' as faster than Lightning), but nowadays Quantum is the most commonly used name.

The idea is that both players have less than one minute for the whole game. On a normal chess server, this goes as follows: white waits x seconds before making his first move, then after playing it, black waits the exact same number of seconds before moving. This is not at all easy. As theblob said: "the uncertainty principle of Quantum prohibits accurate moves and accurate timing at the same time." (Of course, if black moves too fast, he will lose the game.)
 Only after that, they start playing at full speed.

The only real drawback of all this, is that both players have to wait an awful long time before the game can actually start. To get around this problem, the blob has suggested to make a utility called timesteal, which would charge the players x seconds for the first move.
    In fact, there is now a free chess server which supports the possiblity of playing rated Quantum games without having to wait such a long time: the 'wild-variants' server MEWIS which can be found at telnet:// or telnet://chess.mds.mdh.se:5555 (timeseal port 5001). This server is quite popular already and is increasing in popularity still. One of the great things is that it is possible to gain a 'title' in Quantum there, i.e. Quantum Master (LM) or Quantum Grandmaster (LGM). To get the title, you need 200 games of rated Quantum and a rating over 2200. At this moment, there are two LM's: talpa and muffin. Also, Hawkeye is close to getting the title.

For history's sake, here's the first Quantum game ever played (unfortunately, no time recordings exist of this game):

Sentman (2150) vs. woof (2055) 29-4-1997
Unrated Lightning match 1/2 0 [30 seconds per game]  (FICS)

1.d4 b6 2.c4 Bb7 3.Nc3 c6 4.e4 d6 5.f4 Nf6 6.Nf3 Ng4 7.Bd3 c5 8.e5 cxd4 9.Qe2 dxc3 10.Be4 dxe5 11.Bxb7 Nf6 12.Qxe5 Nbd7 13.Bxa8 Qb8 14.Qxe7+ Bxe7 15.Ne5 Qxa8 16.0-0 Nxe5 17.Be3 Nfd7 18.fxe5 Nxe5 19.Bd4 Ng4 20.Rae1 0-0 21.Rxe7 Qb8 22.Rfxf7 Qxh2+ 23.Kf1 Qh1+ 24.Ke2 Rxf7 25.Re8+ Rf8 26.Rxf8+ Kxf8 27.Bxg7+ Kxg7 28.Kf3 Qxg2+ 29.Kf4 cxb2 30.c5 b1=Q 31.cxb6 Qxb6 32.a4 Qa2 33.a5 Qaxa5 34.Kg2 Qbb4 35.Kh4 Nf6+ 36.Kg3 Ng8 37.Kh2 Qaa3 38.Kg1 Qbb3 39.Kf1 Qbb2 0-1

Of course,there are other possibillities. On Mewis, 5 and 10 seconds quantum is the most popular, since this is the fastest way to get revenge for a lost game.


The faster quantum is played, the more increases the importance of giving checks.  A surprise-check will cost the opponent almost all available time to resolve it.
    Thus, in 5 or 10 seconds quantum, both players try to check first. It is also possible to make all moves with the purpose of avoiding check, i.e. a king-march from the very beginning.
    The following game is a good example of this:

woof (2155) vs. theblob (1932) --- Mon Jul 14, 2:33 1997
Rated Lightning match 1/12 0 [5 seconds per game]  (FICS)

Move woof             theblob
---- ---------------- ----------------
1.   e4        (0:55) g6        (0:55)
2.   Qf3       (0:00) e6        (0:00)
3.   Bc4       (0:00) d5        (0:01)
4.   Bxd5      (0:01) Kd7       (0:00)
5.   Bxe6+     (0:01) Kd6       (0:00)
6.   Ne2       (0:01) Kc5       (0:00)
7.   Qf4       (0:00) Kb6       (0:00)
8.   Qd6+      (0:00) c6        (0:01)
9.   Bd7       (0:00) Ka5       (0:00)
10.  Qxc6      (0:00)

{Black ran out of time} 1-0
This game is also instructive because it shows that you should watch out for quick mates like Qf3/Bc4/Qf7.
Here are some other opening ideas that will work in 5 or 10 sec Quantum: (I can reveal them now since I am already LM.)

* 1. e3 d5 2.Bb5+

* 1.Nc3 e5 2.Ne4 d5 3.Nd6+

* 1.d4 c6 2.Nf3 Qa5+

* 1.e4 e6. 2.Bc4 Bc5+ 3.Bxe6 Bxf2+

* 1.e4 e5 2.Qh5 Bc5 3.Qxe5+


The 'best list' on Mewis in Quantum (all time controls, most games are 5 or 10 secs) on June 22, 1998 is:

 1. Hawkeye(IM)    2402
 2. talpa(LM)          2212
 3. woof                  2081
 4. muffin                 2032
 5. FatalImage         1987
 6. Senty                 1975
 7. KJO                  1930
 8. Quill                  1922
 9.  inj                     1905
10. olsson               1898
11 .Kingroche         1882
12. BruthaFromDaHood 1876
13. Oren                 1864
14. tone                  1816
15. Obliviax            1809

Some people don't think that playing quantum has anything to do with chess. Well, we must agree with them. Still, why not play it?

"This is chess as it was meant to be" -- woof