In this fabulous Advertising video by Guinness of Wheel Chair Basketball is used to convey a message.
“Dedication , Loyalty, Friendship , The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character.”
I want to use this to explore the variants and handicaps in sports.
In sports there are variants and there are handicaps, in handicapping a player is assigned scoring or another advantage to equalize the chance of winning.
All done in the spirit of maintaining fairness, this ad illustrates this very clearly as the gentlemen give up their height and agility to wheel chairs
so their friend can have the same odds at competing on the court against them.
When you alter the rules of a game it becomes a variant. I would not call wheel chair basketball a variant at all since the rules of the game
have not changed how it is executed to score points. The guys traded sneakers for wheel chairs to play the game to give their wheel chair confined friend a
fair positional advantage on the court.
Chess 960 is often called a variant. Chess 960 is not a variant of chess because it is played by the same rules with the same pieces and executes to the same outcome as Traditional Chess.
Since chess is widely played by memory and recognizing openings and tactical positioning is key in becoming a successful chess player, knowledge will give you a great
advantage over less experienced players.Chess 960 evens out the playing field because there are 959 other starting positions including the Traditional position used as the norm.
Most players of high caliber do not want to give up their advantage over any player no matter what so they result in calling chess 960 a variant or “not chess” at all.
To force or request a player to give up his memorized opening and positional recognition is like asking a Basketball player to use a wheel chair to compete.
All in all Chess 960 is not a variant or a handicapper but an equalizer.