I used to think variants were stoopid.
I was at a different site, and they only play tourneys. I saw "Big Chess Tournament," so I thought it was a tourney with more than the usual(6 or 7 I think) entrants in it, so I entered.
Big Chess is the name of that site admin's pet project, a variant on a 16x16 board, each player having 32 pcs, some of which looked to be randomly placed.
I looked at my game board page, shrugged my shoulders and said, chess is chess so let's do it. I tied for first, had a blast playing the 2nd seed and mauling him badly.
In short I was surprised how fun it was, and I was relaxed knowing that my competition was a human. (No engines play Big Chess)