One thing I think was a good innovation was Chess960. Chess players memorize the opening moves, such that these opening configurations and responses all have names. And among good players, it is often a matter of memorization more than creativity. To cite Wikipedia:
Fischer's goal was to create a chess variant in which chess creativity and talent would be more important than memorization and analysis of opening moves. His approach was to create a randomized initial chess position, which would thus make memorizing chess opening move sequences far less helpful. The initial position is set up in a special way and there are 960 such positions, thus the name 'Chess960'.