Capablanca random chess

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a b c d e f g h i j
8 a8 black knight b8 black bishop c8 black knight d8 black empress e8 black queen f8 black rook g8 black bishop h8 black princess i8 black king j8 black rook 8
7 a7 black pawn b7 black pawn c7 black pawn d7 black pawn e7 black pawn f7 black pawn g7 black pawn h7 black pawn i7 black pawn j7 black pawn 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 i6 j6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 i5 j5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 i4 j4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 i3 j3 3
2 a2 white pawn b2 white pawn c2 white pawn d2 white pawn e2 white pawn f2 white pawn g2 white pawn h2 white pawn i2 white pawn j2 white pawn 2
1 a1 white knight b1 white bishop c1 white knight d1 white empress e1 white queen f1 white rook g1 white bishop h1 white princess i1 white king j1 white rook 1
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Capablanca Random Chess. One of the 12118 possible starting positions.

Capablanca Random Chess (CRC) is a chess variant invented by Reinhard Scharnagl in 2004. It combines the piece set and 10x8 board from Capablanca Chess with the permutation idea of Fischer Random Chess (Chess960). This game won a contest in 2005 held at The Chess Variant Pages to design a chess variant based upon the theme of the number 10.[1]


The rules are the same as in Capablanca chess but initial setup is randomized. White and black pieces are set up in symmetrical position. The pieces on the first rank are placed in a random way with the following restrictions:

  • Bishops must be on opposite colored spaces.
  • The queen and the archbishop (which are composite pieces possessing, in part, the movement powers of bishops) must also be on opposite colored spaces.
  • The king must be between the rooks.
  • All pawns must be protected in initial setup.
  • The starting position must be different from that of Gothic Chess.
  • Starting positions with neighbouring bishops must be avoided.

The first restriction is taken from Fischer Random Chess for the purpose of balancing the power of colorbound bishops. The second restriction is based upon the first restriction but extrapolated to the unique piece set used within CRC. The third restriction is taken from Fischer Random Chess to preserve castling ability. The fourth restriction helps to minimize the advantage held by white in having the first move of the game. The fifth restriction is to avoid possible legal issues in America with Gothic Chess, which was formerly protected by a US patent. The sixth restriction was introduced later upon discovery by Reinhard Scharnagl that such positions might increase the first move of the game advantage for white.

Together, these six rules restrict the opening setup to 12,118 starting positions.

Extended FEN Encoding[edit]

Within Capablanca Random Chess, X-FEN is used (to represent positions).


  1. ^ "Contest to design a 10-chess variant". The Chess Variant Pages. 2005-12-25. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 

External links[edit]