Displacement chess

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a8 black rook
b8 black bishop
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black knight
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
e7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white bishop
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
f1 white knight
g1 white knight
h1 white rook
Displacement chess, one of several variations

Displacement chess is a family of chess variants in which a few pieces are transposed in the initial standard chess position. The main goal of these variants is to negate players' knowledge of standard chess openings.[1]


The following variations were tried in master or grandmaster tournaments:[2]

  • White's king and queen are transposed. This arrangement was tried in a correspondence tournament in 1935 with the participation of grandmaster Paul Keres.
  • The queen's knight is transposed with the king's bishop, so that both bishops are on the queenside and both knights are on the kingside, as shown in the diagram. This variant is sometimes called Mongredien chess, after Augustus Mongredien, the sponsor of a tournament held in London during 1868 under the auspices of the British Chess Association, in which several strong British players took part, including Joseph Henry Blackburne.[3] According to David Pritchard, this is one of the most popular forms of displacement chess.
  • The knights and bishops are transposed.
  • The rooks and bishops are transposed. This array was suggested by J. R. Capablanca after his match with Emanuel Lasker, but did not become popular. This variant is also called Fianchetto chess.[4]
  • PP random chess: the kings remain on e1 and e8, one of the rooks must remain on the a- or h-file, and the bishops are placed on opposite-colored squares. Proposed in computer chess-playing client Chess4Net by Pavel Perminov.


  1. ^ Pritchard, D. B. (2000). "§3 Displacement Chess". Popular Chess Variants. B.T. Batsford Ltd. pp. 16–17. ISBN 0-7134-8578-7.
  2. ^ Pritchard, D. B. (1994). The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants. Games & Puzzles Publications. pp. 88–90. ISBN 0-9524142-0-1.
  3. ^ Löwenthal, J. The Transactions of the British Chess Association 1868 and 1869. 1869
  4. ^ Fianchetto chess

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