Fairy chess

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Oniţiu, Petrović, Dawson & Fox
1st Pr. Kniest TT. 1930
FIDE Album 1914-1944/III
a8 black upside-down queen
f7 black upside-down queen
a2 black pawn
h2 black upside-down queen
a1 black king
c1 white king
h1 white upside-down queen
Mate in 8 (with grasshoppers Ga8, f7, h2 and h1)

Solution: 1.Gh3 Gh4 2.Gh5 Gh6 3.Gh7 Gh8 4.Ge7 Gd7 5.Gc7 Gb7 6.Ga7+ Ga6 7.Ga5+ Ga4 8.Ga3#

Fairy chess is the area of chess composition in which there are some changes to the rules of chess. The term was introduced by Henry Tate in 1914. Thomas R. Dawson (1889–1951), the "father of fairy chess",[1] invented many fairy pieces and new conditions. He was also problem editor of Fairy Chess Review (1930–1951).

Although the term "fairy chess" is sometimes used for games, it is more usually applied to problems where the board, pieces, or rules are changed to express an idea or theme impossible in orthodox chess.[2] Variations on chess intended to create complete, playable games are more typically referred to as chess variants.

Types of fairy chess problems[edit]

Types of changed rules in fairy chess problems include:

There are fairy chess problems that combine some of these changed rules.[clarification needed]

All entries in the world championships and in the FIDE Albums are divided into eight sections: directmates (2-movers, 3-movers and more-movers), endgame studies, helpmates, selfmates, fairy chess, retros, and mathematical problems.

Fairy chess literature[edit]

Books and pamphlets devoted to fairy chess:[3]

  • Chess Eccentricities by G. H. Verney (1885)
  • Chancellor Chess by B. R. Foster (1886)
  • The 20th Century Retractor by Mrs. W. J. Baird (1907)
  • Space Chess publications of Dr. Ferdinand Maack and the Hamburg Space Chess Club (1908–1919)
  • 150 Schachkuriositäten by Problematicus (1910)
  • Retrograde Analysis by T. R. Dawson and W. Hundsdorfer (1915)
  • Fata Morgana by Dr. E. Birgfeld (1922)
  • On Retraction Chess Problems by Dr. Niels Hoeg (1927)
  • Hexagonal Chess by H. D. Baskerville (1929)
  • Chess Chimes from Prague by Z. Mach (1933)
  • Caissa's Wild Roses by T. R. Dawson (1935)
  • C. M. Fox, His Problems by T. R. Dawson (1936)
  • Caissa's Wild Roses in Clusters by T. R. Dawson (1937)
  • Ultimate Themes by T. R. Dawson (1938)
  • Une Nouvelle Invention by Znosko-Borovsky (1947)
  • Caissa's Fairy Tales by T. R. Dawson (1947)
  • Am Rande des Schachbretts by Dr. Karl Fabel (1947)
  • Einführlung in das Märchenschach by Hermann Stapff (1948)
  • Caissas Märchen translated by Dr. Massmann (1949)
  • Einzüger Rekorde by N. Petrovic (April 1950)
  • Les Jeux d'Echecs Non-orthodoxes by J. Boyer (1951, Paris)
  • Elemente des Märchenschachs by T. R. D., translated by W. Karsch and Dr. J. Niemann (1953)
  • Nouveaux Jeux d'Echecs Non-orthodoxes by J. Boyer (1954, Paris)
  • Rund um das Schachbrett by Dr. Karl Fabel (1955)
  • 32 Personaggi e un Autore by L. Ceriani (1955)
  • Are There Any? by G. F. Anderson (1958)
  • Kurioses Schach by Dr. Karl Fabel (1960)
  • Der Jäger im Schachspiel by Theodor Steudel (1960)
  • La Genesi Delle Posizioni by L. Ceriani (1961)
  • Doppelzugschach by H. Klüver (1963)
  • Faschingsschach der Welt by Hans Klüver (1963)
  • Ye Faerie Chesseman by D. L. Miller (1965)
  • Schach und Zahl by Bonsdorff, Fabel, and Riihimaa (1966)
  • Maximum Tables by The Fairy Chess Correspondence Circle (1967)
  • A Guide to Fairy Chess by A. S. M. Dickins (1967)
  • Chess Variations by John Gollon (1968)
  • Chess Unlimited by C. Kemp and Dr. K. Fabel (1969)
  • Records in One-Mover Chess Construction Tasks by W. Cross and A. S. M. Dickins (1970)
  • An Album of Fairy Chess edited by A. S. M. Dickins (1970)
  • The Serieshelpmate by John Rice and A. S. M. Dickins (1971)

Periodicals devoted to fairy chess:[4]

  • The Problemist Fairy Supplement (August 1930 – June 1936)
  • Fairy Chess Review (August 1936 – April 1958)
  • Feenschach, edited by W. Karsch

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pritchard, D. B. (2007). The Classified Encyclopedia of Chess Variants. John Beasley. p. 361. ISBN 978-0-9555168-0-1.
  2. ^ Pritchard, D. B. (1994), The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants, Games & Puzzles Publications, p. 107, ISBN 0-9524142-0-1
  3. ^ Dickins (1971), pp. 51–52
  4. ^ Dickins (1971), p. 52


  • Dickins, Anthony (1971) [Corrected repub. of 1969 2nd ed., The Q Press, Richmond, Surrey, England]. A Guide to Fairy Chess. New York: Dover Publications Inc. ISBN 0-486-22687-5.

External links[edit]