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 and has resisted change since then. Thomas R. Dawson (1889–1951), the "father of fairy chess", 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.
Types of fairy chess problems
Types of changed rules in fairy chess problems include:
- New stipulations: Probably the most-used alterations are new stipulations about mate instead of a direct mate stipulation. A lot of them were invented and some became established. Selfmates and helpmates are nowadays often considered to be orthodox (not fairy) stipulations. Among others are: reflexmates, various types of seriesmovers or recently very popular helpselfmates.
- New conditions: Encompassing all changes of rules including rules for captures, checks, checkmates, general movement abilities, etc. Many were invented; some became established: Circe chess, Madrasi chess, Andernach chess, monochromatic chess, patrol chess, Einstein chess and numerous others.
- New chess pieces: Conventional chess pieces are generalized in many ways (grasshopper, nightrider, cannon, etc.). See main article Fairy chess pieces.
- Different boards: One can vary board size from 8×8 to other sizes (10×10, 8×10, unusual board shapes, etc.) or use different geometries: cylinder (vertical and horizontal), anchor ring or torus and others.
There are fairy chess problems that combine some of these changed rules.
Fairy chess literature
Books and pamphlets devoted to fairy chess:
- 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:
- The Problemist Fairy Supplement (August 1930 – June 1936)
- Fairy Chess Review (August 1936 – April 1958)
- Feenschach, edited by W. Karsch
- 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.