Grand Chess

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a b c d e f g h i j
10 a10 black rook b10 c10 d10 e10 f10 g10 h10 i10 j10 black rook 10
9 a9 b9 black knight c9 black bishop d9 black queen e9 black king f9 black empress g9 black princess h9 black bishop i9 black knight j9 9
8 a8 black pawn b8 black pawn c8 black pawn d8 black pawn e8 black pawn f8 black pawn g8 black pawn h8 black pawn i8 black pawn j8 black pawn 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 i7 j7 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 white pawn b3 white pawn c3 white pawn d3 white pawn e3 white pawn f3 white pawn g3 white pawn h3 white pawn i3 white pawn j3 white pawn 3
2 a2 b2 white knight c2 white bishop d2 white queen e2 white king f2 white empress g2 white princess h2 white bishop i2 white knight j2 2
1 a1 white rook b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 i1 j1 white rook 1
a b c d e f g h i j
Grand Chess starting setup. Marshals are on f2/f9; cardinals are on g2/g9.

Grand Chess is a large-board chess variant invented by Dutch games designer Christian Freeling in 1984.[1][2] It is played on a 10×10 board, with each side having two additional pawns and two new pieces: the marshal and the cardinal.

A superficial similarity exists between Grand Chess and an early version of the historic chess variant Capablanca Chess because the same pieces and game board are used. But differences in start position, rules governing pawn moves and promotion, and castling make them significantly different games.

A series of Grand Chess Cyber World Championship matches was sponsored by the Dutch game site Mindsports. Past title holders included R. Wayne Schmittberger (1998, 1999) and John Vehre (2001). Grand Chess tournaments were held annually beginning in 1998 by the (now defunct) correspondence game club NOST.[a]


Rules[edit]

Grand Chess set ordered from Christian Freeling's MindSports website

The pieces are placed on the players' first and second ranks, respectively, with the rooks alone on the players' first ranks. The pawns are placed on the players' third ranks. Since the rooks are not blocked as much by the other pieces as in standard chess, it is easier for them to activate earlier in the game.

A pawn that reaches a player's eighth or ninth ranks can elect to either promote or remain a pawn, but it must promote upon reaching the tenth rank. Unlike standard chess, a pawn may be promoted only to a captured piece of the same colour. (So, it is impossible for either side to own two queens, or two marshals, or three rooks, etc.) If, and for as long as, no captured piece is available to promote to, a pawn on a player's ninth rank must stay on the ninth rank, but it can still give check. (This is analogous to the ability of a piece to give check even when the piece is absolutely pinned.)

As in standard chess: pawns can move one or two squares on their first move; pawns can capture en passant; checkmate is a win; stalemate is a draw. There is no castling in Grand Chess.[b]

Play examples[edit]

Vehre vs. Schmittberger, 2001[edit]

a b c d e f g h i j
10 a10 black rook b10 c10 black king d10 e10 f10 black rook g10 h10 i10 black princess j10 10
9 a9 b9 c9 d9 e9 white rook f9 g9 h9 i9 j9 9
8 a8 black pawn b8 c8 black pawn d8 e8 white empress f8 g8 h8 black pawn i8 black pawn j8 black pawn 8
7 a7 b7 c7 black pawn d7 black knight e7 f7 g7 h7 i7 j7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 black pawn e6 f6 g6 h6 i6 j6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 black bishop e5 f5 white knight g5 h5 i5 j5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 white pawn e4 f4 g4 white pawn h4 white pawn i4 j4 4
3 a3 white pawn b3 white pawn c3 white pawn d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 white pawn i3 j3 white pawn 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 i2 j2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 white rook f1 g1 white king h1 i1 j1 1
a b c d e f g h i j
Final position after 29.Mxe8

Played between John Vehre and R. Wayne Schmittberger at the 2001 Grand Chess Cyber Championship Final:[3]

1.f5 f6 2.Nh4 Nh7 3.g4 g7 4.Nc4 Nc7 5.d4 d7 6.e5 Bd8! 7.Rje1 Kd10 8.Kf1 fxe5 9.Ncxe5?! Kc9 10.Re2? Kb9 11.Kg1 Rjf10 12.Bd3 e6 13.Rf1 Mh10?! 14.Nc4 Ci10 15.Nd6 exf5 16.Bxf5 Bd5 17.Ci1 Bxh4 18.ixh4 g6? 19.Rfe1 gxf5 20.Nxf5! Qd8 21.Bxc7 Qxc7 22.Re9+ Kc10 23.Cxc7 bxc7 24.Qf4 d6 25.Qe3 Mg8 26.Me2 Nf6 27.Qe7 Nd7 28.Qe8+ Mxe8 29.Mxe8 1–0 [Annotations by Vehre]

Fool's mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h i j
10 a10 black rook b10 c10 d10 e10 f10 black queen g10 h10 i10 j10 black rook 10
9 a9 b9 black knight c9 black bishop d9 e9 black king f9 black empress g9 black princess h9 black bishop i9 black knight j9 9
8 a8 black pawn b8 black pawn c8 white princess d8 black pawn e8 black pawn f8 black pawn g8 black pawn h8 black pawn i8 black pawn j8 black pawn 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 i7 j7 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 white pawn b3 white pawn c3 white pawn d3 white pawn e3 white pawn f3 white pawn g3 white pawn h3 white pawn i3 white pawn j3 white pawn 3
2 a2 b2 white knight c2 white bishop d2 white queen e2 white king f2 white empress g2 h2 white bishop i2 white knight j2 2
1 a1 white rook b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 i1 j1 white rook 1
a b c d e f g h i j
Position after 3.Cxc8#

1.Cf4 Qd10 2.Ce6 Qf10?? 3.Cxc8#

Composition[edit]

a b c d e f g h i j
10 a10 b10 c10 d10 e10 f10 g10 h10 i10 j10 10
9 a9 b9 c9 d9 e9 f9 g9 h9 i9 j9 black king 9
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 i8 j8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 white pawn i7 j7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 i6 white king 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 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 i2 j2 2
1 a1 white queen b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 i1 j1 1
a b c d e f g h i j

Strategy[edit]

H. G. Muller suggested the following estimated piece values:[4]

pawn 0.85
knight 2.75
bishop 3.25 (+0.5 for the bishop pair)
rook 5
cardinal 8.5
marshal 9
queen 9.5

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ NOST (kNights Of the Square Table), formed in 1960 by Bob Lauzon and Jim France, held an annual convention and enjoyed several hundred active members (Pritchard 1994:210).
  2. ^ "We're so used to castling that we tend to forget that it is the weirdest move in Chess, implemented specifically to solve a problem. Chess turned out a great game despite its problem, but it needed an ad hoc fix to do so. In Grand Chess, pawns retain their usual distance and rooks are free from the onset, so the problem doesn't exist in the first place." (Freeling)

References[edit]

Bibliography

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]