Grand Chess

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abcdefghij
10a10 black rookb10c10d10e10f10g10h10i10j10 black rook10
9a9b9 black knightc9 black bishopd9 black queene9 black kingf9 black empressg9 black princessh9 black bishopi9 black knightj99
8a8 black pawnb8 black pawnc8 black pawnd8 black pawne8 black pawnf8 black pawng8 black pawnh8 black pawni8 black pawnj8 black pawn8
7a7b7c7d7e7f7g7h7i7j77
6a6b6c6d6e6f6g6h6i6j66
5a5b5c5d5e5f5g5h5i5j55
4a4b4c4d4e4f4g4h4i4j44
3a3 white pawnb3 white pawnc3 white pawnd3 white pawne3 white pawnf3 white pawng3 white pawnh3 white pawni3 white pawnj3 white pawn3
2a2b2 white knightc2 white bishopd2 white queene2 white kingf2 white empressg2 white princessh2 white bishopi2 white knightj22
1a1 white rookb1c1d1e1f1g1h1i1j1 white rook1
abcdefghij
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.

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]

abcdefghij
10a10 black rookb10c10 black kingd10e10f10 black rookg10h10i10 black princessj1010
9a9b9c9d9e9 white rookf9g9h9i9j99
8a8 black pawnb8c8 black pawnd8e8 white empressf8g8h8 black pawni8 black pawnj8 black pawn8
7a7b7c7 black pawnd7 black knighte7f7g7h7i7j77
6a6b6c6d6 black pawne6f6g6h6i6j66
5a5b5c5d5 black bishope5f5 white knightg5h5i5j55
4a4b4c4d4 white pawne4f4g4 white pawnh4 white pawni4j44
3a3 white pawnb3 white pawnc3 white pawnd3e3f3g3h3 white pawni3j3 white pawn3
2a2b2c2d2e2f2g2h2i2j22
1a1b1c1d1e1 white rookf1g1 white kingh1i1j11
abcdefghij
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]

abcdefghij
10a10 black rookb10c10d10e10f10 black queeng10h10i10j10 black rook10
9a9b9 black knightc9 black bishopd9e9 black kingf9 black empressg9 black princessh9 black bishopi9 black knightj99
8a8 black pawnb8 black pawnc8 white princessd8 black pawne8 black pawnf8 black pawng8 black pawnh8 black pawni8 black pawnj8 black pawn8
7a7b7c7d7e7f7g7h7i7j77
6a6b6c6d6e6f6g6h6i6j66
5a5b5c5d5e5f5g5h5i5j55
4a4b4c4d4e4f4g4h4i4j44
3a3 white pawnb3 white pawnc3 white pawnd3 white pawne3 white pawnf3 white pawng3 white pawnh3 white pawni3 white pawnj3 white pawn3
2a2b2 white knightc2 white bishopd2 white queene2 white kingf2 white empressg2h2 white bishopi2 white knightj22
1a1 white rookb1c1d1e1f1g1h1i1j1 white rook1
abcdefghij
Position after 3.Cxc8#

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

Composition[edit]

abcdefghij
10a10b10c10d10e10f10g10h10i10j1010
9a9b9c9d9e9f9g9h9i9j9 black king9
8a8b8c8d8e8f8g8h8i8j88
7a7b7c7d7e7f7g7h7 white pawni7j77
6a6b6c6d6e6f6g6h6i6 white kingj66
5a5b5c5d5e5f5g5h5i5j55
4a4b4c4d4e4f4g4h4i4j44
3a3b3c3d3e3f3g3h3i3j33
2a2b2c2d2e2f2g2h2i2j22
1a1 white queenb1c1d1e1f1g1h1i1j11
abcdefghij
Mate in 2
by Pal Benko
Solution: 1.Qj10+ Kxj10 2.h8=C#

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]

  1. ^ Bodlaender, Hans; Brown, John William. "Christian Freeling's Grand Chess". The Chess Variant Pages. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
  2. ^ Dylan Loeb McClain (2007-08-19). "Giraffes, Viziers and Wizards: Variations on the Old Game". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
  3. ^ http://www.samiam.org/grandchess/2001-VS.pdf
  4. ^ http://www.chessvariants.com/index/displaycomment.php?commentid=28113

Bibliography

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]