Modern chess

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9a9 black rookb9 black knightc9 black bishopd9 black queene9 black kingf9 black princessg9 black bishoph9 black knighti9 black rook9
8a8 black pawnb8 black pawnc8 black pawnd8 black pawne8 black pawnf8 black pawng8 black pawnh8 black pawni8 black pawn8
2a2 white pawnb2 white pawnc2 white pawnd2 white pawne2 white pawnf2 white pawng2 white pawnh2 white pawni2 white pawn2
1a1 white rookb1 white knightc1 white bishopd1 white princesse1 white kingf1 white queeng1 white bishoph1 white knighti1 white rook1
Modern chess starting setup. Each prime minister is to the left of its king.

Modern chess is a chess variant played on a 9×9 board. The game was invented by Gabriel Vicente Maura in 1968.[1][2] Besides the usual set of chess pieces, each player has an additional piece with a corresponding pawn:

Chess all44.png The prime minister (M) combines powers of a bishop and a knight.

The first match was played in Madrid at Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando's cafe on March 18, 1968. The players were Gabriel Vicente Maura himself (White), and Bonifacio Pedraz Cabezas (Black).

Game rules[edit]

The starting setup is as shown. All the standard rules of chess apply, along with the following special rules:

  • A player can castle either ministerside (notated "0-M-0") or queenside (notated "0-Q-0");[1] in either case the king slides two squares toward the castling rook.
  • When reaching the final rank, pawns promote as normal, and can also promote to prime minister.

Optional rule[edit]

In response to criticism that bishops are restricted to only one square color, the inventor proposed an optional new rule, if the players agree:

  • One bishop may switch its position with a piece adjacent to it, provided that the bishop and the piece adjacent have not yet moved in the game. The switch is counted as a normal move.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Pritchard (1994), p. 198
  2. ^ Pritchard (2007), p. 123


  • Pritchard, D. B. (1994). "Modern Chess (II)". The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants. Games & Puzzles Publications. ISBN 0-9524142-0-1.
  • Pritchard, D. B. (2007). "Modern Chess [Maura]". In Beasley, John (ed.). The Classified Encyclopedia of Chess Variants. John Beasley. ISBN 978-0-9555168-0-1.

External links[edit]