More Chess & More Than Chess

A Family of Chess Variants


(With contributions by Paul Rapoport and H.G. Muller)

ISBN: 9781447765608

©Pionissimo, 2023

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History tells us that since the obscure age of the invention of chess, many attempts have been made to incorporate alternative boards and pieces with different moves and powers. Even if they have often been seen as a distraction, sometimes as a heresy, interest in chess variants has never stopped. Now, in the age of computers, artificial intelligence and global networks, this interest is more active than ever. Hundreds of chess variants are created every year, some meeting with success.

The largest quantity of variants involves unorthodox pieces, often played on boards larger than the usual one of 64 squares. This is the vast area that this book explores. The author presents some of his most successful creations, such as Shako and Metamachy, together with a selection of brilliant games from other inventors. These chess variants are presented in detail and illustrated with diagrams and examples of play. An online appendix invites the reader to continue the exploration by playing the games on the Internet. No doubt they will be a source of inspiration for the next generation of players and insatiable creators.

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: for pionissimo
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9781447765608
  • Product Dimensions: US Trade (6 x 9 in / 152 x 229 mm)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements  7

Foreword 9

Opening 13
About capitalization 14
Vocabulary 14
The rules of chess 16
Notation for games 19

History of chess variants 21
Chess variants and chess literature 31
Chess variants and computers 37

A Catalog of Pieces 43
Betzas funny notation” for moves 45
Controversies and disputes: naming the fairy pieces 47
The Catalog 51
More pieces? 96
The values of the pieces 104
Playing with physical sets 111
An ideal set? 114

A Family of Chess Variants 117
Shako 119
Tamerlane II 125
Metamachy 135
Zanzibar 153
Pemba 169
Very Heavy Chess 175
Gigachess 181
Terachess 189
Fantastic XIII 201
Rollerball 209

A modern selection 217
Musketeer Chess 219
Sac Chess & Heavy Chess 227
Opulent Chess 231
Expanded Chess 237
Elven Chess 243
Eurasian Chess 249
Gross Chess 255
Hectochess 261
Enhanced Courier Chess 267
Obento Chess 273

The online Appendix 281

Bibliography 283
Web Sites 285

Index of persons 287
Index of games 290

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(created 05/05/2023)