Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Is This a New Chess Variant?

I've had this in mind for a long time but I've never played it, never seen it played nor heard it described by anyone else:

Each player has the conventional 16 pieces, which move in the conventional ways. The game is played on a board of 100 squares, 10x10, a to j and 1 to 10. White's pieces begin on b2 through b9 and his pawns on c2 through c9, Black's pieces start on i2 through i9 and his pawns on h2 through h9. In other words, at the beginning of the game there is an open file on either side of the pieces and an open rank behind the pieces. White's pawns promote on 10 and black's promote on 1, White may capture en passant from 5 to 6 and Black from 6 to 5.

Has anyone played this or heard of it? Would anyone be interested in playing it? Does anyone know of a virtual space where this could easily be set up and played? (Even for a non-IT-geek such as myself?) Does anyone know where I could get a 10x10 board which would fit standard tournament-size pieces?

It seems to me that a potential weakness of this variant would be that White moving 1.Rook a1 or 1.Rook j1 would be so powerful a move that the advantage would be impossible to overcome between players of comparable skill with more than a passing familiarity with the variant. But I can't be sure without actually playing, I'm simply not a good enough chess player to work that out in my head.

Sincere thanks in advance for any comments.

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