The Chess Variant 

Heraldic chess

Modest Solans from Spain has made Heraldic Chess. This is a set, consisting of a set of chess pieces, who have an additional color given to them (see the pictures below), three dice with chess symbols, and a pack of cards with chess symbols on them.

The beautifully crafted sets can be obtained (while supplies are lasting) from Modest Solans. Write to:

Modest Solans
Dr. Oliva, 9
18500 Guadix - Granada
E-Mail: m_(email removed contact us for address)

The set can be used to play several different games, each introducing an element of randomisation to the game of chess. For instance, one can use the dice and move pieces whose symbols come up when throwing the dice. Instead, one can use a set of cards; each player receives an agreed number of cards (between six and sixteen is recommended). The player then selects a card, moves with the piece displayed on the card, discards the card, and takes a new card.

These cards can also be used to generate random setups for playing games like Fischer's Random Chess.

An important difference of these games with older card or dice chess games is that here all pieces are distinct. For instance, one of white's rooks is partly coloured orange, while the other rook is partly coloured purple. To move the `orange rook', white must have the card with the orange rook, or throw an orange rook: usual random chess games just have a card or die roll representing both rooks.

I was impressed by the fine quality of the materials. Unfortunately, this game is not (yet?) available commercially; write to Modest Solans for information.


The following thumbnail picture is a hyperlink, to a full size (46K) photo of Annefleur Bodlaender at the age of three, playing with Heraldic Chess.

Written by Hans Bodlaender. First four photo's made on a SGI workstation by Hans Bodlaender. Last photo made by Brigit Bodlaender.
WWW page created: June 17, 1996. Last modified: May 15, 2001.