The Chess Variant Pages

Real chess

Fischer Random Chess is probably at this moment the most well known game of a large family of chess variants: those where one plays from an opening setup where the major pieces are mixed on their first rows. Real chess is one of those games in the family that predates Fischer's proposal by more than half a century.

This game was invented by E. I. Csaszar in 1934. It differs from the perhaps more well known Baseline chess by its castling rules.


The game starts with only the pawns on their respective opening squares.



Then, players put turnwise one of their eight major pieces on an empty square at the first row at their side of the board. When all pieces are placed, the game starts. One plays using the usual rules of chess, but with the following castling rule.

A player can castle with a king and a rook, when the king has not moved, that rook has not moved, the king is not in check, and the king moves, while castling, not into check or over an attacked square, and all the squares the rook and king move over or to are empty. (These are more or less the usual conditions of castling.) When castling, the rook moves two squares in the direction of the king, and the king moves to the square that was passed over by the rook. So, for instance when a rook on c1 and a king on d1 castle, the rook moves to e1, and the king stays at d1. When a rook on c1 and a king on g1 castle, the rook moves to e1 and the king to d1. A rook on g1 cannot castle with a king on h1.

Written by: Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: January 22, 1997. Last modified: February 18, 2000.