The Chess Variant Pages

Rate Black Hole Chess for the 100 Squares Contest

Black Hole Chess


Blackhole setup

This is a chess variant being presented for the contest to devise a CV on 100 squares. It is played on an 11 by 9 board, with two extra squares on the board, each one square immediately behind each king, their co-ordinates being e0 and e12 respectively. These squares are considered part of the board and any piece which can legally enter them may do so.

Pawns promote on the 11th rank for white and on the 1st rank for black, so it is impossible for pawns to reach e0 or e12. These extra squares make for excellent hiding places for the kings. They can nestle themselves in there and place other pieces of their own on d1/e1/f1 or d11/e11/f11 and be practically invulnerable. Thus, mate is usually not possible until one side builds up a large material advantage and begins to overwhelm their opponent.

Castling is still legal, if the player wishes to, with each rook. The king would move two squares towards the rook and castle as if in the manner of queenside castling in FIDE chess. All of the standard prohibitions about castling (can't castle when in check, can't castle over check etc.) of course apply.

Pawns may move one, two, or three squares on their initial move, then one move thereafter. The en passant rule is exactly the same as it is in OMEGA CHESS. That is, for example, a white pawn on c8 could capture on b9 if black played pawn to b8 or b7, or a white pawn on c7 could capture on b8 if black played pawn to b7.

Marshall This game uses all orthodox pieces except for the piece designated by the "M" in the above diagram, which is the "Marshall" from Christian Freeling's GrandChess, which is a piece that combines the powers of a rook and knight.

There has also been one square removed from the board, its co-ordinate being e6. It is directly in the center of the board. No piece may land on it, nor move over in in a straight line. Knights and Marshalls using a knight-move may still "jump" over this square.

With one square removed, this board now has exactly 100 squares and fits into the requirements of the 100 Squares Contest. Hence the name of the game "BLACK HOLE" in reference to the hole in the middle of the board.


Fergus Duniho has written a ZRF file for playing Black Hole Chess with Zillions of Games. You may download it here:

Black Hole Chess is an entry in the 100 Squares Contest.
Written by David Short; ZRF info added by Fergus Duniho
WWW Page Created: Sat Mar 25, 2000; Last Updated: Fri Oct 20, 2000