by John Ayer
John W. Gast, of Worthington, Ohio created this variation in 1969.
The board is twelve squares by twelve, checkered, with a white square on each
player's right. White's first rank is as follows, from left to right: rook,
knight, guard, archer, bishop, queen, king, bishop, archer, guard, knight, rook.
The second rank is full of pawns. Black's setup mirrors white's.
- The knight has an ordinary knight's leap, but to keep the piece from being
reduced to insignificance by the size of the board, the knight is also given
a longer leap, to the opposite corner of a rectangle either four squares by
two or three by three.
- The guard can move either as bishop or as (enhanced) knight
- the archer as rook or (enhanced) knight.
- The pawn's reach has also been extended. A pawn's first move can be one,
two, three, or four squares. If the first move is one square, the second can
be three. Thereafter a pawn may move one or two squares forward, and may
capture one or two squares diagonally forward. Capture en passant
possible on the last step of a four-square move.
- The king can castle with an archer, moving two squares toward the archer
and the archer being shifted to the square overleapt. Thereafter the king
may castle again, with the rook on that same side of the board, moving two
squares toward the rook and the rook being shifted to the square overleapt.
Neither piece may have moved, except the king in a previous castling move.
The castling king may not move into, out of, or through check. If no piece
intervenes between the king and a rook, the king may castle directly with
the rook, moving four squares toward the rook and the rook leaping to the
square just inboard of the king. If no piece intervenes between the king and
a rook except the archer (none of them having moved), the king may castle
with both at once, the king moving four squares toward the rook, the rook
leaping to the third of those squares, and the archer being shifted two
squares toward the centerline, as if the king had castled with it.
The rules are those of standard Chess, except for the above setup and pieces.
Mr. Gast seems to have exhausted the possibilities of his first invention
pretty quickly, because he soon followed it up with a second. This one had a
board fourteen squares wide by (preferably) twelve across (Mr. Gast and his
friends tried a board fourteen squares across, but found that less
My notes are a little too spare, but I believe there was again a white square
at each player's right, white's first rank being rook, knight, guard, archer,
bishop, queen, king, pope, queen, bishop, archer, guard, knight, rook. The pope
moves as rook, bishop, or knight.
You can also play this game by email,
using the web-based Play by Mail
system on this site using
The setup graphic was created using the Play by Mail