The Chess Variant Pages


On Friday, February 13, 1998, Eric Greenwood wrote me:
Dear Hans,
I was staring at Grandchess for too long one day, and suddenly was struck by the idea that, Hey, THIS position looks like several moves have been made already-kinda like an opening-game middle game position (see, TOLD you it was too long! :-) anyway, I was wondering if all piece positions of Grandchess could have come from a starting backrow setup position, and from this idea, Pre-Grandchess was born.

(...) The Idea and the game is a tribute to the great invention of Christian Freeling, inventor of Grandchess.


Pre-Grandchess is played on a ten by ten board. The starting setup is as follows:

White: King e1; Queen c1; Cardinal f1; Marshal h1; Rook a1, j1; Knight d1, g1; Bishop b1, c1; Pawn a2, b2, c2, d2, e2, f2, g2, h2, i2, j2.

Black: King e10; Queen c10; Cardinal f10; Marshal h10; Rook a10, j10; Knight d10, g10; Bishop b10, c10; Pawn a9, b9, c9, d9, e9, f9, g9, h9, i9, j9.

Movement of pieces

The pieces move as in Freeling's grand chess, i.e., the cardinal can move as bishop or as knight, the marshall can move as rook or knight, and other pieces move as usual, but the pawns may only take a double step from their third row, and promote on the 8th, 9th and 10th row to any piece lost to the promoting player. Players may not castle.


Using this setup and these rules, two opponents can, with a single move from each of their pieces except the Rooks, re-create the Grandchess starting position exactly and play a game from there! Of course, the more adventurous of us will probably deviate from that setup somewhere along the line.....
Written by Eric Greenwood, edited by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: February 23, 1998.