A long time ago, I was interested in chess variations; for example, I made a chess-for-four players, which I played with my friends. My rating in tournamentchess was about 2000.
I discovered some possible chess rules, which I thought I should make you aware of. The purpose of each of these rules is the same, increase the material and the capacity of the moves, so as to giving the game more structure. The game should then be normally be shorter.
One could extend this say by saying that when a pawn has not yet reached the fourth rank, it can move two steps. Pawn then become more active in the earlier parts of the game. Further, on a board more than eight deep (such as the one for four players), it is needed, otherwise the paws become too slow.
a. I think that one should perhaps put the piece that can move both as a rook and a knight on the queen's side. The reason is that this piece will be weaker than the one that moves as a rook and a bishop, and the queen's side already has more material than the king's side. One might still call the queen's side piece the archbishop and the king's side piece the chancellor, though.
b. I think that perhaps that the knight should be put adjacent to the bishops, which in their turn adjacent to the queen and the king. The reason is that the knights become weaker towards the sides of the board, and therefore should be put more towards the center. Thus the board would be:
Black: Rook Archbishop Knight Bishop Queen King Bishop Knight Chancellor Rook Pawn Pawn Pawn Pawn Pawn Pawn Pawn Pawn Pawn Pawn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pawn Pawn Pawn Pawn Pawn Pawn Pawn Pawn Pawn Pawn White: Rook Archbishop Knight Bishop Queen King Bishop Knight Chancellor Rook
I think that a 10 ten deep board defeats the purpose of making the game faster and more strategic, so I think that one should work only with the eight deep board (thus the same reason that made Lasker and Capablanca switch to an eight ranks deep board).
But I think that only experimentation by good strength player could actually tell what the rules ought to be.
It would be fun to see a chess such as the MacChess by Wim van Beusekom <(email removed contact us for address) ware.nl> extended to some form of Capablanca's chess.
Hans Aberg * Email: Hans Aberg <mailto:(email removed contact us for address) ber.ams.org> * Home Page: <http://www.matematik.su.se/~haberg/> * AMS member listing: <http://www.ams.org/cml/>