The Chess Variant Pages

Global Chess

Walking through an interesting comic book store in Dayton, Ohio, I came across an interesting looking Chess variant that was on sale for an extreme price of about $80US. It was a standard chess game, except for the fact that it was played on a sphere.

Now, obviously it wasn't an actual sphere - that would make a huge box. It had two rotating discs, with a dartboard-ish sectioning that represented a good old fashioned sphere. Pieces of both sides were placed in the poles of either end of the globe, and the game was played as normal, except for the fact that there was no castling (no real point) and the fact that the gameboard was a sphere, wrapping the edges.

The setup is basically as you would expect it, the same - the westmost rook on A1, going east to the eastmost rook on H1, and the pawns north of them. The black pieces being on the same longitude.

One of the interesting aspects of Global Chess is that the bishops can both reach any square, due to the wrapping nature of the poles - any of the 'squares' in the inner circle of a pole has two spaces that are diagonal to it, allowing the bishop to technically be able to go anywhere, although generally still being limited until the board clears out some.

I've made a ZRF file of this for Zillions, but due to the size of the board, it can only be played in 1024x768 or higher. If you still want a copy, feel free to e-mail me.

Editor's note: Global Chess is a commercial variant. For more information see our link page.

Written by Robert LeRoy.
WWW page created: March 6, 2000.