The Chess Variant Pages


This game is attributed by Pritchard to Ralph Betza, and said to be invented in 1973. However, Ralph Betza wrote me the following about this game:
A variant which I was the one to report, and which I probably didn't help to invent (but can't be sure) is Weak!.

Black has the advantage; this game was played at the Columbia University Chess Club (NY) in the 1960s.

The name of the game is due to the fact that there are seven nights in a week.


The game is played with normal chess rules, but with a very special opening setup. While white has its normal array, black has a King on e8, seven Knights on the back row, 8 Pawns in the usual places, and 8 extra Pawns arranged as he pleases on his third and fourth ranks.

Pritchard gives the following opening setup. Note that (while according to Pritchard, this is the only opening setup), this is just an example of a possible manner in which black can start, as he may arrange his extra pawns as he pleases.

King e1; Queen d1; Rook a1, h1; Knight b1, g1; Bishop c1, f1; Pawn a2, b2, c2, d2, e2, f2, g2, h2.

King e8; Knight a8, b8, c8, d8, f8, g8, h8; Pawn a7, b5, b7, c5, c6, c7, d5, d7, e5, e7, f5, f6, f7, g5, g7, h7.

Blacks pawns on the 6th and 5th row do not have a double initial step.

Text by Ralph Betza and Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: 1995 or 1996. Last modified: February 14, 2001.