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Chess in the Fast Lane

by Francois Tremblay, November 2000

This variant was made for the "design a 41-squares variant" contest. My first inspiration was the "Edge Chess" variant, which I thought was an incredible concept. However, I thought some people would prefer to play a simplified version. Since this concept fits perfectly with the "41-squares" premise, here is "Chess in the Fast Lane".
NOTE : Since, for the purpose of the "41-squares" contest, a square is defined as "cell that can contain a piece", and only lanes or non-grouped squares can contain pieces, this variant has only 41 such squares (even if it is played on a normal board).

Starting positions in Chess in the Fast Lane Normal rules apply, except for the following exceptions.

The board is composed of the usual array of squares, but most squares are grouped in lanes, as illustrated on the starting position image (a lane is represented by a black rectangle). Both are important, for a reason which will soon become apparent.

Movement rules :
  • Only one piece may be located in a lane.
  • A piece located in a lane is considered to occupy all its squares simultaneously. It may also move, capture and get captured from any square in the lane.
  • An exception is that the piece in a lane may, if desired, "give way" to a friendly piece, at the condition that it does not stop inside the lane. The friendly piece is NOT counted as being part of the lane, and must continue on its normal movement lines.
  • A piece in movement may NOT be considered as being part of a lane until it stops in one. Otherwise, normal movement rules are applied (using the 64 squares of the normal board).

Other rules :

  • No en passant.
  • Pawns may not double-move.
  • Pawns cannot promote to queen, only to knight or fool (bishop).

If you play a game, please send me an email at (email removed contact us for address) to tell me how it went.


Here is a Zillions of Games implementation of Chess in the Fast Lane This ZRF-file has been made by Peter Aronson.
Written by Francois Tremblay.
WWW page created: November 2, 2000. Last modified: November 6, 2000.