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Pawn-Only Chess


This game rules were sent to us by Bill Zinsmeyer. According to intormation given by his friend, "pawns only" is a training method recommended in the "Comprehensive Chess Course series" of books by Lev Alburt (sp?).  However, we believe Alburt gives credit to one of the Russian chess schools for the original invention.


The board for the game is as in orthodox chess. All pawns start from their normal positions, but there are no other pieces on the board (and no Kings too).  Pawn movement and capturing are normal.  The winner is the side to promote to a Queen first; play does not continue after getting a Queen (in other words, who reachs the last row, wins.)


There are some variants of this game. They were mentioned in Martin Gardner books. One of them is six pawns. It is played on 3x3 board. Each player has tree pawns (white in row 1 and black in row 3). Pawns move and capture as in orthodox chess but could capture also pawn, standing left or right to them. The game is won when:
  1. one of the pawn reaches the last row
  2. all the pawn of the opponent captured
  3. the opponent pawns cannot move.
Other variants based on that rules are eight pawns (played on 4x4 board), and in general N pawns, where N is any number.

Written by Pavel Tikhomirov. Information based upon e-mail by Bill Zinsmeyer.
WWW page created: June 28, 1999.