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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2005-05-17
 Author: Michael  Ireland. Viking Chess Set. Game board and pieces in search of rules. (Cells: 37) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Michael Ireland wrote on 2019-01-31 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Hello Anthony

Thank you for replying after all these years that the post has been up.  I saw your post, I do care, and I am replying here.  I am the Michael Ireland who wrote the original post.  I have been trying to reply through my account but it has gone dormant and I haven't been able to successfully logon, so am replying anonymously.  I have not found my answers yet but I am pretty sure this is NOT byzantine chess.

I will do my best to answer your questions.

It has been a long time since I played the game but this is how I think it worked. The board is made up of "rings" and "crosses" (spaces).  There is a centre star (space) in the middle which acts like a cross in all regards but a piece cannot start there. Each player starts with all of their pieces off the board.  There is a king, 2 rooks (flat tops), 2 bishops (spikes) and 4 pawns per side. On their first turn (white goes first) each player places their king anywhere on the board on any "cross" but not on the centre star (I believe that no piece could start on the centre star because it gives too much of an advantage to start there - but I am not 100% certain of the rule).  Then in the second and subsequent turns, each player can either move an existing piece or bring another piece onto the board as per turn 1.  The goal of the game is to checkmate your opponent's king as in regular chess.  Different pieces move differently.  A pawn or the king can move from one cross to another cross in any direction.  A rook moves up to 3 crosses up or down, or one cross to the side.  A bishop moves up to 3 crosses around one of the rings, or one cross up or down.  Any piece once on the board can enter the star in the middle.  A rook can move through it.  A player can take an opponent's piece by moving a piece into their opponent's piece's cross.  Once a piece is removed from the board it is gone.  I don't belive there is a special move in this game that makes a pawn become another piece like a rook or bishop.

That is it, essentially, but again, I am putting this together from a hazy recollection having not played for 40 years or so.

I hope this answers your questions but I want to say that your query made me go through the process of writing things down here and in a way, helped me work back to an approximation of how the game worked (with a few pieces of the puzzle still needed).  I think I could try playing it again and seeing how things worked.

I have not given up hoping someone will see this and recognize the game and the rules, but talking about it is always good.  So thank you again for replying!

Michael Ireland

PS: I did come up with one tantalizing lead about the manufacturer Arne Basse and this particular chess variant set.  Online I found a photo of a regular chess set that clearly was made by the same manufacturer because the board had the same leather surface (but with a regular chess grid) and the carved wooden pieces were the same except there were queens and knights. No other information was attached to the photo sadly but it was an interesting find.