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This item is a book, magazine, journal or pamphlet
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2003-02-19
 Author: John  Gollon. Chess Variations: Ancient, Regional, and Modern. Book that describes a variety of chess variants.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2018-07-02 UTC

This is also the first book I read on Chess variants. I liked how it focused on clearly describing the rules of several games. It started my interest in the subject, though it remained a passing interest until computer software provided the opportunity for playing Chess variants.


John Ayer wrote on 2005-03-25 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The first edition contained several errors that I hope were corrected in the second. In Chapter 2, Chaturaji, the starting positions of the green and yellow forces have been transposed. Chapter 11, Grande Acedrex, does not note that a pawn reaching the last rank in the f file is promoted to aanca (gryphon). Chapter 15, Turkish Great Chess Variation 2 (Atranj or Qatranj), omits from the starting array four knights at e3, f3, e8, and f8. In Chapter 21, Korean Chess, he failed to note that a hpo (cannon) may not capture another cannon. In Chapter 22, Japanese Chess (Shogi), the table of starting positions contains three errors: the kaku (bishops) start on b2 and h8, the hisha (rooks) start on h2 and b8, and the next-to-last pawn starts on h7, not h4. Chapter 23, Tsui Shogi, states that captured pieces are returned to play, as in Shogi. In fact they stay dead. The rules are correctly stated on this website (well, tsui shogi, or chu shogi, is off-site). In addition we have found that Chapter 1, Chaturanga, is inauthentic.

Anonymous wrote on 2003-05-23 UTCGood ★★★★
Gollon's book covers the following variants in separate chapters:

Two-handed and four-handed Chaturanga;
Shatranj;
Oblong Chess;
Round or Byzantine Chess;
Shatranj Kamil (Perfect or Complete Chess) in two forms;
Shatranj al-Husun (Citadel Chess);
Timur's Chess;
other forms of Great Chess;
Courier Chess;
Chinese, Korean, Japanese, 'intermediate Japanese', Malay, Burmese, and
Thai chess;
San-Kwo-Chi;
Double Chess;
Jetan, or Martian Chess;
Chancellor Chess;
Capablanca's Chess;
Kriegspiel;
Nieuchess (an Avalon Hill game); and
Three-dimensional chess.

Each chapter provides some background on the variant described and
includes a sample game or two, in addition to the piece descriptions and
rules.

In a final 'Odds and Ends' chapter, he covers variants playable on a
regular 8x8 board plus dice or extra knights.

There is also a short section on 'The Construction of Sets' as well.

Anonymous wrote on 2003-05-19 UTCGood ★★★★
Gollon's 'Chess Variations' is informative and provides a decent tour of
the subject, including (if memory serves) such historical variants as
Byzantine Chess and Chaturanga, as well as Capablanca's Chess.

It's disappointing to learn that it recently went out of print;
discovering and reading 'Chess Variations' is what revived my interest
in chess variants as an adult.  If you can't find it in your library,
perhaps your librarian can get it via inter-library loan. A much-used copy
of this book was available in the Minot, North Dakota, public library as
of 1997, when I last visited that area.

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