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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2005-06-13
 By Fergus  Duniho. Caïssa Britannia. British themed variant with Lions, Unicorns, Dragons, Anglican Bishops, and a royal Queen. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

A fresh idea for a variant that at first made me wonder if the game was truly playable. The answer is a resounding yes!

Andy Maxson wrote on 2007-02-12 UTCAverage ★★★
T.R. Dawson didn't invent the leo. You must be confused with the grasshopper

David Paulowich wrote on 2006-12-30 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
We certainly have come a long way since Shatranj! This game combines Royal Queens with a fascinating selection of long range pieces. As for the [2006-12-29] question, in my experience a royal piece can legally step away from a Cannon (or Vao or Lion) along the line of attack. Once you pick the royal piece up, it no longer serves as a screen to the attacking piece. The '' file should verify my interpretation.

Claudio Martins Jaguaribe wrote on 2006-10-10 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This game, I don't know why, keeps me awake repeating its name in my mind,
on and on.

Just loved it!

Fegus, beware... You are too close from the truth... The Grail... The Holy
Blood! I guess uoy saw The Da Vinci Code in the movies, if you look well,
you'll see at Sir Ian McKellen's house a chess set in the studio where
they explain about the plot. A very nice chess set, by the way.

Abdul-Rahman Sibahi wrote on 2006-10-08 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I have a question regarding the rules. A Queen may not cross a square
threatened by the enemy, and the Two Queens can't face each other,
because they will both be in check.

What if the Enemy Queen was stuck in the last rank by a Rook or two
Dragons, is it possible to deliver check from a far by the Queen ? She is
not in check because the Enemy Queen can't get there, so I don't see why

Larry Smith wrote on 2005-06-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Looking back over the previous postings, I realized that I had not given
this game an evaluation.

Let me first say that I have a special bias toward the 10x10 field, and
always look for a good game to play on it.  Examples too numerous to list

If all that has been used to judge this game is its Zillions
implementation, a player will not correctly experience this game. 
Zillions has a tendency to over-value a few of the pieces, and its
strategic 'thought' process is quite lacking.  Until someone develops a
decent DLL engine, this game is best played between living opponents.  And
please understand that this is not a negative evaluation of Zillions, a
great game engine that is designed for general game play.

I've had the joy of playing this game against a young relative recently. 
Granted we were not that expert in play and at first got movements of a
couple of pieces confused but we very much enjoyed several games.  It had
a slight XiangQi feel to it, with the whole playing field acting as
the 'palace'.  

[I have several plastic chess sets with pieces trimmed with gold paint to
denote special powers.  We use modified Bishops for Unicorns, modified
Rooks for Lions and modified Knights for Dragons.]

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2005-04-19 UTCGood ★★★★
'Since this game is British in theme, the Bishops are Anglican instead of Catholic. Unlike the Catholic Bishops, who took a vow to remain on one color, the Anglican Bishops didn't make this vow'. Not of good taste this description of the piece, but, as a related notice, the new Pope is the ultra-conservator Joseph Ratzinger, from Germany.

Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-07 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
An excellent game with an excellent theme. Maybe I'll have to do a 'Swedish Chess' (since that's my heritage). Since Vikings once lived in Sweden, I guess I'd have to include elements from Hnefatl (or however that game is pronounced/spelled)...

Mark Thompson wrote on 2004-09-26 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I like the way this game addresses the problem of the too-powerful royal
piece (which can make it hard to win the game) by the rule that the queen
cannot slide through check. That seems original and yet chesslike, and
sounds likely to do the trick. The explanation on this page was a little
hard for me to decipher, however: I'd suggest rephrasing somehow to
remove the reference to queens capturing other queens. Is 'cover' as you
use it here a standard chess term? I hadn't run across it yet.

I wish the board had a fourth color, so that each dragon would be
restricted to squares of one color. 

Shouldn't there be a piece for Ireland? A Harp, perhaps? No idea what it
would do, though.

'There must be dozens of possible names that would suit it better and
have the advantage of being offensive.' Surely Charles simply forgot to
type the word 'not' in this sentence.

'the three heraldic-based pieces could be considered 'brutish'.' I
imagine Charles G's use of 'brutish' harks back to the use of 'brute'
to mean 'beast,' which is comprehensible enough. The idea that a CV
inventor's choice of a name should be second-guessed at length is
certainly odd, though.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-09-25 UTCPoor ★
Firstly, sorry for 'oppinion' (sic). That was a typo on my part.
	Secondly, I have NEVER mentioned the Lion in my comments on this variant,
so your accusation of anti-Scottish prejudice is unfounded abuse, and it
happens to be untrue. Changing their relative powers would not help.
	Thirdly, have you had any positive British response to this variant? It
may be a perfectly playable game, but its theme does not work well enough
to warrant the name British Chess. In every historic real British variant
that I can think of, Bishop means what it means in FIDE Chess. There must
be dozens of possible names that would suit it better and have the
advantage of being offensive. Here are a few that I can think of; other
regular contributors might like to suggest others.
	American Revolutionary Chess - highlights origin in nation founded in
move away from being British, but has disadvantage of no connection with
French Revolutionary Chess.
	Botched Chess - alphabetically close to original for ease of finding,
reflects at least one British opinion of it, ties in with my coinage
'Botched Bishop' for a Bishop relying on an exclusively non-capturing
move for unbinding.
	Brutish Chess - alphabetically close to original for ease of finding,
only one letter different for recognition, and the three heraldic-based
pieces could be considered 'brutish'.
	Hollywood Chess - after the world's most famous faux-Britain factory.
	Supporter Chess - describes the heraldic rôle common to the three exotic
pieces, and the only one in which the Lion is specifically English.
	Unbritish Chess - accurately describes both the game's origin and its
failure to 'pass' as British.

Michael Nelson wrote on 2003-02-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
A really good game--the pieces are unusual, but no so unusual that clarity is seriously compromised. The piece set works well together.

Carlos Martín wrote on 2003-02-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Another way to make playable a game with a royal Queen would have been to
restrict her movement within a 'Palace' (like the General in Chinese
Chess), for example an area of 4x3 squares (from d3 to g1 for white); and
make the Prince Consort confined to the Palace as well (like the

The Queen could move exactly as in FIDE Chess and the Prince Consort
exactly as the King.


The idea of 'country-themed' games seems to me highly original. I could
imagine a 'German Chess' with Panzers, U-Boats and Zeppelins (and maybe a
royal Kaiser), or a 'French Chess' with Musketeers, or a 'Spanish Chess'
with Caravels, ...etc.

Moussambani wrote on 2003-01-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Nice! Green for northen ireland is a must. I'd say no more dragons. Four dragons on the board, they'll never find each other. Looks good for me. You have no piece for northern ireland...

Peter Aronson wrote on 2003-01-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This looks like fun, Fergus. I've been wondering what this was ever since it appeared in the PBeM system a year or two years ago. I particularly like that even with the advanced Pawn array, all of the Pawns are protected in the opening setup -- not easy.

It'd probably be too powerful, but it might have been amusing to have made the Dragon a Nightrider too, making it a Rocket-rider or Squirrel-rider. With the current definition I would think it would be rather weak in the endgame.

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