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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2000-07-10
 By David  Short. Double Chess 16 x 8. On 16 by 8 board. (16x8, Cells: 128) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

You have to love such a big board variant that doubles-down (and then some) on the FIDE armies' piece types.

David Paulowich wrote on 2006-03-16 UTCGood ★★★★
The more I play games with multiple powerful pieces, the more fond of Shatranj I become! Getting back to this particular variant, I dislike the idea of castling with an a-file or p-file rook. Free castling with the 'near rooks' will still allow the King to move up to 4 squares.

A search for *Pairwise* on the Game Courier Game Logs will turn up my two games of 'Pairwise Drop Chess' from 2004 - the 'free castling with the two nearest rooks' rule is given in the comments below each game.

Greg Strong wrote on 2004-11-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Noticing that I haven't previously commented on this, I must also give this an 'Excellent.' This varient is much more fun that I expected; the openings seem tame because the board is so large, but due the large amount of material, things become deadly in short order.

James Spratt wrote on 2004-11-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
For the record.

James Spratt wrote on 2004-07-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Hi, David Short: That's not a battle, that's a WAR, and another excellent idea I wish I'd invented! Even though I'm a bit green to online play, THIS is one I want to try sometime soon. Great Idea!! James Spratt

Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-05-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This is a simple use of two boards and two sets - either two standard sets with one of the Kings marked as a Queen (e.g. with a coloured string tied round it) or two sets of which at least one has a spare Queen (I have often thought that a Henry the Eighth novelty set with spare Queens would reflect history well). If going down the King-marking route an interesting further variation would be to mark the d-file piece as a Marshal (Rook+Knight) and the m-file piece as a Cardinal (Bishop+Knight). This would have the advantage of being able to refer unambiguously to the 'Marshal's Bishop', 'Cardinal's Knight's Pawn' et cetera!

David Short wrote on 2002-04-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Now that this comments page is up, I'd like to ask the regular 
readers of to comment on Doublechess.
Doublechess is the first chess variant which I invented, and I
think it is my best one of all the ones I have created. It is my
pride and joy. At the time I submitted it to this site I had learned
that I was just a few months too late to enter it into the Large
Variants contest that was being held at the time. What a pity!
I feel that Doublechess would have been a very strong contender,
but by the time I first learned of this site's existence, the 
deadline for submissions for the contest had passed.

Doublechess' page on this site is unique in many ways. You
won't find too many other games on this site which have sample
games linked to it, and one of the games is annotated in detail.
(The link to my 'Doublechess web site' is no longer valid.)
Doublechess can be played by email on Richard's Play By Email
server, and I frequently conduct Doublechess tournaments on PBM.
The next one may be beginning in a few months and I will post
an announcement about it here (as I did recently for the forthcoming
Omegachess tournament which I will be running on PBM as well) when
I am ready to begin it.

Doublechess is a very simple variant. Simply lay two 8 by 8 chess
boards side by side. Use two chess sets, and replace the second
set of kings with a third set of queens. (if one does not have a
third set of chess queen pieces handy, substitutes can be used until
they are captured. Coins work well, for instance, a penny for a
white queen and a nickel for a black queen.) Set up the first army
of pieces in the traditional setup (RBNQKBRN) in files E to L
and the second army out in the wings (RBNQ, QBNR) in files A to D
and M to P. 

You will notice a few interesting strategic points about Doublechess.
Opposing bishops start along the same diagonals as each other,
often promting them to be quickly traded off if the opportunity
presents itself. If they avoid an early exchange, bishops of like
color can double themselves along the same diagonal to form a battery
in much the same way that one might double their rooks along the same
file in chess. Notice that whereas white begins with two dark squared
bishops on the left side of the board, or queenside (in Doublechess
the 'queenside' refers to files A to H, and 'kingside' refers to
files I to P, mimicking the same sides of the boards which these
terms refer to in regular chess), and black has two light squared
bishops on the queenside. Likewise, white has two light squared
bishops to start the game on the kingside, and black has two dark
squared bishops on each side. Each side can try to exploit the other's
weaknesses on light or dark squares on each half of the board.

The way the board is set up, as players begin to develop their pieces
and pawns, the pieces tend to engage each other on each half of the
board in about the same amount of time as they do in regular chess.
In the middle game it is often the case where pieces will be interacting
with each other and threatening each other on each half of the board
completely independent from what is going on on the other side of the
board. In some ways then, Doublechess is like playing two games in one,
though one really needs to look at the board as a whole to truly
understand and appreciate the game.

There are other strategic differences between Doublechess and regular
chess which make my variant exciting and unique. It is more common
to sacrifice material for attack in Doublechess than it is in regular
chess, since one has so much material at one's disposal to attack with.
In Doublechess then, obviously king safety becomes extremely important.
Thus another axiom of dc is that it is quite possible to win despite
a material disadvantage, more often than one can overcome such a
deficit in regular chess. As long as one has enough pieces to launch
an attack, they can make things interesting.

I should also point out that the one rule that is unique and 
distinctive to Doublechess is the castling rule (see dc's page for
full explanation of the castling rule), and the pros and cons of
long castling vs. short castling can be long debated. It's another
twist to the game which makes it interesting. 

One advantage that my variant has over other CVs is that it only 
uses orthodox pieces, so it is very easy to learn how to play.
Perhaps more than any other CV, Doublechess has the 'feel' of regular
chess. There is a ZRF file available for download at the bottom of
Doublechess' page. I urge everyone who has not played it yet who owns
ZILLIONS OF GAMES to download Doublechess and try it out.
I welcome comments from everyone, pro or con, as to how they would
rate Doublechess as a chess variant. What are this variants'
strengths and weaknesses? Finally I would say that, although I 
realize I am very biased in the matter ;-)  I feel that Doublechess
is such an excellent variant that it deserves consideration as one
of this site's 'Recognized Chess Variants'  and as inventor of this
game I am necessarily disqualified from nominating it to that position.
Might someone else who has an equal appreciation for this game take
up the gauntlet and nominate it along with an eloquent essay on my
game's merits?

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