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Chess 1010

Introduction

This 10x10 variant has a starting position that's very similar to that for Grand Chess, plus it uses identical pieces (only except for a couple of their names). In this variant, pawns have slightly different properties though, in that they are like pawns in standard chess. Chess 1010 (pronounced 'chess ten-ten') is a spinoff game from an earlier chess variant idea of mine. Chess 1010 has in its favour that it can be played with Grand Chess sets and boards. It also does not use the pawn promotion rules of Grand Grand Chess, which at least some people may not like so much when compared with the former's promotion rules.

That would be due to the latter's promotion rules' having slightly greater complexity and/or promotion depending on a friendly captured piece being already available. Any number of people may also prefer the setup position of Chess 1010 to that of 10x8 Capablanca Chess (with a rectangular board), and/or to that of 8x8 Seirawan Chess (with the compound pieces to be dropped as part of developing); like for Grand Chess, in Chess 1010 the rooks are already connected. My earlier 10x10 variant Sac Chess uses a full 30 pieces per side, with rooks waiting to be connnected, and that variant may have its own perceived pros and cons in comparison to Chess 1010, too.

A Game Courier preset for play is available. Note that some links are provided in the Notes section, for further reference.

Setup

White's pieces are as follows (Black's are similarly placed): a1, j1: Rooks; b2, i2: Knights; c2: Chancellor; d2: Archbishop; e2, h2: Bishops; f2: Queen; g2: King; a3, b3, c3, d3, e3, f3, g3, h3, i3, j3: Pawns.

Pieces

Note that 2 new types of pieces than in standard chess are introduced, besides the standard 6 types:

C = Chancellor (moves like N or R [without castling]), a standard fairy chess piece made famous by Capablanca Chess;

A = Archbishop (moves like N or B), a standard fairy chess piece made famous by Capablanca Chess.

Rules

There is no castling allowed.

Pawns move as in standard chess, e.g. initial 2-step & en passant allowed, & promotion upon reaching the last rank to any piece type given above, except King.

Notes

Here's my tentative estimates for the relative values of Chess 1010 pieces: P=1, N=3, B=3.5, R=5.5, Q=10, almost as in chess (note a 10x10 board increases the scope of the long-range pieces). My estimates for the new pieces in Chess 1010 are: C=9.5 (just as Q=R+B+P in value, C=R+N+P in value) A=7.5 (just as Q=R+B+P in value, A=N+B+P in value) I recall that a chess K has a fighting value of 4 (even though it cannot be exchanged); this value in my view might be rather oddly expressed (for lack of a known formula) as chess K = 32 x (max. # cells chess K moves to [eight]) divided by (# of cells on a chess board [sixty-four]) = 4; similarly, a Chess 1010 K has a fighting value of 32 x (max. # cells Chess 1010 K moves to [eight]) divided by (# of cells on a Chess 1010 board [one hundred]) = 2.5 approx. To try to help put the above values into perspective, a P would normally be worth 3 tempi in an open chess position, with 4 uncompensated tempi (or 4/3rds of a P) normally enough to be decisive (in the starting position for chess, White can deliver Scholar's mate if given four free tempi, as a crude example). For no net offsetting compensation in position, 1/3rd of a P would constitute a slight edge, 2/3rds of a P would be a large advantage and an extra P alone is an almost winning advantage. This scale of small to decisive advantages might similarly be used in assessing a material or tempi advantage in Chess 1010, assuming the other side has no net offsetting compensation in position (i.e. after weighing any positive features for each side such as safer king, more solid pawn structure, control of a significant open line or square, etc. - compare books on chess strategy for ideas on such, if one considers them applicable). Based on the above, a couple of 1 for 1 piece trades could often prove equitable in Chess 1010 games, i.e. Q for C, or B for N. Otherwise, there are a number of 2 for 1, 3 for 1, or 3 for 2 trades of pieces (perhaps including pawns) possibly equitable in Chess 1010. As in chess, pieces shouldn't be moved to squares where they are liable to be exposed to convenient attack by less valuable enemy pieces or pawns, if that then compels them to go to undesirable squares, or waste tempi due to retreating. The queens may thus take a while to activate safely, especially far from home, and that ought to hold true for other valuable piece types in Chess 1010, which should often be more at ease once some of the correspondingly less valuable enemy pieces disappear from the board. I'd note that the starting position for Grand Chess may not be too bad for the purpose of Chess 1010 either, since all the pawns in both camps are protected at the beginning. Somehow I prefer the difference (e.g. in my starting position, one of the pawns diagonally in front of either king is defended only by it initially, like in standard chess). One slight benefit/drawback may indeed be that at least the starting positions aren't identical, e.g. if the starting position a Chess 1010 set is ever to be on one's coffeetable, in case questions are asked by a guest who may think of Grand Chess. Chess 1010 was inspired by my earlier variant idea Crazyhouse 1010, rather than the other way around. Crazyhouse 1010 was an attempt at what could be a rather more computer-resistant chess-like game than, e.g., normal Crazyhouse (or Shogi) that would give fairly skilled humans a chance against an engine, at least for awhile. For this purpose I've supposed that a larger (10x10) board helps when playing vs. a machine, such as is the case with larger (e.g. standard 19x19) Go boards. Crazyhouse 1010 is a Crazyhouse version of Chess 1010, played using the same starting setup; the rules are: There is no castling allowed. A pawn may not be dropped on a player's 1st or last rank. Whether or not a pawn has yet moved, if it is on a player's 2nd or 3rd rank it may take a double step as would be the case in standard chess, but the opponent also may capture it en passant as would be appropriate. I'd note that the starting position for Grand Chess may not be too bad for the purpose of Crazyhouse 1010 either, again since all the pawns in both camps are protected at the beginning. Somehow I still prefer the difference (again e.g. in my starting position, one of the pawns diagonally in front of either king is defended only by it initially, like in standard chess). As before, one slight benefit/drawback may indeed be that at least the starting positions aren't identical, e.g. if a Crazyhouse 1010 set with two-sided Black & White playing tokens is ever to be on one's coffeetable, in case questions are asked by a guest who may think of Grand Chess. Bughouse 1010 would be a Bughouse version of Crazyhouse 1010, i.e. two teams of 2 players play, using two Chess 1010 board setups in similar fashion to normal Bughouse. A link about plain (8x8) Crazyhouse: http://www.chessvariants.org/other.dir/crazyhouse.html A link about plain (8x8) Bughouse: http://www.chessvariants.org/multiplayer.dir/tandem.html Here's a link that discusses Crazyhouse 1010 & Bughouse 1010, besides alluding briefly to the idea of Chess 1010: http://www.chesscanada.info/forum/entry.php?85-Updated-version-4-0-of-10x10-crazyhouse-bughouse-10x10-chess-variants-(Part-2-of-2) A link about Grand Chess, another 10x10 chess variant, for comparison: http://www.chessvariants.org/large.dir/freeling.html


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By Kevin Pacey.
Web page created: 2015-11-02. Web page last updated: 2015-11-02