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Ultrachess was invented in New York city, in the third quarter of the 20th century. It was described by John Gollon (author of Chess Variations: Ancient, Regional, and Modern in a correspondence to John Ayer. Compare the game with Ministers Chess (a commercial chess variant on a 9 by 9 board, the link leads you to the company's webpage), or with Not-particulary-new Chess.


The board is nine squares by eight, with a black square at white's right. The first rank is filled thus: rook, knight, bishop, queen, king, queen, bishop, knight, rook for both players, the setup being symmetrical both with respect to a point and with respect to a line. The second rank is pawns.

This setup puts both bishops on one side on the same color. Therefore the bishop and knight in one wing may be switched, either by both players at the start of the game or by either player during the game, provided that neither piece has yet moved; the exchange counts as a move. All other rules are as in normal chess.

Webpage made by Hans Bodlaender, based upon email of John Ayer.
WWW page created: January 16, 2003.