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The Chess Variant Pages

New Chess

This page contains one or more presets for playing a game online with Game Courier, an online server for playing Chess variants by correspondence.

In New Chess the rules are the same as in orthodox chess, except that pieces are placed in the reserve, while the pawns, as usual, are placed on the second row. The king is placed on its regular square. Players may either move a piece or pawn, or drop a piece from the reserve. Pieces may only be dropped on the first four ranks, or on a friendly pawn. In the latter case the removed friendly pawn must immediately be relocated to an empty position, but not beyond the fourth rank, and not on the first rank. The two bishops must be dropped on different colours. Castling can be performed with a rook on a corner square. Note that pieces and pawns are allowed to move before all pieces have been dropped.

Since the pawns are placed on the board from the start, the dropping phase is shorter than in other drop variants. Thanks to the pawn relocation procedure, there is great freedom in the placement of the pawns, anyway. This also implies that the pieces in the reserve have recourse to the positions where the pawns are located. In the opening phase, the same pawn can be relocated several times, by dropping pieces on it. Note that you are not allowed to make a pawn-relocation if in check. Don't expect that early attacks will be fruitful. The possibilities of defense, and counter-attack, are vast.

This variant is ideal for training, and for avoding tedious opening theory. Positions will be interesting and combative nevertheless. The variance, and possible developments, are immense. There are two variants of New Chess: (1) rooks are exterior, (2) rooks are already placed on the corner positions. The variant with rooks already placed is more conservative (and perhaps also the best), but both variants are serious forms of chess that put great demands on the players, both strategically and tactically. In the variant with exterior rooks, one would think that it's too easy to get an open file for a rook. But the opponent can always plug up the file by a pawn relocation, and the rook risks becoming an object of attack.

The following preset makes a reasonably good validity check of moves. Moves are automated, including castling and the 'en passant' move. Pieces can be moved by pointing and clicking. When promoting a pawn, it will automatically turn into a Queen. Should you prefer another piece then you must type it manually (e.g., add N a8; capture a7). Use small piece-letters for black. E-mails to your opponent are generated, but you can play online by intermittently pressing the browser's update button.

One move is not automated: when dropping a piece on your own pawn, you must first relocate the pawn by an 'add', and then make the move separated by a semicolon. Type, for instance, "add P f3; N i7-f2". For black, use small piece-letters.

For convenience, the bishops in the reserve are positioned on coloured squares. It's not allowed to drop a bishop on another colour than its colour square. The preset performs some checks, but the players should be alert to this rule. Note also that you are not allowed to make a pawn-relocation if in check (because it is a double-move). The preset does not enforce this particular rule, so the players must be aware of this.

(1) New Chess

(2) New Chess (rooks placed)

You can also download a Zillions implementation here.

See also my other Game Courier presets.

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By M Winther.
Web page created: 2006-06-21. Web page last updated: 2006-06-21