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Placement Chess

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In Placement Chess Black can decide the initial positions of the kings, while White can decide the initial positions of the queens. The positions must mirror each other. Placement Chess is like standard chess except that the players can, before play begins, swap places of the king + queen and another piece, except the rooks.

Thus, when the king is swapped (relocated), the other piece (the relocatee) ends up on the king's square. When the queen is swapped, the relocatee ends up on the queen's square. One restriction is that the bishops mustn't end up on the same square colour, and the king cannot become a relocatee (i.e. swapped by the queen). Note that black begins by swapping his king. Alternatively he can choose to leave the position as it is. The white player then mirrors black's swap. After the kings thus have been swapped the turn is still with white. White can now relocate the queen, if he so wishes, and black then mirrors this. Next, white starts the game by making the first move. This method creates a conservative subset of Chess960. It avoids certain controversial positions that can occur in Fischer Placement Chess (where also a rook can be swapped). Diagrams of the 20 possible positions can be viewed here.



Note that the king retains his castling rights even if it has been relocated. The castling rules are simple and derive from Chess960. King and rook end up on their usual squares. The only difference is that the king can make longer leaps than usual (or shorter, or none at all). All squares between king and rook must be empty and unthreatened and neither of the pieces must have moved before.

Note! Castling is done by dropping the king on the rook. This is to resolve ambiguites. (The players must themselves keep count of whether the king/rook have already been moved.) Moves are automated (point & click), but rules of check, etc., are ignored. At pawn promotion the player is asked about promotion piece.

Note! During the initial relocation phase, when a red pawn is visible, the player is compelled to pass the move by moving the red pawn. When a green pawn is visible, the player can either make a piece swap or pass the move (by moving the green pawn). You can only swap pieces by typing e.g. "swap e8 g8". When the relocation phase is over the number (1) shows up on the board.

Placement Chess


A Zillions program and more information is here.

See also: Fischer Placement Chess (an extended version where either rook can be swapped).


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By M Winther.
Web page created: 2010-12-21. Web page last updated: 2010-12-21