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This page is written by the game's inventor, JT K.


Chessembly (pronounced ches-SEM-blee) is a chess variant that begins with an empty board and requires no setup. Assembling the pieces on the board is part of the game.


Each player gets his or her pieces gathered together off the board. Play begins immediately.


The pieces held off the board at the beginning of the game will be referred to as "available pieces." Each turn the player can do one of these things: - Place an available piece on any empty square on his or her side of the board (ranks 1 through 4 for White, and 5 through 8 for Black) You can only place your own pieces. OR - Move one of your pieces according to normal chess rules. For notation, a lowercase p denotes "placement" of a piece on a stated squared, i.e. 1. pKe1 pKe7 means that on the first move in which king placement is required, White put his/her king on the standard square and Black decided to place it one square forward from the usual place (with tempo in mind, perhaps). Here is a sample of what it looks like after... 1. pKe1 pKe7 2. pRe2+ pPe6 3. pQe3 pRc6 4. pBh4+ pPf6 5. pBa3+ Kf7 6. pNf4 pPd7 - On the first move, each player must place the king. - A player may place the two bishops on the same color square if desired. - Castling is not allowed. - Pawn promotion follows the same rules as standard chess. - A pawn on the 1st or 2nd rank for White (or 7th/8th rank for Black) may move either one or two squares forward. This means that a pawn that was placed on the lowest rank could move to the 4th rank (5th for Black) in two moves by two different methods: one step forward, then two steps forward, or: two steps forward, then one step forward. One may capture "en passant" any pawn that moves two squares forward and lands next to an enemy pawn. This diagram demonstrates that en passant would be an option for White on the g file after a Black pawn moves forward two squares, and it would be an option for Black on the b file after White's pawn moves forward two squares:


- Unlike in shogi or crazyhouse, captured pieces are removed from play for the remainder of the game, just as in standard chess. They should ideally be stored in a different place from available pieces to avoid confusion. In the sample game diagram shown at the top, White probably wants to move the knight or h file bishop to prevent Black's move pPg5. This sample shows how Black would respond to an immediate attack by White. (ALL DIAGRAMS WERE CREATED USING SCREEN GRABS FROM THE BOARD EDITOR AT LICHESS.ORG)

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By JT K.
Web page created: 2016-10-09. Web page last updated: 2016-10-09