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Grolman Chess

In memory of one of the most outstanding chess composers of our time.

Grolman Chess or Kazan Chess is a unique and stunningly beautiful chess variant, proposed by the outstanding Soviet chess composer, three-time world champion in chess composition Lev Grolman (1941-2022).

This chess variant was first mentioned in The Problemist Vol. 1995-1996, Year 1995, Issue 411, July.


Standard Chess setup.


Standard set of chess pieces.



The rules are extremely simple, but they enrich the game so much, filling it with an intricate aroma of the unknown, that you will definitely want to wander its mysterious paths and marvel at the bizarre landscapes of the reality in which you find yourself.


A player's turn begins with a move of a single piece; then, if a friendly piece can legally move to the square just vacated, it must do so; if another friendly piece, unmoved so far in that turn, can do the same, it must do it, and so on. If more than one friendly piece can move to a just-vacated square, the weakest piece in the order P,N,B,R,Q,K makes the move; if there are 2 weakest pieces the player can choose any of them. As each piece may move only once, the turn must finish, at latest when every piece of one side has moved. A Pawn may promote during the sequence, but does not move again.


Thus, the move in this chess variant is (if possible) the movement of a successive chain of pawns and pieces of the same color, where the principle of 'follow the leader' is used.


There is no castling in Grolman Chess.
En passant rules remains the same as Standard Chess.
Stalemate conditions remain the same as Standard Chess.
Draw conditions remain the same as Standard Chess.
Winning conditions remain the same as Standard Chess.


During the movement of a successive chain of pawns and pieces of the same color, the king may be in check but if at the end of such turn the king remains in check, then the player loses the game.

If check is declared, then the player must relieve his king from the threat with the very first move of one of his pieces or by directly removing the king from under check. If this is impossible, then the game is lost by such a player. The king cannot escape from check during the movement of a successive chain of his pieces. 


Using an example, let's look at the initial moves in the game in order to have an idea of ​​what it is about.

After the move 1.e2-e4, the situation on the chessboard looks like this:

After the e2 square is vacated, the weakest of the pieces capable of getting on this square should go to it. In this case, it is the Knight, which in turn frees the g1 square, to which only one piece can go - the Rook. Now the square H1 is free, but none of the pieces can get there. White's move is over.

Suppose Black answered 1 ... e7-e5 and White's second move was 2.b2-b3. Let's take a look at the position:

Do you see how the chain of white pieces B-N-B-R moved behind the Pawn?

This is how this entertaining variation of chess is played.

Now let's try to solve a small problem that I composed specifically for publication on

Vadrya Pokshtya May, 2024,

White to move and mate in one.

In standard chess, White's position is hopeless - he loses. However, in Grolman Chess, White wins by playing the rook correctly:

1. Rf3 (Kf4, e5, Nce4, c3+, Bc2) #

Black cannot get rid of check on his first move. White won.

Note that the move 1. Rf3 is the only one that leads to victory.

If White had played 1. Rxf2 then he would have lost the game:

1. Rxf2 (Kf4, e5, Nce4, c3+, Bc2)+ because of 1. ...Rxc3 (Nh3+, Bg5+) #


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.

Author: Вадря Покштя. Inventor: Lev Vladimirovich Grolman.

Last revised by Вадря Покштя.

Web page created: 2024-05-10. Web page last updated: 2024-05-10