Chess Variants/Dunsany's Chess


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8a8 black rookb8 black knightc8 black bishopd8 black queene8 black kingf8 black bishopg8 black knighth8 black rook8
7a7 black pawnb7 black pawnc7 black pawnd7 black pawne7 black pawnf7 black pawng7 black pawnh7 black pawn7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black kingf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 white pawnb4 white pawnc4 white pawnd4 white pawne4 white pawnf4 white pawng4 white pawnh4 white pawn4
3a3 white pawnb3 white pawnc3 white pawnd3 white pawne3 white pawnf3 white pawng3 white pawnh3 white pawn3
2a2 white pawnb2 white pawnc2 white pawnd2 white pawne2 white pawnf2 white pawng2 white pawnh2 white pawn2
1a1 white pawnb1 white pawnc1 white pawnd1 white pawne1 white pawnf1 white pawng1 white pawnh1 white pawn1
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The starting position of Dunsany's Chess.

IntroductionEdit

Dunsany's Chess is an asymmetric chess variant that pits the standard chess army against a horde of pawns. The exact number of pawns in the horde differs from subvariant to subvariant, but the basic rules of the variant remain the same.

HistoryEdit

Dunsany's Chess was created by Anglo-Irish writer and dramatist Lord Dunsany in 1942, from whom the variant gets its name.

RulesEdit

As already stated, in Dunsany's Chess both players are given very different armies: White is given a horde of 32 pawns that fill the first through fourth ranks, while Black is given the standard chess army in their usual positions.

The goal of the White player is to checkmate the black king, while the goal of the Black player is to capture every single one of the white pawns. All of the pieces have their usual moves, but only Black's pawns have the initial two-step move. Also, unlike regular chess Black moves first.

Sub-variantsEdit

There are two main subvariants of Dunsany's chess, both using the name Horde chess. The two subvariants differ in who gets the horde of pawns:

  • The black version of Horde chess give Black the horde of pawns. Black has 32 pawns, like in the normal variant. They occupy the eighth through fifth ranks, but with two black pawns on d4 and e4 instead of d8 and e8. White moves first, and the black pawns on the seventh rank have the usual two-step move.
  a b c d e f g h  
8                 8
7                 7
6                 6
5                 5
4                 4
3                 3
2                 2
1                 1
  a b c d e f g h  
Starting position for the black version of horde chess.

  • The white version of Horde chess is offered as an available variant on both Chess.com and lichess.org. Compared to the normal variant it adds four more white pawns. Also, White's pawns on the first and second ranks have the initial two-step move. Unlike in regular chess, this does not have to be the pawn's first move.
  a b c d e f g h  
8                 8
7                 7
6                 6
5                 5
4                 4
3                 3
2                 2
1                 1
  a b c d e f g h  
Starting position for the white version of horde chess.