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