Capablanca’s Chess

(and Bird’s Chess, Embassy Chess, Carrera’s Chess, Janus Chess, Schoolbook Chess)

Capablanca's Chess

Capablanca’s Chess is an invention of former World Champion José Raul Capablanca (1888-1942). The board is 10x8. Two new pieces are introduced (1) Archbishop (Princess/Cardinal), which slides like a Bishop or leaps like a Knight (2) Chancellor (Empress/Marshall), which slides like a Rook or leaps like a Knight. Castling is performed by jumping three squares with the King instead of two. Other rules are similar to ordinary chess. Piece setup: RNABQKBCNR. The following variants use the same pieces and board as Capablanca’s chess.

Bird’s Chess was conceived by chess master Henry Bird, in 1874. It is very similar to Capablanca’s Chess and is probably the inspirational source of the latter. Piece setup: RNBCQKABNR.

Carrera’s Chess was invented by Pietro Carrera in the 17th century. He wrote a long book on chess, called Il Gioco delgi Scacchi, published year 1617 in Miltello, Sicily. This is the precursor of both Bird’s Chess and Capablanca’s Chess. In the original rules there was no castle move, and a somewhat curious rule involving ’en passant’. This implementation introduces castling and regular ’en passant’ rules. Piece setup: RCNBKQBNAR.

Gothic Chess is a variant of Capablanca’s Chess, using a different setup. It might seem superfluous to give it a new proper name when it is only a rearrangement of the initial position, but this is what people do. Gothic Chess is a US patented version of Capablanca’s Chess, the only difference being the initial setup: RNBQCKABNR.

Embassy Chess is also a variant of Capablanca’s Chess, but the setup is different and the short castle is performed on the queenside. It was K. Hill that came up with this idea. Piece setup: RNBQKCABNR.

Janus Chess has received some attention among professional chessplayers, including Korchnoi. It was invented by W. Schoendorf, 1990. In this variant the Chancellor is replaced by an extra Archbishop (also called Janus), and the short castle is performed on the queenside, when the king jumps three squares. When castling long the king jumps four squares. Piece setup: RANBKQBNAR.

Schoolbook Chess is a variant suggested by S. Trenholme. In this variant the king may castle two or three squares towards the rook on the right hand side, and two, three, or four squares towards the rook on the left hand side. The rook leaps over the king to land beside the king. Piece setup: RQNBAKBNCR.

  You can download my free Capablanca Chess program here (updated 2009-10-18), but you must own the software Zillions of Games to be able to run it (I recommend the download version).

  You can play Capablanca’s Chess online here.

  Don’t miss my other chess variants.

© M. Winther 2006