It becomes difficult at the highest levels of chess to avoid long theoretical lines. Chess itself became more like a game of knowledge, due to internet, computers and advances in opening theory.
Chess Variants where always part of the game of Chess. Plenty of them where invented by famous players. Let’s just remind us about Capablanca (Capablanca Chess) and the mighty Bobby Fischer (Fischer Random Chess or Chess960).
Musketeer Chess was invented in 2011. It was inspired by Seirawan Chess and by the work of Mr Frank A Camaratta who helped designing the pieces.
Musketeer Chess uses the 8×8 Board and the Classic set of pieces. What changes is the addition of 2 new pieces with unique design and unique rules. This is what garantees much more tactics, new paths for new strategies, no more opening learning for more fun and more creativity on the Board. It’s a new game, but it’s still chess with a big part of the Chess Knowledge that could be used. The games are usually shorter, more agressiveness over the board (sacrifices combinations etc.) making the game spectacular and attractive again. Just imagine some elite tournaments ending with more than 90% of the games won (or lost) with sacrifices, reminding us of the renaissance period ! This would be great.
We have to choose 2 new pieces among a wide range of pieces: LEOPARD, CANNON, ELEPHANT, HAWK, UNICORN, FORTRESS, SPIDER, DRAGON (or AMAZON), CHANCELLOR, and ARCHBISHOP.
Some of the pieces can be customized (-To handle with care- for example Dragon Fortress and Spider tops are pegged and can be carefully removed and changed. So we can get a White Spider with a Black Spider Head, A Fortress with a Black Basis and a Dragon Head etc.) The Spider basis can be a piece for itself. It’s bigger than the usual Knight and Bishop and it looks like a Rook. This piece can be used to explain for childrens that the Rook is worth more Bishop or Knight (naturally depending on the position). My kids barely understand why a more valuable piece looks smaller than the Bishop or the Knight (which is the case in the majority of the modern chess sets). The Cannon can be customised adding to it the Spider top.
Here is a picture from the online playing program. It’s available for you for free, and will help you test strategies, and try our game.
In the near future, you will have the chance to play with the NextGen Pawns we developed. Not only have we changed the rules of the Pawn but we also created a unique design for each game.
You can already try our games online: Lutetia Chess featuring the Musketeer or General, Moscovia Chess featuring the Lieutenant or Guardian etc.
There are 7 different NextGen Pawns: General or Musketeer, Raven or Colonel, etc.
You can try the new rules for each NextGen Pawn on our Online Gaming Zone.
Messing with the Pawns is a very difficult task. This changes the game, pawn chain etc. As Philidor said, Pawns are the “soul of chess”. I think that some of the trials we made are pretty interesting. Please share your thoughts on our forum.
In the next chapter we will detail the Rules of Musketeer Chess.