The Chess game as we know is gradually going extinct:
– Lack of great rivalries among elite, fading audience, long technical battles with almost no room for spectacular play.
– Elite Games are frequently long opening theory battles, with extensive use of computer analysis, limiting creativity on the Board. Opening theory regularly exceeds 25 moves!
Chess, the King of games and the game of Kings, is supposed to be a contest of creative ideas. It became (at least for professionals) a memorization contest, granting a theoretical win for the side that surprises the opponent with a better opening preparation, a novelty, etc.
This evolution is a direct consequence of the continual refinement of technique and assimilation of knowledge. Development of opening theory and use of computers played a major role. Engines became so strong, that a simple program running on a smartphone can beat the world champion.
Getting rid of the vast array of opening theory is one key to help restore chess as an intellectual contest.
The idea behind Musketeer Chess is to bring minimal but meaningful changes to the rules of the game of chess, maintaining as much of the present game as possible and limiting some aspects, like the over-analyzed starting positions and opening theory.
The following will introduce you to Musketeer Chess ideas, and we hope we will bring your attention to other games and products always about Chess and Chess Variants.
Musketeer Chess inspiration came from a game invented a few years ago (around 2007) by Grand Master Yasser Seirawan: S-Chess.
Musketeer Chess ideas emerged in 2011. I then refined the game over approximately a year, play testing and refining many ideas.
Musketeer Chess is played using the usual 8×8 Board, with a classic set of pieces.
The fundamental difference from chess is use of 2 additional pieces.
The first version of Musketeer Chess introduced 10 newly designed pieces with distinctive rules. The concept was then enlarged, with Musketeer Titans adding Bishops and Knights to the basket of choices as additional pieces. The choice of additional pieces available to be used over the board, kept growing, opening the doors for new unorthodox rules, creating a magnanimous offer.
The fresh extra piece choice contributes significantly, helping to create unbalanced play, lowering draw percentage and leveling winning chances for both sides. New tactics and strategies emerge, with a lot to discover.
The large variety of additional piece combinations almost resolves the opening theory problem, helping to get rid of opening memorization and favoring inventiveness over the board.
Musketeer Chess remains a chess game: All past knowledge is useful and inspirational. Once the additional pieces captured, the game is a classic chess game, apart from pawns that can promote to the additional pieces.
The first version of Musketeer Chess introduced us to 10 new “fairy pieces”:
LEOPARD, CANNON, ELEPHANT, HAWK, UNICORN, FORTRESS, SPIDER, DRAGON (or AMAZONE), CHANCELLOR, and ARCHBISHOP.
Some of the new pieces can be further customized, inter changing tops (proceed with extreme caution as these parts are fragile and can break).
For example: You can use a White Spider, with Black top and vice versa, a Fortress with a Black Basis and a Dragon Head etc.)
The Spider basis can be a piece for itself.
Musketeer Chess pieces are designed for an optimal user experience with a unique design Staunton compatible. The piece collection is growing, and more figural pieces are available: Mammoth, Griffin, Wolf, Lion, Rhinoceros, Bear, Lioness, Tiger, Dog, Hyena, Spider, Dragon, Gorilla, T-Rex, Camel, Giraffe, Panda etc.
Other Chess Variants:
Next Generation Pawns variants are now online in the gaming zone.
Next Generation Pawns revisit Pawn design but and suggest new rules. These new pawns extend possibilities to play new Chess Variants not only as substitutes of classic pawns but also as Super Pawns or eventually as distinct new pieces. You can try it and invent your own game. You can customize your own chess set and make a unique chess set, conjugating the large customizable options offered by 7×4 different and complimentary compatible designs.
You can play them in our Online Gaming Zone.
The rules that have been proposed for each Next Generation Pawn are outlined here:
- Lutetia Chess featuring the Musketeer or General.
- Moscovia Chess featuring the Lieutenant or Guardian.
- Massilia Chess featuring the Colonel or Raven.
- Geneva Chess featuring the Captain or Conqueror.
- Sparta Chess, featuring the Gladiator or Commander.
- Petrópolis Chess featuring Corporal or Defender.
- Vienna Chess featuring Sergeant or Protector.
Try them, you will love them.
The Rules of Musketeer Chess are discussed in the next chapter.
To help newcomers, I propose a value of the new pieces compared to the classic pieces. We discuss it in the following chapter: Relative value of the Musketeer Chess Fairy pieces.
Some puzzles and endgame principles are updated regularly: Musketeer Chess, End-Games.
Any comment or suggestion is welcome on our forum.