The Chess game as we know is gradually going extinct:
– Lack of great rivalries among elite,
– Games played by masters are most of the time long opening preparation,
– Extensive use of computers especially in the opening. Opening theory excèdes regularly 25 moves, which is a whole game !
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 succeeds in surprising the opponent with a better opening preparation, a novelty etc.
This evolution is a direct consequence of continual refinement of technique and assimilation of knowledge, opening theory and Computers played a major role in this evolution. Chess 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 theories will certainly help keeping the true values of chess as an intellectuel 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 eliminating “undesirable” features like the over-analyzed starting positions and opening theory.
We introduce you to Musketeer Chess, but also to many other Chess Variants.
Musketeer Chess inspiration came from another Chess Variant, SEIRAWAN Chess (or SHarper Chess).
Musketeer Chess first ideas popped in 2011. The current version knew a refinement of the rules over two years play testing.
Like the game of Chess, an 8×8 Board and a Classic set of pieces is used to play Musketeer Chess.
The main change is adding 2 new pieces with unique rules (and unique recognizable design) to the classic set of pieces.
These new pieces bring: endless new tactical shots, much more strategies, unbalanced games helping to have spectacular and short games, reducing the draw percentage. We also get rid of long opening memorization because we have 90 different piece combinations to start with (and 45 different pairs of pieces), not to mention the different possible placement positions of these additional pieces.
This reduces the importance of opening preparation and emphasizing again the inventiveness on the board.
The game is still a game of chess: we can get inspiration from known openings and ideas, after trading the new pieces we finish the game with the classic pieces like a normal game of chess. Some general principles are still important, but should be further adapted to new strategies.
We introduce the 10 different pieces we can choose from when playing Musketeer Chess:
LEOPARD, CANNON, ELEPHANT, HAWK, UNICORN, FORTRESS, SPIDER, DRAGON (or AMAZONE), CHANCELLOR, and ARCHBISHOP.
Some of the pieces can be customized inter changing tops (on your own risks).
For example: You can play play with White Spider with mixed colors as the top can be Black and vice versa. 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 Knight and Bishop. It looks like a Rook. This piece explains more easily to children’s that the Rook is worth more than 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 customized adding 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.
Other Chess Variants:
NextGen variants are now online on the gaming zone. The NextGen Pawns are also commercially available. NextGen Pawns revisit the Pawn design but also the Pawn rules. They can be used to play many Chess Variants (invent your own, or existing variants), they can also customize the classic design of the Pawns and still play a classic game of Chess.
NextGen Pawns are 7 new and different easy to recognize designs.
These variants are playable on our Online Gaming Zone.
Rules are detailed 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.
All participating voters will Apply automatically for a free sample of our games corresponding to the winning NextGen Pawn.
In the coming months, Musketeer Chess pieces will grow. We will have much more diversity with many new figural pieces: Mammoth, Griffin, Wolf, Lion, Rhinoceros, Bear, Lioness etc.).
You can suggest the rules of these pieces by joining the discussion in “chess dot com forum”.
The Rules of Musketeer Chess are discussed in the next Chapter.
To ease your understanding of Musketeer Chess pieces, we made an extensive work to refine The relative value of the Musketeer Chess Fairy pieces. This will guide you during the first games and after mastering the piece rules and praticing you’ll improve your assessment of their relative strengths and weaknesses.
We will also show some typical tactics and endings with the new pieces: Musketeer Chess, End Games.
Don’t hesitate to post your comments on our forum.