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 and dramatic 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 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. 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 of the keys to help restore 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 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 that was invented a few years ago (around 2007) by non other than Grand Master Yasser Seirawan: SEIRAWAN Chess (or SHarper Chess).
Musketeer Chess ideas emerged in 2011. The game was then refined over approximately a year, play testing many ideas.
Musketeer Chess is played on the usual 8×8 Board, with a Classic set of pieces.
The main 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 possible choices among the additional pieces, and then further enlarging the choice for more additional pieces, opening the doors for new unorthodox rules, creating a magnanimous offer.
The fresh extra piece choice, contributes significantly, making the game more unbalanced even though black and white winning chances are about even. New tactics and strategies emerge, with a lot to discover.
The large variety of additional possible piece combinations, almost resolve the opening theory problem, helping to get rid of opening memorization and favoring inventiveness on the board.
Musketeer Chess, remains a Chess game: All past knowledge is useful and inspirational. Once the additional pieces are captured, the game is a classic chess game, apart from additional pawn promotion rules where a Pawn can also 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.
When using the new pieces on the board, some of them 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.
The Next Generation of Musketeer Chess pieces is also fun to play with, always designed for an optimal user experience, and offers many customisable combinations. The piece collection is growing, and more figural pieces will be available: Mammoth, Griffin, Wolf, Lion, Rhinoceros, Bear, Lioness, Tiger, Dog, Hyena, Spider, Dragon, Gorilla, T-Rex, Camel etc.
Other Chess Variants:
NextGen variants are now online on the gaming zone.
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.
The Rules of Musketeer Chess are discussed in the next Chapter.
A relative value of the new pieces is also discussed. This will help you make wise decisions, until you gain experience and improve your understanging of the new pieces. This is discussed 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.