Gothic chess
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Developer(s) Ed Trice
Release 2000

Gothic Chess is a chess variant invented in 2000 by Ed Trice.

The game is most similar in arrangement to Bird's Chess, not Capablanca's chess, and is therefore not derived from Capablanca's Chess. Swapping the location of only two pieces in Bird's Chess, the Queen and Chancellor, will produce the Gothic Chess setup.

It incorporates two new pieces and is played on a 10×8 board.

The new pieces create interesting possibilities not available in standard 8x8 chess. For example, as long as there are many pawns still remaining on the board, the Archbishop can be the most dominant piece among the three supermajors. As the middlegame approaches, the Chancellor's strength eclipses that of the Archbishop. As pawns thin out even more, the Queen is naturally more dominant. In this fashion, a player may elect to trade one type of supermajor for another, and then proceed to create the type of game most suitable for that particular piece.

This is usually a far-sighted strategic operation executed by the strongest players. One must be ever-mindful of tactics, of course, especially since the Archbishop is capable of executing a checkmate unassisted by any other piece.

Setup and rules

Ed Trice placed the Archbishop and Chancellor pieces on either side of the King. The Chancellor is placed in the e-file, the King in the f-file, and the Archbishop in the g-file. Files a- through d are exactly like chess, and files h- through j contain the same pieces as chess files f- through h.

There is a "100 Move Rule" in Gothic Chess rather than a "50 Move Rule." This was created because Ed Trice proved even a 4-piece endgame could require 72 moves to force a checkmate. The endgame of King + Archbishop vs. King + Bishop has a longest win of 72 moves.


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