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Petty Chess

According to Pritchard, Petty Chess was invented by B. Walker Watson in 1930, and first published in the September 1930 issue of the British Chess Magazine. The game has also been called Petite Chess, probably to avoid the negative connotation with the word Petty (which can mean small, but also mean-spirited in English, where the similar sounding French Petite means only small.)


The game is played on a board of 5 by 6 squares. The opening setup is as follows:

King b1; Queen a1; Rook e1; Knight d1; Bishop c1; Pawn a2, b2, c2, d2, e2.

King b6; Queen a6; Rook e6; Knight d6; Bishop c6; Pawn a5, b5, c5, d5, e5.

  1. Pawns can only advance one space on their first move. There is no en passant capturing.
  2. A pawn can only promote to a captured piece. (Optional: Pritchard does not mention this rule.)
  3. There is no castling.

Note: as in regular chess, the queen starts on her own color.

Text by Richard Sullivan and Hans Bodlaender. Information based on Pritchard's Encyclopedia of Chess Variants, and other sources.
Written by Hans Bodlaender.
Version without graphics.
WWW page made: 1995 or 1996. Last modified: October 5, 2001.