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The Chess Variant Pages

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Fergus Duniho wrote on 2017-09-05 UTC

Does anyone know the earliest use of the term Chess Variant? I have found it used as early as 1990 in the first issue of Variant Chess. It is also used in 1992 by R. Wayne Schmittberger in New Rules for Classic Games, and in 1994 by D.B. Pritchard in The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants. In 1968, John Gollon used the term Chess Variation to mean the same thing. In 1961, V. R. Parton used the expression "variants of Chess" in Curiouser & Curiouser. In the 1972 100 Squares for Chess and Damante, Parton uses the expression "Decimal Chess variants." Then in the 1973 Enduring Spirit of Dasapada, Parton uses the expression "chess variants" without modification and gives Shogi as an example of one. So, the term goes back at least to Parton, who seemed to have it in mind even when he wasn't using it explicity. Is there any older literature on Chess variants that also uses the term?

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