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Bird's Chess. Chess variant on 10 by 8 board from 19th century England. (10x8, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jason L. wrote on 2011-07-28 UTCGood ★★★★
After some play testing of Bird's chess, I have found that the weak pawn
can be defended properly if Black knows how to. While there is a potential
fork with the Chancellor on the 2nd turn, black just defends against it by
bringing its Knight out to the same file to block and has better
development. In real games, White would not try that move anymore. If White
brings its knight out on the queen side to attack the weak pawn, black can
just advance its Chancellor pawn up 2 spaces and White's threat against
the weak pawn has also ended because the pawn cannot be captured with the
Chancellor guarding it and if it moves to the other square, it will be
captured by the Black queen.

Unfortunately, I don't believe the chess playing public every played this
game enough to see that it does in fact work despite the weak pawn.

I think that if the King-side was reversed with the Queen-side with the
King and Archbishop moving to the other side and the Queen and Chancellor
also moving to the other side, the Queen would be on its own color and the
game looks like a pretty standard chess game.

I believe that in order for 10x8 with RN and BN to be popular, the King and
Queen need to be centralized and that players just have to be aware of the
weaknesses in the game.

Speaking of weak pawns, Janus Chess has 2 of them and that game has proven
successful. Of course the Janus pawn is not as critical, but there are
still weak pawns in that game also. It also has its King and Queen
centralized so perhaps we should take note of this.