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Univers Chess. A Carrera's Chess variant based on Bruno Violet's Universal Chess. (10x8, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2020-11-01 UTC

I'm not sure how much better this setup is than in the case of Grotesque Chess, if at all.

In Univers Chess in case of, say, a Double-King's pawn opening analogue, the opposing Archbishops might be able to oppose/trade each other off without much advantage to either player - either that, or the other player may be able to develop a bishop to the 1st/10th rank, to bother/frustrate an Archbishop (using a reverse symmetry re-positioning of the setup would not help much either, perhaps). Also, the position of the knights on their files in the setup gives them only two squares that would usually be good to be developed to (compared to if the knights were one file closer to the centre each, as in Grotesque Chess).

That's the case in orthodox chess, too, but in case a player manages to castle on either flank during a game, it might be good sometimes to have the option of developing the knight to the third rank on the 3rd/8th file, in front of the king, with an eye on possibly helping to protect the king in a number of ways.

There just might be a repellant effect on potential players when they see the bishops adacent to the rooks (on the 2nd/9th files) in CVs like Univers or Grotesque Chess - so far either variant has been played less than 10 times on Game Courier (plus, Ladorean Chess has yet to be played). I'm not sure such a sentiment is fully justified, as the bishops need not be traded off inevitably, and the bishops can be developed alternatively to the 1st/10th files instead - however, arranging the development of a bishop just might make castling on that flank less safe due to a pawn(s) being moved where the king will reside.