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Double Chess 16 x 8. On 16 by 8 board. (16x8, Cells: 128) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on Mon, Mar 12, 2018 07:03 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★

You have to love such a big board variant that doubles-down (and then some) on the FIDE armies' piece types.

James Spratt wrote on Sat, Jul 15, 2006 05:33 PM UTC:
Yep, Double Chess is one of the best games I know of.  It gets intense fast
and stays intense all the way through.  Can't imagine it being nearly as
much fun in ASCII.
Greg, don't we have a tie-breaker to play sometime?

David Short wrote on Sat, Jul 15, 2006 03:23 PM UTC:
Greg, when players play games by email on Richard's PBM Server,
everytime that someone makes a move (by sending in the move in the 
subject line of an email to [email protected] the body of the email
used for sending comments to your opponent), the server sends out an
ASCII diagram to both players showing the updated position and the last
few moves played. Doublechess is one of the easiest chess variants to
set up in real life. All you need is two chess sets of identical size.
Replace the 2nd set of kings with a 3rd set of queens. If you don't have
a 3rd set of queens, use common household items like coins or salt and
shakers to represent them until they get captured. Also ZILLIONS OF GAMES
is great for recording and analysing doublechess positions--- the
doublechess files for ZILLIONS OF GAMES can be downloaded for free and
linked to doublechess' rules page on this site. I have been playing on
Richard's PBM server for years. One of the advantages of playing on that
site is that all games become rated, thus players can achieve ratings in
any game, much like one could have a chess rating. Play on the server is
very convenient once you get the hang of it. Why don't you sign up for a

free userid and password and then email me your userid to sign up?
Right now I'm organizing an Omegachess tournament on Richard's PBM
but it probably won't be long before I also announce a new
Doublechess tournament on the server too.

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on Sat, Jul 15, 2006 08:13 AM UTC:
welcome back :)

Greg Strong wrote on Fri, Jul 14, 2006 11:03 PM UTC:
I like Doublechess a lot and I would be willing to play in a tournament if there was sufficient interest, but it looks like Richard's PBeM server only offers this game in ASCII. Why would the tournament not be conducted here on Game Courier?

David Short wrote on Fri, Jul 14, 2006 07:12 PM UTC:
Two years ago I suffered a catastrophic hard drive crash. That, plus
things which happened to me in my personal life prevented me from
participating in the online community known as

That is, until now. I'm back! I want people to know that I have a new
email address where I can be contacted. It is

[email protected]

I am also here to announce that I will soon be organizing new tournaments
in Omegachess and Doublechess on Richard's Play By Email Server.
To participate you must have a userid on Richard's PBM Server 
(the front page is at
and from there you can find links that explain how to sign up for a 
free userid and password, and a tutorial on how play on the server
Email me if you are interested in participating. 

I hope that as time goes by I will also be inspired to create new chess
variants and submit them to this site. I encourage everyone to take a 
look at my previous submissions to this web site and share your comments
about them in this forum. I also want people to know that I am willing
to accept challenges to play Existentialist Chess via this web site's
Game Courier. Send me an email if you're interested.

I hope that people who I remember like Benjamin Good and David Howe
and Hans Boedlander are still regular contributors to this web site.
It really has been a long time since I've been able to get online
but I am back now, and it is good to be back!

David Paulowich wrote on Thu, Mar 16, 2006 02:22 AM UTC:Good ★★★★
The more I play games with multiple powerful pieces, the more fond of Shatranj I become! Getting back to this particular variant, I dislike the idea of castling with an a-file or p-file rook. Free castling with the 'near rooks' will still allow the King to move up to 4 squares.

A search for *Pairwise* on the Game Courier Game Logs will turn up my two games of 'Pairwise Drop Chess' from 2004 - the 'free castling with the two nearest rooks' rule is given in the comments below each game.

George Duke wrote on Fri, Mar 4, 2005 02:54 AM UTC:
'DEF,LargeCV': Five 'Excellent's cannot be reversed to average, so Not Rated. Two problems are solved for Capablanca-played Double Chess(192 sqs.): no more Pawn 1,2,3,4 because no longer that 1917 Chess' twelve ranks; second, one King instead of two, but the rule is the same, to check one King. Recommended to admire not to play, as hey that is the usual goal in this artwork. Definite improvement over what Capablanca toyed around with. Ralph Betza uses the two-King back rank in some 'Chess On a Really Big Board' set-ups in 1996, so this one King may be new for the same popular 16 files. However, Pritchard 'ECV' has some entry like this between the 1917 one and Betza's not worth looking up.

Greg Strong wrote on Mon, Nov 22, 2004 09:48 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
Noticing that I haven't previously commented on this, I must also give this an 'Excellent.' This varient is much more fun that I expected; the openings seem tame because the board is so large, but due the large amount of material, things become deadly in short order.

James Spratt wrote on Mon, Nov 22, 2004 05:02 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
For the record.

James Spratt wrote on Thu, Jul 15, 2004 11:05 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
Hi, David Short: That's not a battle, that's a WAR, and another excellent idea I wish I'd invented! Even though I'm a bit green to online play, THIS is one I want to try sometime soon. Great Idea!! James Spratt

David Short wrote on Mon, Oct 6, 2003 04:37 AM UTC:
I just noticed that Ironlance and Saulius Miliunas are playing a game
of Doublechess on the PBeM Game Courier system. I want to remind them
and everyone else know that Doublechess can be played by email on
Richard's PBM Server --- go to
and click on the tutorial link and list of commands to learn how to
sign up for a free userid and password there, and to familiarize yourself
with syntax used for sending moves and other commands in the subject
line of emails to the server at [email protected] while the body of
emails are used for sending comments to your opponent. I will probably
be starting up a new doublechess tournament on Richard's Play By Email
server some time next year, and new players are always welcome to join.
I hope that my plug for this site is not meant to be seen as a slight
to the PBeM Game Courier system. The Game Courier enables people to 
play many games which would probably be too difficult to design engines
for, for unlike the Game Courier which allows players to move ANY piece
to ANY square on ANY move, regardless of whether it is legal or not,
and does not verify whether a move is legal or not, playing games on
Richard's PBM server does verify whether moves are legal or not and
sends out error messages when illegal moves are sent. I think the
two compliment each other and anyone who enjoys playing games on
Game Courier should also check out the dozen or so chess variants
(including chess itself) along with the numerous other strategy
games that can be played on Richard's PBM server.

Charles Gilman wrote on Sat, May 3, 2003 07:43 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
This is a simple use of two boards and two sets - either two standard sets with one of the Kings marked as a Queen (e.g. with a coloured string tied round it) or two sets of which at least one has a spare Queen (I have often thought that a Henry the Eighth novelty set with spare Queens would reflect history well). If going down the King-marking route an interesting further variation would be to mark the d-file piece as a Marshal (Rook+Knight) and the m-file piece as a Cardinal (Bishop+Knight). This would have the advantage of being able to refer unambiguously to the 'Marshal's Bishop', 'Cardinal's Knight's Pawn' et cetera!

Ben Good wrote on Thu, Nov 14, 2002 11:39 PM UTC:
players of this game who are interested in putting together a nice set may be interested in 'your move chess and games': <P> <P> i mention it because to play doublechess, you need two sets plus one extra queen per side, and if you click on their 'what's new' link, they are now selling 'extra queens' for a variety of their sets. so this enables you to buy two sets plus extra queens, which may be a more attractive option for some people instead of buying 3 sets. of course, you still need to come up with a 16x8 board. <P>

💡📝David Short wrote on Sun, Apr 14, 2002 04:47 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
Now that this comments page is up, I'd like to ask the regular 
readers of to comment on Doublechess.
Doublechess is the first chess variant which I invented, and I
think it is my best one of all the ones I have created. It is my
pride and joy. At the time I submitted it to this site I had learned
that I was just a few months too late to enter it into the Large
Variants contest that was being held at the time. What a pity!
I feel that Doublechess would have been a very strong contender,
but by the time I first learned of this site's existence, the 
deadline for submissions for the contest had passed.

Doublechess' page on this site is unique in many ways. You
won't find too many other games on this site which have sample
games linked to it, and one of the games is annotated in detail.
(The link to my 'Doublechess web site' is no longer valid.)
Doublechess can be played by email on Richard's Play By Email
server, and I frequently conduct Doublechess tournaments on PBM.
The next one may be beginning in a few months and I will post
an announcement about it here (as I did recently for the forthcoming
Omegachess tournament which I will be running on PBM as well) when
I am ready to begin it.

Doublechess is a very simple variant. Simply lay two 8 by 8 chess
boards side by side. Use two chess sets, and replace the second
set of kings with a third set of queens. (if one does not have a
third set of chess queen pieces handy, substitutes can be used until
they are captured. Coins work well, for instance, a penny for a
white queen and a nickel for a black queen.) Set up the first army
of pieces in the traditional setup (RBNQKBRN) in files E to L
and the second army out in the wings (RBNQ, QBNR) in files A to D
and M to P. 

You will notice a few interesting strategic points about Doublechess.
Opposing bishops start along the same diagonals as each other,
often promting them to be quickly traded off if the opportunity
presents itself. If they avoid an early exchange, bishops of like
color can double themselves along the same diagonal to form a battery
in much the same way that one might double their rooks along the same
file in chess. Notice that whereas white begins with two dark squared
bishops on the left side of the board, or queenside (in Doublechess
the 'queenside' refers to files A to H, and 'kingside' refers to
files I to P, mimicking the same sides of the boards which these
terms refer to in regular chess), and black has two light squared
bishops on the queenside. Likewise, white has two light squared
bishops to start the game on the kingside, and black has two dark
squared bishops on each side. Each side can try to exploit the other's
weaknesses on light or dark squares on each half of the board.

The way the board is set up, as players begin to develop their pieces
and pawns, the pieces tend to engage each other on each half of the
board in about the same amount of time as they do in regular chess.
In the middle game it is often the case where pieces will be interacting
with each other and threatening each other on each half of the board
completely independent from what is going on on the other side of the
board. In some ways then, Doublechess is like playing two games in one,
though one really needs to look at the board as a whole to truly
understand and appreciate the game.

There are other strategic differences between Doublechess and regular
chess which make my variant exciting and unique. It is more common
to sacrifice material for attack in Doublechess than it is in regular
chess, since one has so much material at one's disposal to attack with.
In Doublechess then, obviously king safety becomes extremely important.
Thus another axiom of dc is that it is quite possible to win despite
a material disadvantage, more often than one can overcome such a
deficit in regular chess. As long as one has enough pieces to launch
an attack, they can make things interesting.

I should also point out that the one rule that is unique and 
distinctive to Doublechess is the castling rule (see dc's page for
full explanation of the castling rule), and the pros and cons of
long castling vs. short castling can be long debated. It's another
twist to the game which makes it interesting. 

One advantage that my variant has over other CVs is that it only 
uses orthodox pieces, so it is very easy to learn how to play.
Perhaps more than any other CV, Doublechess has the 'feel' of regular
chess. There is a ZRF file available for download at the bottom of
Doublechess' page. I urge everyone who has not played it yet who owns
ZILLIONS OF GAMES to download Doublechess and try it out.
I welcome comments from everyone, pro or con, as to how they would
rate Doublechess as a chess variant. What are this variants'
strengths and weaknesses? Finally I would say that, although I 
realize I am very biased in the matter ;-)  I feel that Doublechess
is such an excellent variant that it deserves consideration as one
of this site's 'Recognized Chess Variants'  and as inventor of this
game I am necessarily disqualified from nominating it to that position.
Might someone else who has an equal appreciation for this game take
up the gauntlet and nominate it along with an eloquent essay on my
game's merits?

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