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Embassy Chess. A 10x8 variant based on Grand Chess. (10x8, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2020-11-02 UTC

This seems to me to be a quite attractive alternative setup, for those into the Capablanca Chess genre.

In some cases in Embassy Chess, however, safely castling queenside sometimes might be a bit awkward to arrange, without making some sort of (small?) concession, because of the possibility of an enemy bishop (beginning on the h-file) capturing a knight developed to the third rank on the c-file, if there must then occur a re-capture by the b-pawn.

Otherwise, I do not much lament the knights starting a bit far from the centre, partly for the good of the rest of a player's army, and partly because, if a player does manage to castle, a knight on the third rank might serve as a good defender for a king in a number of ways. An undeveloped bishop beaming towards a king's residence (else undeveloped R) on a flank might often prove bearable in the long- or short-run, too.

It might be fun to experiment with Embassy Chess by using a reverse symmetry re-positioning of the setup and/or using some different form of castling rules, but I don't think either idea necessarily could prove much of an improvement. The same goes for the symmetric setup RNBQCKABNR, which was mentioned in the Schoolbook page Comments thread on 1 OCT 2009 by Charles Daniels (who noted it might be patented) - one pro I see is that Kingside castling may be easier and faster to arrange (which is nice cosmetically, too), but one con is that cosmetically, the Q is not next to the K.

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