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Near Chess. This is a variant of Skirmish Chess designed to be friendlier to newbies. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Rich Hutnik wrote on 2009-08-06 UTC
The rules for Near vs Normal Chess can be found here:

The basics of Near vs Normal is to see whether Near Chess or Normal (FIDE) Chess is superior.

George Duke wrote on 2009-08-06 UTC
This Near Chess is one basis of Rich Hutnik at multiformations, and the other one is Near versus Normal Chess. Pieces and pawns start on ranks 2 and 3.

Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-04-25 UTC
I have found if the Black player is given the option of placing the King on his left or his right, it makes for a different game. It helps with the prospects of the Queen coming down, or the bishop threatening the Knight's pawn.

Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-04-25 UTC
For those concerned about the knights pawns being under-defended, I offer the  Bow formation:

That is the present, for it on here.  There are risks of the Queen coming down to play, but that will usually result in a bunch of wasted movement.  Players need to decide before they begin whether or not they want the rooks pawns to get initial double movement, and have the chance to face en passant.   If you want to play Mini-Grand against Bow, I believe this double initial move should not be allowed.

If one wants to do mix and match, they could have their pieces in a formation where the right or left side is in Mini-Grand and the other side is in Bow.

Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-04-24 UTC
Ok, for those who find the bishops pointing at the rooks too dangerous, I created another Courier set up so that the Rooks are in the corner (Mini-Grand formation).  This URL was added above:

richardhutnik wrote on 2008-04-24 UTC
Thanks Joe.

I will say for those who think Near Chess isn't radical enough, I suggest
people consider doing variants off it to tweak it to as they like.  It is
the starting point into chess, not the end all and be all.  Near vs Normal
Chess is meant to be a test to see how well Near holds its own against
Normal (FIDE) Chess.

Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-04-24 UTC
Near vs FIDE can be found here on here as Near vs Normal:

Joe Joyce wrote on 2008-04-24 UTCGood ★★★★
I had an opportunity to play Near Chess this past weekend, and also 'Chess with Almost Different Armies': Near vs FIDE. They are both fine games. The rating of good is the highest I will give to a modest variant; this one deserves it. 
ps: congrats, Rich, someone else posted here ;-) - it really is a very nice game, I recommend it.

Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-04-19 UTC
Added to the above description is a link to a version of Near Chess that has multiple versions with drops, and one that uses a Chess960 (Fischer Random Chess) shuffle.  The URL added above is:;id=1580

Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-04-17 UTC
I also uploaded a PDF with the Near Chess rules in English, on the Yahoo CV site. You can also find a version of the rules on the Boardgame Geek site here. The link to the PDF rules is in the description above.

Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-04-12 UTC
Just to repeat what was added above.  There is a Zillions adaptation of Near Chess, with a bunch of variants.  The direct link is here:;id=1577

Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-04-11 UTC
Anyone here know how to tell the Courier preset the following rules:
King capture for win 
no castling 
pawn promotion to your captured pieces only

I am curious how to have the rule say that so.  Any ideas?

Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-04-10 UTC
I would like to add that John Kipling Lewis thought of this same variant on Skirmish Chess as I had, so I wanted to give him credit.  He is looking to have a version where the board is only 6 rows big, which makes it different than this version.  I will let him decide what to call it.

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