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This page is written by the game's inventor, David Short.

Elbow Room

This game was inspired by another chess variant which I have created, Doublechess. I was playing around with variations on an 8 by 16 board. The rules are very simple. The king may castle with either rook to mimic the appearance of standard chess. (O-O is king to k1/k8, rook to j1/j8, O-O-O is king to g1/g8, rook to h1,h8). We're back to one army vs. one army here, except that each side has four additional pawns. Play is likely to be concentrated on the center, but pieces can make use of the extra four rows on either side if and when they need to. Rooks and queens out in the open board have the added power of being able to move more than 8 squares in a single turn (as is the case in Doublechess). However, now opposing bishops do not begin the game on the same diagonals so they won't be traded off early as often as they do in Doublechess. Normal rules of en passant and pawn promotion still apply. There is no restriction on what a pawn may promote to upon reaching the last rank, except that it must promote to a standard chess piece (queen, rook, bishop or knight).

I couldn't resist the temptation to create one other special rule. I call it the "teleport rule": If all of the squares between one's king and one of the corners of the board on its own side are clear, and the king has not moved yet in the game, and is not in check and would not be moving over a square controlled by an enemy piece, it may "teleport" to that corner square. For instance, the white king is on i1 and all of the intervening squares between i1 and p1 are empty and p1 is empty as well. The king has not moved yet in the game and is not in check, and no enemy piece controls any of these squares, the king may teleport to p1. Likewise for the squares between a1 and i1, if they are all clear and these other conditions apply, the king may teleport to a1. Likewise for Black, teleporting to a8 or p8. The king may only teleport once in the game.

Written by David Short.
WWW page created: June 19, 2001.