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The Chess Variant Pages

Legler's Chess or Neo-Chess

By John Ayer

This game was invented in (or before) 1923, by Mr. Hugo Legler, of San Francisco (later of Oakland), California. Mr. Legler was several times the state chess champion of California. 

His proposal is played on the normal eight-by-eight-square chessboard. The queen's rook is replaced by a chancellor, combining the powers of rook and knight, and the queen's knight by an archbishop, combining the powers of bishop and knight. 

The Mechanics Institute Chess Club in San Francisco, where Mr. Legler then played, had pieces made for the new game, and in April 1923 held a tournament. A traveling reporter for the American Chess Bulletin, Mr. Leander Turney, reported that the chancellor was in the form of a rook surmounted by a horse's head. This was judged satisfactory. The archbishop was a horse's head on an exceptionally tall pedestal, and the reporter called for its replacement by a horse's head with a split miter on top. Mr. Turney also suggested moving the Archbishop the the King's side. This variation is also included in the Zillions rules file, mentioned below.  

Chess set image created with Zillions of Games

You can play this game with Zillions of Games. You can download the zip file here. The rules file was developed by Peter Aronson, with graphics by David Howe.