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This page is written by the game's inventor, Martin Janecke.

Perleberger Bridge Chess

Perleberger Bridge Chess

by Martin Janecke

Description in German

Perleberger bridge chess is played on a board with 66 cells: The 64 standard board is split in two halves which are connected by a central bridge. Hence “bridge chess”. However, I name it “Perleberger bridge chess” to differentiate it from other chess variants using bridges. Perleberg is a beautiful small town located right in the middle between the German cities Berlin and Hamburg. It does indeed have several bridges crossing the river Stepenitz and it is where I invented this chess variant in October 2009.


The opening setup is identical to the initial position in FIDE chess. However, mind that it is the black king standing on a dark cell, not the black queen. This is due to the bridge's insertion which swaps the colors of the upper ranks. As a mnemonic I recommend the original King Kong movie, featuring black King Kong and a white woman as protagonists: in Perleberger bridge chess the white queen (the white woman in the movie) and the black king (King Kong) start from their own color.


All pawns are Berolina pawns. The Berolina pawn moves without taking one square diagonally, and may move on its first move two squares diagonally into the same direction. It takes by moving one square straight ahead. En passant-capture is possible: for example, when black has a pawn on c4, and white moves a pawn from b2 to d4, then the black pawn can take the white pawn by moving to c3. The Berolina pawn was invented by Edmund Nebermann, see Berolina pawn in Piececlopedia.

Note that only because of their Berolina nature all pawns are able to cross the bridge on their own.

All other pieces move and take exactly as in FIDE chess.

While knights can jump across the river, all other pieces must use the bridge at d5 or e5 to get to the other side of the board.


Perleberger bridge chess differs from FIDE rules in only two aspects: 1. All pawns are Berolina pawns. 2. The board features a river in the newly inserted rank 5, crossable at d5 and e5: the two cells forming a bridge


You can find the original German description page for “Brückenschach” at

I hope you enjoy this variant.

Written by Martin Janecke.
WWW page created: November 3, 2009.

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By Martin Janecke.
Web page created: 2009-12-11. Web page last updated: 2009-12-11