The Chess Variant Pages

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Chess in the Round

Editor's Note: This game called "Chess in the Round" was distributed by Saxon Agencies Ltd. in the 1970s. Having made reasonable efforts to contact them, we can only assume they have gone out of business. However this may not necessarily be true, so if anyone knows of how we could contact this company or the inventor, please let us know so we can request permission to continue publishing this description of the rules. This game should not be confused with Chess in the Round™ by White Bear Enterprises. Thank you.


Barry Yoner writes,

"The details of the game are as follows: This version is called Chess in the Round. It was copyrighted in 1972 by Saxon Agencies Ltd. of Vancouver, B.C. Canada with the note that the patent was pending. I purchased it in a drug store in Vernon, B.C. Canada in 1978.

The 'gimmick' of the game is that it of course played on a circular board. The biggest difference in the versions I've seen on the site is that there is no hole in the middle of the board. It looks - for the most part - to be a regular board with all the squares altered to fit a circular style. Looking at the board, it appears to be arranged in four concentric circles. The board colour was chosen to minimize eyestrain and is a soft yellow and brown. Different, but definitely not hard on the eyes.

The set up of the chess pieces are exactly the same as regular chess. The 'corners' of the board are designated by the squares being triangular in shape. Up to 4 different types of chess games can be played on this board, Regular, Roving Rook, Wild Queen, and Rook/Queen combo.

The pieces in the different games gain the ability to also follow the circular board, meaning that attacks from the rear can be done. It requires a modification in thinking in playing these different versions."

Editor's note: below is a summary of the 4 games that can be played with this board (see the rules: p.1, p.2, p.3, p.4):

  1. Traditional Chess with standard piece movement. Although the board has an unusual look, if orthogonal and diagonal movement rules are observed, this board is functionally identical to the standard chess board.
  2. "Roving Rook". All standard movement is observed except for the Rook. The Rook can turn corners in concentric circles in a continuing slide. The board design facilitates visualizing this capability.
  3. "Wild Queen". All standard movement is observed except for the Queen. The Queen has the same ability as the Roving Rook described above.
  4. Combine both "Roving Rook" and "Wild Queen".