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Chess - Speed Game

Around 1992, a chess variant was given to visitors of Centre Parcs, a Dutch company that rents holiday houses. During a certain period, visitors received a special package, including this game. The game was invented by Mr. den Oude. The game was titled: Chess - the Speed Game; the mentioned date of invention is 1988.

It is interesting to note that this game is very similar and perhaps somewhat preceeds the better known (and purchasable) Quickchess by a few years, and that both games are preceeded by the half-century old and again similar Petty Chess.

I bought my set, of which you see some photo's below for a few guilders on a flee market.

Opening Setup

The game is played on a board with six rows and five columns. The opening setup is as follows:

King d1; Queen e1; Rook a1; Knight b1; Bishop c1; Pawn a2, b2, c2, d2, e2.

King b6; Queen a6; Rook e6; Knight d6; Bishop c6; Pawn a6, b6, c6, d6, e6.


There are three versions of the rules: for beginners, for somewhat more experienced players, and for experienced players. Beginners win the game by taking the king, or by taking all pieces of the opponent except the king (the ancient bare king rule, already present in Chaturanga and Shatranj). More experienced players should win by mating the king. The rules for experienced players (the third version) contain some additional rules, with a strange one: en- passant capture is explained here by letting a pawn taking a pawn of the opponent by moving sideways just after the first move of the opponents pawn. So, for instance, when there is a white pawn on a4, and black moves b5-b4, then white may take a4 x b4 in the direct following move. (Note that this is different from real en-passant capture: see the rules of chess if you are unfamiliar.) Also, the rules for the experienced introduce castling: the king (who has not moved and is not in check) is played on the knights opening spot, and the rook (who has not moved) is played to the bishops opening spot; and these rules allow promotion of the pawn to a piece earlier taken.


Written by: Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: March 4, 1997.