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Crown Prince Chess

By Matthew Chrzaszcz and Derek Mota

Paul DeWitte writes:

Hi Tony, Fergus, et al:

I have another chess variant developed by a couple of my students



This chess variant was developed by members of the Notre Dame Chess Club in Kitchener, Ontario.


The game uses the standard 8X8, 64-cell board.


This variant uses most of the standard chess pieces, set up in their standard opening positions as regular chess, except for one difference. White has a crown prince that begins the game at b1, and black has a crown prince that begins at g8. Each player, then, has only one knight at the start of the game.


Standard FIDE chess pieces, possessing their regular moves, are used in this game, except for one difference. The crown prince is a piece that moves in exactly the same way that the king does; however, the crown prince can neither capture nor be captured. The crown prince can block– and be blocked– by other pieces.


A player can win in one of two ways. A player can win in the traditional way, i.e. by mating his opponent’s king, or a player can win by being the first person to move his crown prince to his opponent’s end rank.

Castling is permitted. Pawns promote to any piece except the crown prince. En passant captures are legal.


Standard chess pieces are used. One knight per side can be slightly modified to represent a crown prince.