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Barasi Chess

John Reece pointed my attention to Barasi Chess. This variant was invented in the 1970s by Paul Barasi.


The game is played as orthodox chess, but with the following modification to its rules:

Pawns move without capturing one square diagonally, and may do so both forwards and backwards. Pawns capture one square vertically, again this may be forwards or backwards. Pawns that are on a 2nd, 3rd or 4th row (from the viewpoint of the owning player) may move (without capturing) also two squares diagonally. There is no en passant capture, promotion of pawns is as usual.

The other pieces (queen, rook, knight, bishop, queen) however may not move backwards. This means effectively that queens, rooks, and kings can only move sideways, once they reach the last row of the board, and that knights and bishops cannot move at all from the last row.


This description is based on the information from The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants, by David Pritchard. Pritchard also tells that the well known chess grandmaster Speelman from the UK was `allegedly unbeatable' at this game.

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Written by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: October 3, 1999.