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This page is written by the game's inventor, John Lewis.



Chess480 uses the Orthodox Castling rules as a variation on the standard Fischer Random Chess Castling rules.  Although the game can start with any of 960 starting positions, half of these are actually mirror positions that theoretically don't change the games tactics.


Chess480 is played with an Orthodox Chess set but employs a randomly generated array. Each new setup is determined by a computer program (or manual procedure) which assigns starting squares according to the following guidelines:

    * White Pawns are placed on their Orthodox home squares.
    * All remaining white pieces are placed on the first rank.
    * The white King is placed somewhere between the two white Rooks.
    * The white Bishops are placed on opposite-colored squares.
    * The black pieces are placed equal-and-opposite the white pieces.


Orthodox Chess pieces are used exclusively.


Orthodox Chess rules apply when applicable.

"Orthodox Castling" is used.

Orthodox Castling
This is a move of the King and either Rook of the same colour on the same rank, counting as a single move of the King and executed as follows: the King is transferred from its original square two squares in the direction of the Rook (which may move the King over or into the Rook's original square), then that Rook is transferred to the square the King has just crossed (if it is not already there). If the King and Rook are adjacent in a corner and the King can not move two spaces towards the Rook, then the King and Rook exchange squares.

(1) The right for castling has been lost:

1. if the King has already moved, or
2. with a Rook that has already moved

(2) Castling is prevented temporarily

1. if the square on which the King stands, or the square which it must cross, or the square which it is to occupy, is attacked by one or more of the opponent`s pieces.
2. if there is any piece between the King and the Rook with which castling is to be effected.


Chess480 is currently played on

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By John Kipling Lewis.
Web page created: 2005-09-29. Web page last updated: 2005-09-29