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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chess trivia: What's chess without a check?

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess News & Trivia (c) 2010

Hello Everyone,

Not only is chess so dynamic in itself but it has also inspired a range of variants. One very interesting variant is 'checkless chess'!

Have you heard about it? It is also called 'prohibition chess'. It is an unorthodox chess game dating from the middle of the 19th century. In this game neither player may give check unless it is to checkmate!

The consequence of this rule is that the King may be used as an attacking piece - perhaps advancing it far into the enemy territory. The King may then be played so that it would be in check if a piece were captured and can thus protect a piece at a distance. Sounds very interesting right? We found this interesting entry in Hooper, David; Whyld, Ken (1984). Oxford Companion to Chess.

Of course at all times you have to be careful that the King does not get cornered in enemy territory. Try playing it with a friend. We didn't have a game but here is a position for checkless chess.

For example, look at the following position:

In the following position if it is White to move then - in a checkless chess game - White cannot go 1.ed because that would give check which is not a checkmate!

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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