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Capablanca random chess

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8a8 black knightb8 black bishopc8 black knightd8 black empresse8 black queenf8 black rookg8 black bishoph8 black princessi8 black kingj8 black rook8
7a7 black pawnb7 black pawnc7 black pawnd7 black pawne7 black pawnf7 black pawng7 black pawnh7 black pawni7 black pawnj7 black pawn7
2a2 white pawnb2 white pawnc2 white pawnd2 white pawne2 white pawnf2 white pawng2 white pawnh2 white pawni2 white pawnj2 white pawn2
1a1 white knightb1 white bishopc1 white knightd1 white empresse1 white queenf1 white rookg1 white bishoph1 white princessi1 white kingj1 white rook1
Capablanca random chess. One of the 12,118 possible starting positions.

Capablanca random chess (CRC) is a chess variant invented by Reinhard Scharnagl in 2004. It combines the piece set and 10×8 board from Capablanca chess with the permutation idea of Fischer random chess (FRC or Chess960). This game won a contest in 2005 held at The Chess Variant Pages to design a variant based upon the theme of the number 10.[1]


The rules are the same as in Capablanca chess except the initial setup is randomized. White and black pieces are set up in symmetrical position. The pieces on the first rank are placed randomly with the following restrictions:

  1. Bishops must be on opposite-colored squares.
  2. The queen and the archbishop (which are composite pieces possessing, in part, the movement of bishops) must also start on opposite-colored squares.
  3. The king must be between the rooks.
  4. All pawns must be protected in the initial setup.
  5. The starting position must be different from that of Gothic chess (i.e. RNBQCKABNR).
  6. Starting positions with neighbouring bishops must be avoided.

The first restriction is taken from FRC for the purpose of balancing the power of colorbound bishops. The second restriction is based upon the first restriction but extrapolated to the piece set used by CRC. The third restriction is taken from FRC to preserve castling ability. The fourth restriction helps to minimize the advantage held by White in having the first move. The fifth restriction is to avoid possible legal issues in America with Gothic chess, which was formerly protected by a US patent. The sixth restriction was introduced later upon discovery by Scharnagl that such positions might increase the advantage of first move for White.

Together, these six rules restrict the opening setup to 12,118 starting positions[citation needed].

Extended FEN encoding[edit]

Within Capablanca random chess, X-FEN is used (to represent positions).


  1. "Contest to design a 10-chess variant". The Chess Variant Pages. 2005-12-25. Retrieved 2007-08-19.

External links[edit]

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