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Dunsany's chess

Dunsany's chess, also known as Horde chess or Dunsany's game, is an asymmetric chess variant in which one side has standard chess pieces, and the other side has 32 pawns. Unlike many chess variants, this one does not feature any fairy pieces, which are pieces not found in conventional chess. This game was invented by Lord Dunsany in 1942.


Object of the game:

  • The standard pieces win by capturing all 32 pawns before they run out of legal moves.
  • The pawns win by checkmating the king. This is far easier if they first get at least one pawn promoted to queen.
  • The pawns can also accomplish a draw, which for them is almost as good as a win, by running out of legal moves.

Piece movement is the same as in regular chess, except that only the eight pawns from the standard side have the option to move forward two spaces on their first move.

Variations game server supports an almost identical game called Horde chess. In difference to Dunsany's chess, the colors of pieces are exchanged and the starting position of the pawns is slightly different.


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