Capablanca, Gothic, Seirawan, Carrera & Bird Chess with Knighted Bishop & Rook

Special Bishop/Knight and Knight/Rook pieces — the key to some of the greatest modern chess variants. The chessmen and rules of play devised by Carrera (1617), Bird (1874), Capablanca (1920s), Trice (Gothic, 2002) and Seirawan (2007)


  1. I like the way the pieces look with the grand chess sets that are sold on that games inventors sight. If you Wikipedia grand chess you can see the chess boards. It’s basically German staughntan nights with a rook or bishop hat.

  2. Rick, do you know where one can get the knighted bishop & rook pieces that you show in this video? I can't find them anywhere, including on your site (ancientchess) or House of Staunton. (I'm talking about the specific versions you show here.) For some reason HOS has changed the design of their knighted pieces, and I don't like them nearly as well. Not only are their capabilities (i.e. movements) not as readily apparent to the eye as yours, the chancellor now looks too like the queen, and the archbishop has basically lost all horse-like allusion, appearing more like a horned pawn to me.

  3. great video, I'm not the greatest player, but I love new rules to the same pieces. thanks.

  4. I'd love to buy it but it is a bit too expensive 🙁

  5. I certainly love the booklet and pieces

  6. One question: In case an black knight capture the white rook on h1 and retreats back, then you place a elephant on that square. Are you then allowed to castle kingside with the rook knight piece?

  7. Is there a link to the "Knighted Rooks and Bishops" booklet you spoke about? It looks interesting.

    Also – are there variants that have 2 of each of these on the board? (That is, 2 Knighted Rooks, and 2 Knighted Bishops per side.) Either by replacing standard pieces or going to a 12 x 8 board?

  8. could you take a look at noble celts chess its different considering it's a circle for the board instead of the standard boarf

  9. 315$ set complete (40 chessmen with board) ????

  10. I read about Courier Chess set you will make the sale 10 copies a year.
    How many copies a year going to make the sale of Capablanca chess set?

  11. Can you make a video about high quality chess sets that are inexpensive for beginners

  12. Did the Philippines ever have its own version of chess like China Thailand ect

  13. std. chess plus 2chariot move same rook not more than 3aq. 2sword (nobleman in thai chess) 1dragon( or prince) move same queen not more than 2 sq. 1elephant(or princess) move like king 2archery move like nobleman and capture leape 1sq. left right forword and diagonal left and right(5 dimemtions)

  14. prince on horss move same knite -capture same Queen not more than 2 sq. and elephant 1,2 diagonal or 1forwade .

  15. Hey, you forgot about Grand chess 10×10 variant. I definitely prefer your pieces to other sellers. I wish you offered a plastic version that was a little less expensive. It is hard to find and affordable variant that are easy to play with.

  16. It's possible to play this variants at There's a lot of games that you guys can see and analyze.

  17. I like this. A lot. But I think it'd be a curiosity set until I became a GM.

    So, you know, in a while…

  18. Technically, Gothic Chess was invented in 2000. In the year 2002 the patent was received, on November 19th. Too bad it wasn't three years earlier. November 19, 1999 was the last date in which all of the digits are odd (11/19/1999) until January 1st in the year 3111. Similarly, February 2, 2000 was the first time all of the digits in the date were even since August 28 in the year 888.

  19. Probably one of the best hard-fought games of the "formative years" was against my frequent tormentor, the talented Bryan Peckjian, who also helped me a great deal in the formalities of applying for the patent. In the year 2000, the "championship" tournament was a 28 round event. This last game between the top 2 would decide who would be crowned the first champion since we were expected to score similarly against the rest of the field. We were both trying to smash the other, as this game shows. It is worth the effort to replay this one:

    Bryan Peckjian vs. Ed Trice
    Round 20, National Championship
    December 13, 2000

    This was the critical game of the Championship, which was slated for 28 rounds. Peckjian was half a point behind Trice, and this would be the last time they would face each other in this combined Swiss/Dual round robin.

    1. d4 h6 Such a move by Black might seem unusual to a chess player, but it tames the range of the Queenside Bishop in Gothic chess while giving some range to the Archbishop. As will be shown, diagonal pins abound in this game.

    2. h3 d5 3 Nc3 g5 4. g4 c6 This is the so-called Volcano Opening, so named due to the pawn structure. The position represents a current theoretical debate: Can Black push pawns onto both h6 and c6? The current thinking is that White may have time to place pawns on his corresponding squares and still find good posts for the Knights, but Black may not have this luxury.

    5. f4?! It is premature to open up the f-file. With the g-pawn off of the board, Black usually deploys the Chancellor to g7, castles kingside, then plays …Rg8, which virtually guarantees uncontested seizure of the g-file.

    5…gxf4 6. Bxf4 Cf6! And this is the reason not to open up the f-file. The Chancellor exudes a very strong pin as a Rook is now in this file!

    The purpose of …h6 is to keep the Bishop off of g5, and …c6 guarantees that the Knight cannot reach d5. This means the Chancellor can be parked on f6 with no chance of being ousted trivially. This makes the pin particularly uncomfortable for White. White unpins at once, but it seems Black remains just one step ahead.

    7. Cf3 Aj5 Sending the Archbishop to the perimeter looks unusual, and might appear anti-thematic to knowledgeable chess players. Its purpose is solely to pin the pawn on h3.

    8. Ah2?! Bxg4! A subtle point that is easy to miss. If White's Archbishop retakes with 9. Axg4? then Black has 9…Cxg4! and the h-pawn cannot recapture since it remains pinned by the Archbishop on j5.

    9. Ce5 White responds to the aggression with a move that threatens the Archbishop on j5. As seen in the Chancellor’s Vortex family of positions, Black has a Bishop that can be revealed after a Chancellor’s move with check. This is a pattern with which all readers should become very familiar.

    9….Cxf4+ Black takes the Bishop with the Chancellor, and White will take the Chancellor with the Archbishop.

    10. Axf4 Bxe5 11. Axe5

    White is making the idle threat of Axg4 to take the Bishop if Black fell asleep. It looks like the Bishop on g4 is finally going to move, when…


    Of course the pin again remains the central factor, since 12. Axg4? would simply lose the Archbishop to Qxg4! with the h-Pawn pinned and unable to recapture. Black is now playing a psychological game by making moves to ‘wear down’ his opponent. White spends a great deal of time before making the next move, which removes the pin against the h3 Pawn.

    12. Ng2 Qf5+ 13. Af4 White removed one pin, but Black inflicted another. The Archbishop on f4 cannot recapture onto h3, so Black initiates a combination that definitely has no counterpart in the 8×8 chess world.

    13…Bxh3!! 14. ixh3 Axh3 The Rook must drop, since otherwise Ri1 would lose big because the Knight is once again pinned, allowing Black to play …Qxf4+. The game is functionally over.

    15. Qd2 White covers the Archbishop with the Queen and prepares to castle.

    15…Axj1 16. 0-0-0 Na6

    Black’s last move might look odd at first glance, but it stops Ac7 which would win the Rook on a8. This move was not legal previously, since the Archbishop was pinned by the Queen on f5.

    17. Nh4 Qg4?

    Often we hear of a ‘momentum shift’ that occurs during the course of play. Such is the case here: Black’s forces that are in play are somewhat scattered, and the last erroneous move will allow White to skewer the Queen and Archbishop. White has consolidated the position by making the King safe whereas Black’s King is still in the dead center of the board.

    18. Bi2!

    A skewer of the Archbishop and Queen. Black has no choice but to lose the Archbishop for the two minor pieces. In Gothic Chess, we know that this major piece is worth more than the sum of its parts.

    18….Axi2 19. Nxi2 Qxi2 20. Ri1

    White is definitely gaining ground. Black’s Queen on i2 and Knight on a6 are hardly what one would call a cooperative force. White has all four of his pieces deployed, and Black’s two Rooks are virtually non-existent. Black must retreat the Queen, so White will gain another attacking tempo.

    20…Qxj2 21. Rxi7! Nb4?

    White has disrupted all chances for Black to castle. Furthermore, the Knight on i8 must remain in place now to prevent the deadly Axh6+. Black has been moving quickly to gain a time advantage over White, but it is still too early to embark on such a mission.

    22. Rxi8+?

    This is the start of a lengthy combination where White missed an upcoming check by Black’s Queen. Both players engage in quick moves with less than 15 minutes remaining on each clock.

    22…Rxi8 23. Axh6+ Ke8 24. Axi8 Qi1+

    White picks up the Rook but will drop the Archbishop. Determining who nets outs ahead as you mix combinations of the new Gothic pieces with the contemporary chess pieces is not all too straightforward.

    25. Nd1

    And now the Queen is revealing its attack on Black’s Knight on b4. This twist makes the tactical evaluation of the entire series of trades a little muddy for the players trying to play against the clock.

    25….Nxa2+ 26. Kb1 Qxi8 27. Kxa2 Kd7 28. Ne3 Qe4 29. c4?

    The contest has distilled into a chess game now and it was all over but the shouting. Since Black managed to get into a bit of a time squeeze, White kept pressing the issue. The game ends on an interesting note in that Black could not realize his advantage in a straightforward fashion, so once again some bait was needed. A pawn about to promote tends to be responsible for tunnel vision, especially under the constraints of time pressure.

    29…dxc4 30. Nxc4 Qd5 31. b3 Ri8 32. Ne5+ Kc7 33. Qf4 Ri2 34. Nc4+ e5! 35. dxe5 Rxe2+ 36. Ka3 b5! 37. e6+ Kb7 38. exf7??

    With time running short, the lure of a second Queen is too much to resist for White.

    38…bxc4 39. f8=Q 39…Qa5#

  20. I think Seirawan chess is really cool! I'd love to try it. But also on the other variants, you can easily solve your undefended pawn problem, by assigning a new rule, saying that as long as the knighted bishop is on it original square and hadn't move yet, it can also capture upward like a king would capture by 1 square (or diagonally if the given variant demands it. And only on the square where the undefended pawn is.

  21. Great video! Really enjoy your content, just wondering if you could point me in the direction of where to find these wooden arch bishop and chancellor pieces? Many thanks.

  22. Wow! Thank you very much, Rick. I didn’t even know any of these variants existed and now I’m going to have to buy the board and pieces from you so I can give them a try. A toast to new possibilities.

  23. Kings are on the wrong squares very suspicious

  24. If i were to be asked i would promote a pawn to a chosen special peice on castleing. That way you stay truer to chess. Especially if the piece is a hawk or an eagle.

  25. intresting maybe in few centuries this or fisher chess will replace normal chess

  26. When 90% of all top games end up in a draw…it is definitely time for a new chess.

  27. I cannot find the Bishop/Knight or the Knight/Rook pieces in your online store.

  28. What is the title of the booklet? Because I could not find it in the download section? Please and thank you!

  29. Can someone introduce double queen chess on a 9×9 board? The king will have two queens on each side. The number of pawns are nine. It may bring more energy to the game which has already enough energy.

  30. Would it be a “rookie knight” or a “rookie bishop”

  31. I like the Gothic chess set-up. The only thing is, I feel for that many chessmen perhaps a 10 by 10 board would be better. 16 extra squares for 8 new chessmen doesn't seem sufficient. The only drawback then is that the knights, because of their short range, become weakened. If I'm not mistaken, Capablanca himself originally proposed his version on 10 by 10 but was then prevailed upon by a pusblisher to opt for 10 by 8 instead because of this consideration about knights. I'd be interested to know if the any of these versions do feel too cramped.

  32. Was there also a variation (due to Capablanca?) where each colour has two kings?

  33. Did you really use Fortran in '77? My dad used to use that.
    I know there are variations with 2 kings … I'll have to look them up …

  34. Very nice "knighted pieces" and set! For some reason I am quite attracted to Gothic/Trice's chess, and the set of pieces you show in this video are the finest I've seen. I don't need to tell you that those special added chessmen for the variants you cover here are quite rare items. (BTW, you list 2002 as the date Gothic was invented, whereas I had thought it was 2000. Just a small detail, and I could be incorrect.)

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