Last time I wrote about the Corner Chess, a chess variant that was used as a template for the one I would describe today – the Fortress Chess, sometimes called the King’s Fortress Chess. There is only one difference, related to the starting position – three extra pawns are placed in front of each king.
Let me remind the rules:
- Both kings are located in the lower right corners (from the particular player’s point of view) – it explains the name of this variation.
- Other pieces except pawns, i.e. queen, both rooks, both bishops and both knights, are randomly placed in the base rank.
- One bishop must stand on a white square and the other one on a black square.
- Pawns will stay in their normal position – the second (seventh) row.
- The starting positions of both players are center-symmetrical. It means that, for instance, if the white queen stands on c1 square, the black queen will be placed on f8 square.
- And, as mentioned, there are three more pawns of each color.
The following diagram shows an example of a starting position:
As you can see, both kings are really well-hidden behind the additional ramparts, so it’s more difficult to get through the defenses, and a successful attack strategy usually includes one or more sacrifices of minor pieces. It is also important to know that the extra pawns can be used as an efficient force to advance to the promotion rank, so a good player must find a suitable attack/defense balance.
Let’s watch a sample game. Black managed to repel White’s attack, and successfully built a passed pawn structure at the king-side, which turned out to be the key to the final victory: