My brother and I made this 15 by 15 squares chess board that uses two sets of pieces minus a pawn and king for each color.

15x15 board (still coloring in black squares)

We have already played a game and find it extremely fun and interesting, but a lot to manage in our heads as there are so many options.

We decided that we might need to change some of the rules - like how pieces move or how they are initially set up. Right now we have each side set up as following.

R N B R N B Q K Q B N R B N R 

We figured this provided a fair amount of protection, but is there a better layout? For instance, should queens be on one side of the king?

Queens remain very powerful, but bishops massively increase in power compared to the other pieces since they can cover so much distance. Rooks are difficult to move out as usual which is fine, but knights and pawns are pretty hard to get into the middle game.

We had a few ideas to fix this issue. We thought we will have pawns be able to move either 1, 2, or 3 spaces on their first turn. We are also considering giving knights a larger ‘L’ shape (not sure exactly what shape - suggestions welcome).

And then there is castling to figure out. We had an idea to give the king the ability to either castle with the nearest rook when he can under usual conditions when no pieces are blocking... or with the furthest rook if he can under usual conditions when no pieces are blocking.

I’m asking for advice on set up and rules that maximize fun gameplay and strategy. Any creative suggestions are welcome, but I’m also looking for some real logic to back up most ideas. Try to notice potential flaws with having a giant board and how to fix them by modifying set up and rules.

  • How do you castle? if you do it with c-m rook my point of view is king is too much exposed being in central squares. Maybe it is interesting RRkkBBQKQ instead. Then castling with a-o rook will be logical to connect rooks, but it migth be interesrting to castle with b-n and pop-up a-o pawns to make in play the other rooks. I won't give extra mouvements to knigths. Just things wil be a bit slower but you can have a nice strategy plan to control the center. – user16971 Jul 22 '18 at 7:11
  • You may find it useful to set up the starting position on an interactive 15x15 chessboard and play out moves there and even save whole games: apronus.com/chess/pgnviewer/?w=15&h=15 – DrCapablasker Jul 22 '18 at 15:40
  • changing move rules will completely destroy your brain's understanding of chess, but it migth be fun and the nice thing you did with your brother may finish at an online site :) I wouldn't change mouve rules, maybe yes starting position and clarify castling rule is important. rooks connection is one of the most important things at opennigs, who knows at such a big board =) – user16971 Jul 22 '18 at 20:26
  • I find it very odd that you have 15x15 instead of 16x16. This small detail also makes you have 2 queens which even historically or socially would be equally odd. – Isac Jul 25 '18 at 17:13

A fun rule could be to allow the King to castle two times:

  1. First in the standard way in the standard array
  2. Second with the corner rook in the same direction

For the second castling, the restriction is the usual one except for the King who has made no other move than the first castling.

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  • very nice purposal +1. if things become hard for king's defense a second castle. – user16971 Jul 24 '18 at 18:01
  • I like it. So should it still be 2 moves for the king, or should the number of spaces be increased for the first and/or second castle? – tyobrien Jul 26 '18 at 2:58
  • That's your decision, but I suggest a wider jump for the King on the second castling such that the Kings position resembles a classical castled position. – jk - Reinstate Monica Jul 26 '18 at 10:28

I agree that giving the knights and pawns extra movement power to compensate for their current short range.

As the board is (almost) doubled, the pawn movement ability should also be doubled. Allow them to move either 1 or 2 squares and, in addition, 3 or 4 on their respective first move. The rules for en passant would have to be adjusted.

The knight is trickier. I think that the knight always changing color squares should be adhered, so the natural additions would be a 3x2 or a 4x3 pattern.[1] The latter allows for the natural king-rook fork while the other allows the queen-rook fork. They both seem to allow too many forks due to the extreme power given to the knights.

[1] As the correct movement of the knight is described as 1 square forward and one square in the same direction diagonally, The suggested move would be the same but allowing 2 or 3 squares diagonally, respectfully.

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  • the problem I see for allow two moves to pawns, they value at the endgame is gonna be huge, specialy for passed connected pawn. At normal chess two connected passed pawns at 6th rank=rook, but if they can move two moves, two connected passe pawns at 13th rank would be one quuen and a half or so! so then it would change the logic fo the middlegame thath is developing in endgame. so much sacs to have your 'usain bolt' pawns maybe. – user16971 Jul 24 '18 at 10:24

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