9a9 black rookb9 black knightc9 black bishopd9 black queene9 black kingf9 black empressg9 black knighth9 black bishopi9 black rook9
8a8 black pawnb8 black pawnc8 black pawnd8 black pawne8 black pawnf8 black pawng8 black pawnh8 black pawni8 black pawn8
2a2 white pawnb2 white pawnc2 white pawnd2 white pawne2 white pawnf2 white pawng2 white pawnh2 white pawni2 white pawn2
1a1 white rookb1 white knightc1 white bishopd1 white queene1 white kingf1 white empressg1 white knighth1 white bishopi1 white rook1
Chancellor chess board and starting setup. Chancellors are on f1/f9. "Notice that the positions of B and N are reversed on the king's sides in order that bishop pairs are on opposite coloured squares."[1]

Chancellor chess is a chess variant invented by Benjamin R. Foster in 1887. It features all the regular chess pieces plus one chancellor and extra pawn per side, on a 9×9 board.

John Gollon, in Chess Variations: Ancient, Regional, and Modern, expressed his belief that a variant like Foster's "will be the next step to the evolution of chess", because the addition of a single piece, the chancellor, a combination of rook and knight, "preserves a symmetry of power" on the chessboard with the queen, a combination of rook and bishop.[2]

Game rules

The starting setup is as shown. All the standard rules of chess apply, but when reaching the final rank, pawns can promote to one of the usual pieces or to chancellor.


Chancellor chess was invented by Ben R. Foster in 1887 and was first published the same year in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. Foster published a booklet titled Chancellor Chess in 1889, "dedicated to all liberal-minded chess players throughout the world".[3] An advertisement for a book by Foster on the game appeared in American Chess magazine in October 1898. The ad informed that the game was named after the new piece, the chancellor, with the board "enlarged to nine squares".[4]

See also


  1. ^ Pritchard (1994), p. 47
  2. ^ Gollon (1968), p. 216
  3. ^ Pritchard (1994), pp. 46–47
  4. ^ Gollon (1968), p. 214


Further reading