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D-chess is a chess variant invented in 2008 by Dr. David Snyder.[1] In D-Chess the beginning positions of the pieces on the back row are randomly determined, with the one restriction that the bishops be on opposite-colored squares. There are 8,294,400 such positions in total. In Chess960 there are 960 possible starting positions, but that is because the king must be located between the rooks. In transcendental chess and D-Chess there is no such rule so the position of one side can be any of 2880.

It is similar to transcendental chess with the main difference being that only one game is needed to be played against each opponent. In transcendental chess the players take turns playing white and black because of the asymmetrical position. In D-Chess the game is equalized out by one player choosing the stronger side to play and the other player having the option of transposing two pieces in his back row and making the first move.


  1. The game of D-Chess has the exact same rules of modern chess as we know it (including 8 x 8 board, en passant, draw rules, etc. with the following exceptions:
  2. The pieces in the back row, behind the pawns are randomly arranged by a die or other form of lot, such as cards. This is done for the black and white side, separately (different starting positions). Bishops must remain on opposite colors. If the die comes up with another bishop and it is for the same color square, the die is rolled again so that the final set-up has both sides with their bishops on opposite color squares.
  3. A coin is tossed to determine which player gets to choose which side to take for the game (the side with a stronger strategic position, such as a better control of the center, for example, the rooks or queen at or near the center). The winner of the coin-toss chooses the side (it may be white or it may be black).
  4. The loser of the coin-toss gets to move first (thereby equalizing the game once again). Over time half of all games will have white moving first and half will be with black moving first, thereby making white no more or less superior or inferior to black and no extra advantage to moving first.
  5. Because of the unusual set-up there can be no castling. All other moves, pieces, and strategies are like the modern game of chess. Instead of castling the player that moves first (the loser in the coin-toss) has the option of transposing two pieces in his back row. This will also help to equalize the asymmetrical position. After transposing two pieces, he makes his first move and the game proceeds as in the normal chess rules shown above. Only the player who moves first has this option of transposing two pieces and he can only do so at the beginning of the game and he can also choose not to do so. For example, in the chess diagram above, if the player who gets to choose selects white because of the bishops at the corners and rooks near the center, the other player plays black and could transpose a8 with c8 so that the king could be away from the corner and then he gets to make the first move too.