Janus chess
Janus Chess is a chess variant
Chess variant
A chess variant is a game related to, derived from or inspired by chess. The difference from chess might include one or more of the following:...

 played on a 10×8 board. It features a new piece, the Janus (also known as archbishop or cardinal), with the combined moves of a bishop
Bishop (chess)
A bishop is a piece in the board game of chess. Each player begins the game with two bishops. One starts between the king's knight and the king, the other between the queen's knight and the queen...

 and a knight
Knight (chess)
The knight is a piece in the game of chess, representing a knight . It is normally represented by a horse's head and neck. Each player starts with two knights, which begin on the row closest to the player, one square from the corner...

. This piece is named after the Roman god Janus
Janus (mythology)
In ancient Roman religion and mythology, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, thence also of gates, doors, doorways, endings and time. He is usually a two-faced god since he looks to the future and the past...

 because this god was usually depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions. Janus Chess was invented in 1978 by Werner Schöndorf from Bildstock, Germany.

The usual set of chess piece
Chess piece
Chess pieces or chessmen are the pieces deployed on a chessboard to play the game of chess. The pieces vary in abilities, giving them different values in the game...

s is extended with two pawn
Pawn (chess)
The pawn is the most numerous and weakest piece in the game of chess, historically representing infantry, or more particularly armed peasants or pikemen. Each player begins the game with eight pawns, one on each square of the rank immediately in front of the other pieces...

s and two Januses per player. Each Janus is placed between a rook
Rook (chess)
A rook is a piece in the strategy board game of chess. Formerly the piece was called the castle, tower, marquess, rector, and comes...

 and a knight. The relative position of the king
King (chess)
In chess, the king is the most important piece. The object of the game is to trap the opponent's king so that its escape is not possible . If a player's king is threatened with capture, it is said to be in check, and the player must remove the threat of capture on the next move. If this cannot be...

 and queen
Queen (chess)
The queen is the most powerful piece in the game of chess, able to move any number of squares vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. Each player starts the game with one queen, placed in the middle of the first rank next to the king. With the chessboard oriented correctly, the white queen starts...

 is reversed compared to chess
Chess is a two-player board game played on a chessboard, a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.Each player...

. After castling the king is placed on either the b-file or i-file and a rook is placed on either the c-file or h-file, depending upon which side to castle is chosen.

Note that the Janus is the only piece in this game which is able to checkmate the opponent's king without the assistance of any other piece, if the king is in a corner.

This chess variant is quite popular in Europe. Several chess grandmasters play this game including Viktor Korchnoi
Viktor Korchnoi
Viktor Lvovich Korchnoi ; pronounced in the original Russian as "karch NOY"; Ви́ктор Льво́вич Корчно́й, born March 23, 1931 is a professional chess player, author and currently the oldest active grandmaster on the tournament circuit...

, Péter Lékó
Péter Lékó
On the way to winning the prestigious Corus chess tournament in 2005, Lékó defeated Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand with the black pieces. The moves were:...

 and Artur Yusupov
Artur Yusupov
Artur Mayakovich Yusupov is a German International Grandmaster of chess, and a chess writer.-Chess career:...


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