Missionary Chess is played on a 10×8 checkered board with an additional piece known as the Mission positioned between the Knight and Bishop.
The Mission is a colour bound Rook, with the ability to leap the nearest opposite coloured square. It may also move without leaping, two squares diagonally.
The Mission is represented by the symbol of the Egyptian Ankh ☥ and is notated with an M.
The Mission is discussed in much more depth of course, throughout the rest of this blog.
Missionary Chess features a new specialty called Follying, whereby the Mission’s adjacent Bishop or Knight may be relocated to the Mission’s home square in the same turn of the Mission first vacating.
Whilst this could cause both Bishops to be of the same colour square, Follying can be performed both King or Queen side, replenishing the balance.
Follying is explained further in other chapters and discussed practically later in more detail.
The game of Missionary Chess begins just as any Classical game of Chess, whereby all the pieces take up their positions and move into their directed patterns of strategy.
All the standard rules of Chess apply.
The white corner square, as in Classical Chess, is orientated to the player’s right hand side. On an 80 square board this places the King on his own colour, rather than the Queen, but it makes no difference to play.
Castling remains the same, however three squares are now required to be traversed instead of the orthodox two. Thus the King arriving to i1/8 Kingside or c1/8 Queenside and the Rook placed as usual, directly adjacent to its opposite side.
Other than Follying, the only real difference, which is a condition I put on all my Chess Variants, is that of Pawn promotion. When reaching the other side of the board, a Pawn may only promote to a piece available from the set.
That is to say, there are no double Queens.
Missionary Chess © Simon Jepps