Chancellor and Archbishop - Musketeer Chess Variant Kit - 4 Set
Chancellor & Archbishop CombinationProduct Code: MENCAMARATTA
In Partnership with Musketeer ChessThe Camaratta Chess Variant Kit, which features Archbishop and Chancellors Pieces, is an exciting, new way to play Chess! Use these pieces with your favorite set of chess pieces and play Camaratta Chess! Each kit comes with a total of 4 plastic chess pieces - Black Archbishop, Black Chancellor, Natural Archbishop, and Natural Chancellor.
Camaratta-Chess is a modification of Sharper Chess which is the invention of GM Yasser Seirawan and Bruce Harper. Sharper Chess improves on an idea proposed by former World Champion Jose Capablanca, which introduced two new chess pieces to each army but which suffers from the need for an 8 x 10 chessboard.
Rules for Musketeer Chess can be downloaded at www.musketeerchess.com. The new chess pieces are designed to be Staunton-compatible, hence can easily be used as replacements or substitutes to customize classic Staunton pattern chess sets or create your own chess variant.
Archbishop and Chancellor Kit
Archbishop and Chancellor combine, respectively, the moves of the Bishop and Knight and Rook and Knight. They are sometimes referred to as Marshall, Empress, Princess, Cardinal, Concubine, Adjutant, Guard, Centaur, Equerry, Champion, among others.
It was former World Champion Jose Raul Capablanca, who posited these new pieces to reinvigorate the game of Chess, which he believed had been “played-out”. An interesting history must be told. These pieces were designed by Frank Camaratta. He carved them for a specific event. If this event has ever been held, it could have been the greatest Chess and Chess Variant championship of all time. All chess enthusiasts remember the Karpov-Fischer rivalry. Bobby Fischer forfeited his title to Russian Grand Master Anatoly Karpov in 1975. Almost 30 years later, there were secret negotiations conducted to arrange a match between Karpov and Fischer for the title of world champion. They would pit these two great players over the board in a Capablanca Chess Variant called Gothic Chess. The “Gothic” Chess set was presented to Fischer in Iceland through Icelandic Grand Master Friðrik Ólafsson. Fischer played through a number of games on the set in the privacy of his room and expressed his lavish approval of the chessmen. The match, unfortunately, never took place, due to Fischer’s unrealistic financial demands, but it was Frank Camaratta who created and designed the pieces and chessboard specifically for this special event. The Chessmen and Chessboard are currently in the possession of Mr. Camaratta.
In Musketeer Chess on a standard chess board, adding Chancellor or Archbishop makes the game extremely Sharp. The game becomes very tactical, where explosive combinations abound. Even with a large material advantage, the Archbishop and Chancellor sometimes cannot be contained, with brutal results. The Archbishop is capable of mating a bare king unassisted.
History of the Chess Pieces
C-Chess (Camaratta-Chess) is another adaptation of Capablanca's original idea which leverages off the invention of GM Yasser Seirawan and Bruce Harper. Like Sharper Chess, it retains the 8 x 8 chessboard. It is played exactly like Standard chess and retains the same basic rules and concepts of play. The two new pieces, Archbishop (moves like a Bishop and Knight) and Chancellor (moves like a Rook and Knight) are held "in-hand."
The major difference between C-Chess and Sharper Chess is that anytime during the game, either piece held “in-hand” can be placed on ANY open square on the players first rank. That constitutes the player's entire move. Effectively, on his turn, the player can either make a move with any of his chessmen that are still on the board, or he can drop, but not both at the same time (you can't move, then drop on the same play).
The only restriction is that a player may not drop while in check (in other words, you can't use the drop to block a check), nor can you drop one of the pieces "in-hand" in such a manner that it places your opponent in check. Obviously, both of these rules are fluid and players can agree to suspend either or both rules.
In valuing the chessmen, the Archbishop is valued at 7.0, maybe slightly more, and the Chancellor at 8.5. (The Queen is 9.0 and the Pawn is 1.0 for reference).