# Cylinder Chess

by George Jelliss

## Cylinder Chess

From Variant Chess, Volume 3, Issue 22, Winter 1996-7, pages 32-33.

The modern form of Cylinder Chess is in fact played on a normal board, but the right and left edges of the board are imagined to be joined in such a way that a piece can move off one edge and reappear at the opposite edge, moving in the same or a parallel line. The practical difficulties of playing on an actual cylinder (such as seeing the whole position and stopping pieces falling off!) could no doubt be overcome with a little ingenuity, but chess variants are really about changes in the rules, not the equipment. The same game can also be played on a circular board, with Black's side of the board contracted to a point, or to a small circular hole, in the centre, and White's side as the circumference. However, the outer cells are then eight times as wide as the inmost cells. Teodoro Ciccolini, Marchese di Guardiagrele, gave such a board diagram in his book Del Cavallo degli Scacchi 1836 (but the knight's tour he gives on it is ordinary, not including any move across the line of the join).

The earliest cylinder chess problem may be (A) and the earliest example to show a complete circle move (sent to me by J. C. Dumont) may be (B).

(A) A. Piccinini
Revista Scacchistica
Italia
1907 (version)
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Mate in two.
1. Qa3 Kg1 2. Qc1‡
(B) A. W. Mongredien
Bulletin de la FFE
No.19, 1926
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Mate in two.
1. Rh4-h4 any 2. Rh4-h5‡

T. R. Dawson wrote about Cylinder Chess in the Problemist Fairy Chess Supplement December 1931 p.50: “One or two readers have objected to the idea that in cylinder chess a rook (say) may move from b5 round the cylinder and back to b5, on the ground that this is merely picking a man up and putting it down on the same square. I cannot agree with this limitation of cylinder play, for the circular return move is really the most interesting novelty of cylinder play, is in fact 'real cylinder' play, and its study is worth attention quite as much as any other geometrical feature of the cylinder board.” Since then many other forms of 'null move' have become almost commonplace.

W. Roese (in Die Norag 12 Feb 1926) gave a position (WKe1, Rd8; BKe3, Qe4) in which he mischievously claimed that White could draw by making an 'infinite' rook move round the top rank. Hence the need to play Cylinder Chess with a time limit on moves!

C. S. Kipping in The Problemist 1934 commented: "Some of the great Bohemian composers, including Havel and Mach, have published several hundreds of cylinder problems in recent years."

Another prominent feature of cylinder play is the convergence of two diagonal lines from one piece onto the same square, its antipode, a (4, 4) leap away, thus making possible double checks from a single piece, and double pins and other effects.

(C) A. Mandler
Prager Presse
1928
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Mate in two.
1. Qb7 K-d3/f5/P-
2. Q-h7/b1/a8‡
(D) P. Frey
Fairy Chess Review
1938
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Mate in two.
1. Nf7 K-d5/e4/6/f5
2. Q-h1/a8/a2/b1 (1.Ng6? Ke4!)

It may be noted that in setting a problem composers often rotate the board to a position where the moves are the most difficult to see, so it often helps to rotate the position to see more clearly what is going on. The retro-analysis expert Luigi Ceriani composed a number of ingenious problems like (E) in which the board has been rotated and you are required to identify which is the a-file! [In the magazine the board was shown as chequered. Here we can remove the chequering, which is not regarded as part of the given evidence.]

An effect of the cylinder on castling, shown in (F), only seems to have been realised much later.

(E) L. Ceriani
Die Schwalbe
1933
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Which is the a-file?
(ignore chequering)
(F) K. Hannemann
Thema Danicum
1976
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Helpmate in 2, 2 ways.
with set play (2 var).

In (E) 'a1' must be either c1 or f1 since the bishop has not moved. The WP on the 7th rank came from 'a2' by four captures on the same colour cells. The BB 'a8' was captured at home, so one of the four captures must have been of a rook. The only way a rook could have got out is if there were a pair of captures by the black pawns (e.g. 'c7'×'d6' and 'd7'×'c6'). The other WB was taken at home. So WQ must have come out to be captured. Thus 'a1' cannot be f1 since the WQ is then trapped between K and QR, preventing castling. But with 'a1' at c1 the Q can get out via c2. So the real a-file is the current 'g-file'.

In (F) the set play is 1. ... Na6 2. 0-0 Rg7‡ or 2.'0-0-0' Rc7‡. The solutions are 1. 0-0 Na6 2.Rf7 Rh8‡ and 1.'0-0-0' Ne6 2. Rb8 Rc7‡ where '0-0-0' denotes queen-side castling with the king`s rook! Also feasible is '0-0', king-side castling with the queen's rook. This diagram appeared in issue 22 without the pawns h2, h3. In issue 23 our problems editor (R. Turnbull) pointed out that the set play is illegal since Black has no last move (Ra8-h8?). I think the added pawns correct this.

## Horizontal Cylinder Chess

From Variant Chess, Volume 3, Issue 23, Spring 1997, page 48.

Following on from the last issue: it is of course also possible to form a cylinder by joining the black and white sides instead of the king and queen sides, giving Horizontal Cylinder Chess, but on such a board the normal game-array is illegal, since both kings are in quadruple check. (Round Chess as described in VC22 is a form of horizontal cylinder chess on a board 4×16.) Suggestions for a legal opening position for Horizontal Cylinder Chess are invited. My proposal is as follows:

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Here the pawns can be taken as moving normally, or the four rear pawns can be taken as moving opposite to normal (in which case they would be shown upside down). White can open by attacking an undefended rook with his queen by 1.e4, but if the 'phantom capture' rule is in force this can be met by 1.... e5-f4.

## Progressive Cylinder Chess

From Variant Chess, Volume 3, Issue 22, Winter 1996-7, page 33.

Progressive Cylinder Chess is a crazy game recently introduced into the AISE competitions. It combines Cylinder Chess with Progressive Chess in which the number of moves increases by one at each turn. I thought I would try it out. The following are my games in the 1995 Grand Prix event. I enjoyed the games but scored only 4/12. First some awful examples of what can go wrong:
Fabio Forzoni v GPJ: 1. g4 2. b5, d5 3. Nc3×b5×c7‡ (double check, the second from Bf1) 1-0.
GPJ v Gabrielle Cornacchini: 1. Na3 2. c6, g6 3. b4, h4, Nf3 4. Q×h4, Ba5, ..., Q×f2‡ 0-1.
GPJ v Michele de Giglio: 1. g4 2. g6, b5 3. B×b5-a4, Nf3 4. c6, Qg3, Ba5, Q×f2‡ 0-1.

The Italian Progressive rule that every sequence has to have the full complement of moves leads to some very odd 'Italian mates' that I find difficult to see:
GPJ v F.Forzoni: 1. Na3 2. e5, d5 3. b4, Nh3, g4 4. Ac5, Qh4, ..., Q×f2‡ (SEE DIAGRAM: not N×f2 since Bf1 checks) 0-1.
GPJ v Vito Rallo: 1. Na3 2. d5, e5 3. Ng4, b4, B×d8 4. f6, Nc6×b4×c2‡ (not Q×c2 since it checks BK) 0-1.

Now three slightly longer games; in the last two the mating sequences begin with 'real cylinder' rook captures.
Aldo Kustrin v GPJ: 1. c3 2. b5, Bh5 3. Q×h5-c8 ×d8† 4. K×d8, Pb4×c3-c2 5. Ph4-h5-h6×g7×f8 =Q‡ 1-0.
GPJ v Tiziano Sala: 1.g4 2. g6, b5 3. B×b5, h4, Nh3 4. e5, Q×h4×h3×h1† 5. R(a1)×h1, b3, Nc3-d5×c7‡ (Bc1 guards e7, d8) 1-0.
T. Sala v GPJ: 1. c3 2. c6, g6 3. b4, Bh4×d8 4. K×d8, b5, Bh5×d1 (not N-f6-e4, A-a5×f2 as Ad8×f2!) 5.P-a4×b5, R×a7×a8×b8† 6. R(h8)×b8-a8-a2-c2-c1, Bc2‡ A nice rook journey. 0-1.

Finally some longer games, including some nice mate positions and final sequences:
GPJ v A. Kustrin: 1. g4, 2. c6, d5 3. b4 Bh4×d8 4. K×d8, B×g4×e2×d1 5. P-b5×c6×b7×a8=Q, Q×h8 6. Bf3, Kc7, Na6-b4, a5, N×c2‡ 0-1.
M. De Giglio v GPJ: 1.c3 2. Nh6, e6 3. b4, B×d8, Nh3 4. Ng4×f2×d1, K×d8 5. b4-b5-b6×a7×h8=Q, Q×a8 6.b6, Nc6-d4×e2-d4-c2‡ (pinned Bc8 guards e2, d1) 0-1.
V. Rallo v GPJ: 1. g4 2. g5, B×d2† (shock tactics) 3.Q×d2, e4, Nf3 4. Nf6×e4×d2×f3† 5. Ke2×f3, B×g5×e7 ×d8 6. K×d8, Re8, R(a8)-g8×g4, b5, Bb7‡ (SEE DIAGRAM: Pb5 shuts off Bf1 and the Bb7 checks WK and guards Rg4 ) 0-1.
G. Cornacchini v GPJ: 1. g4 2. g5, B×d2† 3. B×d2, B(f1)-a4×f7† 4. K×f7, Nf6-e4×d2 5. Q×d2×d7×c8×d8, Kd2 6. h7-h5×g4-g3×f2×g1=Q, R×d8† 7. Kc3, Na3-b5 ×c7, R(a1)×g1×g5, Rf1‡ 1-0.

GPJ v FF
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Italian mate! (N×Q?)
VR v GPJ
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Mate! (K×R?)