English long assize

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The English long assize of chess was played in England from the 14th century through the beginning of the 16th century, when it was displaced by mad queen chess. This is very similar to the Fench long assize that was played on the contenent.

This form of chess evolved from the earlier medieval chess which was essentially the same as the Persian game of Shatranj.

Each descendant has modified the ancient rules in a different way, but for simplicity only the differences with modern chess will be listed.

  • Bishops move exactly two squares diagonally, jumping over the intervening square. Note that the four bishops each could reach only one fourth of the squares on the board, and because their circuits were disjoint, could never capture one another.
  • The queen moved exactly one square diagonally. This made it a rather weak piece.
  • As in modern chess, pawns but the double opening move is actually a leap. You cannot capture with a leap.
  • Pawns which reached the eighth rank were promoted, but only to a queen.
  • The first move of the king) was allowed to be a King's leap if the king had not moved, is not in check, and does not move through check, the king may leap to any square two squares away (i.e., any square he could move to in two moves on an empty board). You cannot capture with a leap.
  • The first move of the queen was allowed to be a Queen's leap if the queen had not moved, and does not move through check, the queen may leap to any same colored square two squares away (i.e., any square she could move to in two moves on an empty board). This leap is available to the first move of a promoted pawn. You cannot capture with a leap.
  • Castling was not allowed. See the rules for the King's leap for the earlier precursor to castling.
  • Stalemating the opposing king resulted in a loss for the player delivering stalemate.
  • Capturing all one's opponent's pieces apart from the king (baring the king) was a win, unless your opponent could capture your last piece on their next move, when it is a draw.