Chess Variants/Berolina Chess

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a b c d e f g h
8a8 black rookb8 black knightc8 black bishopd8 black queene8 black kingf8 black bishopg8 black knighth8 black rook8
7a7 black upside-down pawnb7 black upside-down pawnc7 black upside-down pawnd7 black upside-down pawne7 black upside-down pawnf7 black upside-down pawng7 black upside-down pawnh7 black upside-down pawn7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black kingf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 black kingf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 black kingg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 white upside-down pawnb2 white upside-down pawnc2 white upside-down pawnd2 white upside-down pawne2 white upside-down pawnf2 white upside-down pawng2 white upside-down pawnh2 white upside-down pawn2
1a1 white rookb1 white knightc1 white bishopd1 white queene1 white kingf1 white bishopg1 white knighth1 white rook1
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Berolina chess starting position. The Berolina pawns are represented as upside-down pawns.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Berolina Chess is a variant named after its titular piece, the Berolina pawn (also known as the Berlin pawn or anti-pawn).

History[edit | edit source]

The Berolina pawn was invented by a German, Edmund Hebermann, and named after the German capital city Berlin. It can be assumed that Berolina chess was created at the same time.

Rules[edit | edit source]

Berolina chess is played just like the standard game, with one exception - all of the pawns are replaced with Berolina pawns.

When moving passively, the Berolina pawn moves one square diagonally forward. When it captures, it moves one square straight forward. (This is essentially the inverse of a standard pawn.)

On its first move, a Berolina pawn may move two squares diagonally forward. En passant is possible as well (see the diagram for details):

Solid white.svg a b c d e f g h Solid white.svg
8 a8 black king b8 black king c8 black king d8 black king e8 black king f8 black king g8 black king h8 black king 8
7 a7 black king b7 black king c7 black king d7 black king e7 black king f7 black king g7 black king h7 black king 7
6 a6 black king b6 black circle c6 cross d6 black circle e6 black king f6 black king g6 black king h6 black king 6
5 a5 black king b5 black king c5 white upside-down pawn d5 black king e5 black king f5 black king g5 black king h5 black king 5
4 a4 black king b4 black king c4 black king d4 black circle e4 black upside-down pawn f4 black king g4 black king h4 black circle 4
3 a3 black king b3 black king c3 black king d3 black king e3 black circle f3 cross g3 black circle h3 black king 3
2 a2 black king b2 black king c2 black king d2 black king e2 black king f2 white upside-down pawn g2 black king h2 black king 2
1 a1 black king b1 black king c1 black king d1 black king e1 black king f1 black king g1 black king h1 black king 1
Solid white.svg a b c d e f g h Solid white.svg
The Berolina pawns may move to the squares marked with dots, and capture on the squares marked with crosses. If the white Berolina pawn on f2 were to move to d4, the black Berolina pawn could capture it en passant by moving to e3.


When a Berolina pawn reaches the furthest rank from where it starts, it promotes just like a typical pawn.

Sub-variants[edit | edit source]

  • Berolina Plus Chess uses Berolina Plus pawns, which move in the same manner as standard Berolina pawns, but may also capture one square sideways.
Solid white.svg a b c d e f g h Solid white.svg
8 a8 black king b8 black king c8 black king d8 black king e8 black king f8 black king g8 black king h8 black king 8
7 a7 black king b7 black king c7 black king d7 black king e7 black king f7 black king g7 black king h7 black king 7
6 a6 black king b6 black king c6 black king d6 black king e6 black king f6 black king g6 black king h6 black king 6
5 a5 black king b5 black king c5 black circle d5 cross e5 black circle f5 black king g5 black king h5 black king 5
4 a4 black king b4 black king c4 cross d4 white upside-down pawn e4 cross f4 black king g4 black king h4 black king 4
3 a3 black king b3 black king c3 black king d3 black king e3 black king f3 black king g3 black king h3 black king 3
2 a2 black king b2 black king c2 black king d2 black king e2 black king f2 black king g2 black king h2 black king 2
1 a1 black king b1 black king c1 black king d1 black king e1 black king f1 black king g1 black king h1 black king 1
Solid white.svg a b c d e f g h Solid white.svg
The Berolina Plus pawn may move to the squares marked with dots, and capture on the squares marked with crosses.