Chess480 is played with standard chess set, but the pieces are randomly shuffled on their starting positions.

Note for people knowing Chess960: the game is very similar, but applies different castling rules.


Rules of the game

The game applies the same rules as the standard chess, except randomly generated initial setup, and generalised castling rule.


Initial setup

Each new setup is determined by a computer program (or manual procedure) which assigns starting squares according to the following guidelines:

  • White Pawns are placed as in the standard chess.
  • All remaining white pieces are placed on the first rank.
  • The white King is placed somewhere between the two white Rooks.
  • The white Bishops are placed on opposite-colored squares.
  • The black pieces are placed so they mirror white.



This is a move of the King and either Rook of the same colour on the same rank, counting as a single move of the King and executed as follows: the King is transferred from its original square two squares in the direction of the Rook (which may move the King over or into the Rook's original square), then that Rook is transferred to the square the King has just crossed (if it is not already there). If the King and Rook are adjacent in a corner and the King can not move two spaces towards the Rook, then the King and Rook exchange squares.

The right for castling has been lost:

  • if the King has already moved, or
  • with a Rook that has already moved

Castling is prevented temporarily

  • if the square on which the King stands, or the square which it must cross, or the square which it is to occupy, is attacked by one or more of the opponent`s pieces.
  • if there is any piece between the King and the Rook with which castling is to be effected.


Tips and tricks

Most of the advice presented in Chess960 article applies here.

Unless you happened to get setup with king in the center, you do not have true choice while castling - castling left from g1, or right from c1, very rarely makes sense (in both those examples the king goes to e1, not the best square to secure him). Remember about this effect while developing, do not weaken the side your king is to castle, think about disturbing opponent there.


Instructive games

Some example games:

Breaking the king position - black aggressively attacks the only place white could safely castle, in desperation white castles long, but it turns out that defending king in the centre is not an easy task,

Castling in the corner - note also, how white managed to efficiently develop, giving its bishop battery full strength (horrible black blunder shortened the game, but white had upper hand even without it),

Did you play or watch interesting/instructive Chess480 game? Please, link it here

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