This is a shuffle variant of normal Chess, which preserves the possibility to do sort of conventional castling, by starting Rooks always in he corner, and the King on the central files. When played on an Internet Chess Server, the King can also start on the d-file, and you can castle from there. This adds nothing to the game, though, it just produces mirror images of other start positions. So in local mode XBoard does not bother to do this.
There is no fixed setup; the back-rank pieces are randomly shuffled with certain restrictions. Black's setup is the mirror image of white's, though.
e1, e8: King
In addition both sides have:
The Bishops will start on opposite colors.
Click on a piece below to see its moves
Sliding capture or non-capture,
|Unblockable leap (capture or non-capture)|
|Piece||ID||value||Moves (Betza notation)||Remarks|
|King||K||-||K||Can castle with Rook, moving 2 steps towards it|
|Queen||Q||9.5||RB or Q|
|Pawn||P||1||mfWcfF||Promotes to Q, R, B, or N on reaching last rank|
A King that has not moved before can move two squares in the direction of a Rook that has not moved before, in which case that Rook is moved to the square the King skipped over. This is only allowed if all squares between King and Rook are empty, when the King is not in check on the square it came from, and would not be in check on any of the squares it skipped over.
The Queen, Bishops and Knights are randomly shuffled on the back rank in the opening setup.
It is not possible to force checkmate on a bare King with just a single Bishop or Knight (in addition to your own King). Two Knights cannot do that either.
Bishops are confined to squares of a single color. Having Bishops on both colors compensates this weakness, and is worth an extra 0.5 on top of their added value.