Given the fact that few chess players wish to play anything other than orthodox chess, it is amazing how many variations there are on the theme of chess. Pritchard catalogs hundreds of them. Pritchard explores the world of chess variants from micro chess played on a 4x4 board to tai shogi, a Japanese chess variant played on a 25x25 board with hundreds of pieces. Pritchard does his best work when he is describing the many historical and regional variants of chess. Two regional variants are described in detail, Chinese chess (xiang qi) and Japanese chess (shogi). Chinese chess may actually be played by more people than orthodox chess, and Japanese chess may very well be a better game than orthodox chess. If you are interested in the history of chess, its ancient and regional variations, and the odd lengths to which human imagination can go in modifying the game, this book is for you.
Was this review helpful to you?