Fig. 2  Conventional chess 

  • MINISTERS is the point of intersection between Western, Chinese and Japanese chess. It deviates least from the teachings of Western chess, adhering to its rules except for the establishment of symmetry, it uses an 81-squares board, similarly to Japanese chess, and a 9x9 basis and symmetry, similarly to Chinese chess.


  • In MINISTERS, the king is guarded by two ministers, eliminating the bishop-side weakness of the king of conventional chess.


  • In contrast to conventional chess the two bishops of each player can now protect one another.


  • Two ministers and 2 bishops can be aligned to move along a diagonal, giving the player twice the power of one queen and one bishop in conventional chess. Moreover, 2 ministers and 2 rooks can be aligned to move along a rank or file, that is, one queen more than in conventional chess.


  • The additional rank separating the two players allows the players to optimize their positions before engaging in attack, in contrast to conventional chess where a player's pawn can be attacked immediately following its first move.


  • Two strong identical castles for the king are now available, eliminating the weakness of the queen-side castle of conventional chess.


  • The larger board, comprising 17 squares more than that of conventional chess, yields a more open game, where armies can encircle one another, allowing for more elaborate manoeuvres and more sophisticated strategies, thus attaining more closely the true potential of chess. This contrasts with conventional chess where it suffices to have a few pieces moved from their initial position to cause a congestion.


  • In conventional chess, due to the smaller size of the board the player White, making the first move, has a clear advantage over Black, as is invariably reported during international championships. In MINISTERS™, the additional rank, the larger size of the board, and the greater number of pieces, render less critical who starts the game.


  • MINISTERSTM  has a perfect balance of powers where each major piece placed at the centre of the board covers 8 squares along any of its movement trajectories. This contrasts with conventional chess where the queen, the bishop and the rook cover 7 squares while the king and the knight cover 8. Moreover, in MINISTERS, as we have seen, 4 pieces can be aligned to move along a diagonal, and identically, 4 pieces on a rank or file. This is in sharp contrast with conventional chess where only 2 pieces can be aligned to move along a diagonal, and 3 pieces on a rank or file.


  • In conventional chess once a player loses a piece, even if it is but a pawn, his fate is often sealed. In MINISTERS, the large number of pieces and bigger board give a player a better chance of recovery. The player may thus feel more free than in conventional chess to devise elaborate plans where he may sacrifice pieces to attain long term objectives.


  • In MINISTERS, the range of coverage of the different pieces is increased by the larger board. The beauty of a minister, a bishop, or a rook, sweeping across 8 squares, or that of a knight displaying its circular influence all over the larger battle field are but few manifestations of the true potential of chess, now attained in MINISTERS.


  • With bishops moving on black squares a significance is finally given to color. Black squares are attack squares. White squares are squares of peace and refuge.


  • In conventional chess the player's king is on his right or left depending on whether he is playing White or Black. He has thus to adjust every time he switches colour. In MINISTERS no such oddity exists.


  • The crucial first 20 moves of conventional chess have been practically thoroughly analyzed in the theory of openings. Serious players are obliged to memorize the moves since their adversaries do so. The true intelligence of the players is thus not used during a large part of the game, where they rely instead on their memory to make their moves. In MINISTERS such a state of saturation that blocks spontaneity does not exist. Players can rely on their intelligence throughout the game.



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