Chess now has a 'Twenty20' version

Chess will have a '20-20' version, if GM Dibyendu Barua and a Kolkata-based realtor have their way in popularising a new version of the traditional game of 64 squares

Kolkata: The game of chess has got a new format, it has 100 squares (10x10) as compared with the traditional 64 squares and a new piece known as the "Dynamo" which has the qualities of both a knight and a bishop.

Launched by chess grandmaster Dibyendu Barua, the format is called "Twenty20" as it comprises 20 pieces on both sides of the innovated board.

All the other rules though remain the same, except the pawn now can move three squares in the first move unlike the traditional form where it can be moved up to two.

Present at the launch were well-known grandmasters Deep Sengupta, Surya Sekhar Ganguly, Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury and a few others.

"Dynamo is the newest piece that we have got in this format, and we have added two pawns to complete a set of twenty pieces on both sides. There are a lot of variants in chess, but this is a first of its kind. Dynamo will have the power of both the knight and a bishop and will therefore have seven points attached to it, making it the third most powerful piece on the board, after the king and the queen," said Barua.

Asked how he plans to make it a success, he said: "We have had enthusiasts taking to the game, will apply for the official permission in some time, a lot of research also needs to go into making it suitable to the players."

Surya Sekhar, who tried playing a hand against Sengupta, felt the game would become more strategic now with the advent of "Twenty20".

"Will become more strategic I guess. I have come across a few types, but this one's quite different," he said.

Drawing comparisons with an innovation of "Professor Shonku", a science fiction character created by filmmaker Satyajit Ray, Surya Sekhar said: "Shonku once drew out a chessboard which had 100 squares, now we know it was for the pieces of the Dynamo."

S.K. Shahid Ahmed, an instructor at the Dibyendu Barua Chess Academy, said: "It took me two and a half years to develop this concept, so far the toddlers have taken to it and the response has been good."

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