For Improved Rules of Chess

With Tim Just and Dan Burg claiming a copyright on the Rules of Chess and insisting that their rules be adopted as the USCF Official Rules of Chess, to be published by David McKay, for which they will receive royalties in perpetuity for as long as chess continues to be played, and with Dan Burg being a copyright lawyer and making implied threats of litigation if this is not done, now is the time to consider improved rules of chess.

Fortunately, we have Stewart Reuben, who is a member of the FIDE Rules Commission, which is a higher authority on chess than the USCF, and who is also a distinguished and widely publisher authority on the Rules of Chess. Mr. Reuben has advanced a greatly improved Rule of Chess which will end centuries of injustice, and will therefore be a great improvement over the Just-Burg USCF Rules of Chess.

Mr. Reuben's improvement is addressed to the fact that many chess figures are the victims of long-standing invidious discrimination. This new rule will end that unfair discrimination.

The rule concerns the En Passant Rule, which is outrageously unfair to rooks, bishops, knights and queens, not to mention kings.

Under the En Passant Rule, if White has a pawn on d5 and Black plays e7-e5, then White can capture the pawn by playing d5xe6 e.p and removing the pawn on e5.

Similarly, if Black has a pawn on f4, and White plays g2-g4, Black can capture the pawn on g4 by playing f4xg3 e.p.

But what about knights, bishops, rooks and queens? Why have not they been given equal rights as pawns?

To end this obviously unfair situation, International Arbiter Stewart Reuben says that knights and other pieces should be given the same rights as pawns.

Under this new rule, if White has a knight on d4 and Black plays e7-e5, then White can capture the pawn by playing Nd4xe6 e.p. and removing the Black pawn on e5.

Similarly, if Black has a bishop on c7, and White moves g2-g4, then Black can capture the pawn on the next move only by playing Bc7xg3 e.p. and removing the pawn on g4.

This elegant solution to a long standing problem has such obvious merit that it should be adopted immediately. It is certainly more just than the Just Rules of Chess.

Sam Sloan

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