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Dynamo Chess is back!

by Shahid Ahmed - 19/05/2022

There are a lot of chess variants in the world. Fischer Random or Chess960 is undoubtedly the most popular one. Wesley So is the first official World Champion of that variant. Dynamo Chess is a chess variant which was first introduced to the public in 2015 after being in development from 2012 to 2015. Kolkata-based Realtor, Mr. Pradeep Sadani is the inventor of this chess variant. GM Dibyendu Barua made an important decision to give Dynamo's current movement, which is like a knight or a bishop at any given point of time. Our very own Editor and Senior Coordinator, Shahid Ahmed convinced the rules of the game such as castling, en passant etc. The first ever Dynamo Chess tournament takes place tomorrow, Friday 20th May 2022.

The 10x10 chess variant makes a return after a seven-year-long hiatus

Mr.Pradeep Sadani, the inventor of Dynamo Chess at the center, flanked by Shahid Ahmed (left) and GM Dibyendu Barua - who both developed the chess variant


Back in 2012, one of my childhood friend, Debayan Majumdar's mother Sangita Majumdar told me that one of her friend's acquaintance is planning to create/reinvent something related to a game. Knowing that I was a video game fan since childhood, I was the first whose struck in her mind. I met the acquaintance who introduced me to the Kolkata-based realtor, Mr. Pradeep Sadani. He told me that he wanted to create a 10x10 chess variant, named Dynamo Chess where he wanted to introduce a new piece called Dynamo/Missile.


Initially, it was supposed to move vertically and diagonally in only of the same color which means it's movement was restricted to only 50 squares instead of the entire board of 100 squares. He also wanted to involve India's second GM Dibyendu Barua in this venture. When I approached the Arjuna Awardee, the legend Mr. Barua himself, his interest piqued in this matter. He then suggested the movement of Dynamo should be the combination of knight and bishop. All three of us accepted it. Several games were played by us and the students of Dibyendu Barua Chess Academy between 2012-2015 to actually test and see the variant.


It was publically launched on 23rd March 2015 in presence of various Grandmasters like - Surya Sekhar Ganguly, Deep Sengupta, Tejas Bakre, Lalit Rohit, Saptarshi RoyChowdhury, Ziaur Rahman and then WGM Soumya Swaminathan. Surya at the press conference was the first to mention publicly that the Dynamo alone can checkmate a cornered king, something no other piece can do in conventional chess. Despite the value of the Dynamo being seven points only, the practical value of it is sometimes more than a queen. For e.g. an exchange sacrifice of rook for a bishop/knight, translates a queen sacrifice for a Dynamo in Dynamo Chess.

Dynamo Chess launch Press Conference | Video: Dynamo Chess

Arindam Mukherjee plays a test game against me in February 2015, a month before the first public reveal


Initially, it was decided that the 'Dynamo'/'Missile' should be played at the corner of the board. That is what you will see in the consult game among the GMs. However, over the last two-three years, Mr. Sadani played few games, tested it amongst various friends, relatives and decided to place it next to the king and queen. I and Mr. Barua accepted it because it made more sense. Since the Dynamo can move like a bishop or knight at any point of time, at the first instance it made it more sensible to give it more choices to develop towards the center or the wings, instead of giving only choice to develop towards the center of the board only.


Here are the major changes from conventional chess:

1. Each pawn can move one, two or three squares from the starting square.

2. Each has the option to do en passant twice, provided an opportunity arises. For instance, a pawn at e6 can en passant dxe7 if Black plays f9-f6. It can do another en passant fxe8 or fxg8 if Black plays e9-e7 or g9-g7.

3. King resides on its own color instead of the conventional queen residing on its own color.

4. Castling is done as usual, king moves two squares towards the rook and the rook goes on the other side, right next to the king. Thus, the white king goes from f1 to h1 for short castle and f1 to d1 for long castle. Rooks will go to g1 and e1 respectively for the king and queenside castle.

5. The Dynamo/Missile's value is seven points. However, in a practical game, one may realize that it is often more powerful than a queen.

Dynamo Chess rules

Kids enjoying a friendly game of Dynamo Chess | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Samriddha Ghosh plays a practice game of Dynamo Chess with GM Dibyendu Barua | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Praloy Sahoo and Utsab Chatterjee had some exciting sharp games of Dynamo Chess | Photo: Shahid Ahmed
Utsab, Samriddhaa and Praloy are excited about the first ever Dynamo Chess tournament | Video: Dynamo Chess


The first tournament will take place tomorrow, Friday 20th May 2022 in a 16-player knockout tournament. Here is the lineup of players:

India's second GM in history - Dibyendu Barua | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Commonwealth 2014 Gold medalist and three-time Hastings Masters winner - GM Deep Sengupta | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

India's 72nd GM and MPL National Blitz 2022 second runner-up - GM Mitrabha Guha | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Reigning MPL 50th National Junior 2022 champion and All India Inter-University Men runner-up for Adamas University - IM Neelash Saha | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

National Team 2022 Women for Airports Authority of India and All India Inter-University for Adamas University champion - WIM Arpita Mukherjee | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

All India Inter-University Women Team champion for Adamas University and West Bengal State Women 2022 champion - Samriddhaa Ghosh | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Newly crowned National Under-14 Girls champion and National Sub-Junior Under-16 Girls runner-up - Mrittika Mallick | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Current West Bengal State Senior Open 2022 champion and MPL 50th National Junior 2022 Open Runner-up - Utsab Chatterjee | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

4th Bangalore Open 2022 and 1st Chandrashekhar Azad Memorial Rapid Rating Open winner - Kaustuv Kundu | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

West Bengal State Rapid 2022 champion and All India Inter-University runner-up for Adamas University - Subhayan Kundu | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

West Bengal State Senior 2022 runner-up - Arpan Das | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

West Bengal State Senior 2022 second runner-up and State Senior 2008 champion - Arindam Mukherjee | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Former West Bengal State Under-13 Open champion, FM Aditya Vikram Paul | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Newly crowned 2nd DD-DBCA Open Rating champion and former West Bengal State Sub-Junior (Under-15) Open winner - Praloy Sahoo | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

and more participants are there.

Some Dynamo patterns

Everyone is well-versed with the Checkmate patterns by various pieces. However, let's take a look at some practical checkmate patterns using the Dynamo piece. Remember, Dynamo/Missile can move like a knight or bishop at any point of time.

Diagram #1 - Dynamo at h8 protects the knight at h7. King has nowhere to go | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Diagram #2 - Dynamo at i6 checkmates as the adjacent squares are controlled by Dynamo and Rook | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Diagram #3 - A lone Dynamo can checkmate a king if the fianchetto leaves its responsibilities | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Diagram #4 - A lone Dynamo is sufficient to deliver a smother mate-ish like checkmate | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Diagram #5 - The combined power of Dynamo and Bishop is quite strong | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Diagram #6 - This is not a checkmate but you can see the tactical threats White has made | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Diagram #7 - Dynamo has frozen the king, thus the backrank checkmate threat by the queen is unstoppable | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Diagram #8 - What a deadly attack by Queen, Rook and most importantly the Dynamo | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Diagram #9 - A beautiful synergy between bishop and Dynamo to deliver the checkmate | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Diagram #10 - Fischer Random games can end early, so does Dynamo Chess | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Why now?

The first question that will come to anyone's mind is - if the chess variant was made public in 2015, why it took seven years to have the first tournament. Well, I am a firm believer of timing is everything, nothing happens before the right time - whether it is a matter of life, love, passion or work, everything happens when it is meant to be. Over the past two years, the Covid-19 pandemic, Queen's Gambit Netflix series and an increase in the number of chess streamers, thanks to the pioneer of chess streaming by the undisputed Speed King, Hikaru Nakamura - because of him, the activity of chess increased a lot on the internet. Thus, now is quite possibly the best time to (re)introduce Dynamo Chess to the world.

Aim of Dynamo Chess

All three of us, myself, GM Dibyendu Barua and Pradeep Sadani, always like and appreciate creativity - be it in chess or life. We hope to break the monotony and encourage everyone to try this variant.

Pradeep Sadani - The Realtor who invented Dynamo Chess | Video: ChessBase India
India's second GM in history, seven-time Olympian and individual Gold medalist, GM Dibyendu Barua talks about Dynamo Chess | Video: ChessBase India


Dynamo Chess - facebook, twitter, instagram and youtube


If you have any suggestion/feedback about Dynamo Chess or wish to develop a site/app where Dynamo Chess can be played, feel free to write here: dynamochess2020atgmaildotcom (Replace 'at' with '@' and dot with '.').

Related news:
Mitrabha Guha wins the first-ever Dynamo Chess Tournament

@ 31/05/2022 by Shahid Ahmed (en)