The Lincoln Board

In this section, former world champions Rob Stevens (left) and Herman Kok (above right) explain the principles of circular chess.

The game is played on a board with four concentric and chequered rings. The central area is out of bounds and is often used for the storage of captured pieces.

Opposing pieces face each at the north and south “poles” – like competitors poised at the starting line on an athletics track.

Unlike a track race, all pieces (except pawns) can move either clockwise or anti-clockwise. That makes circular chess a challenging game, because pieces can attack and defend in either direction, at the same time.

In other words, a piece that at first glance appears to be sitting “harmlessly” on one portion of the board can in be poised to strike in the opposite direction.

As far as moves are concerned, the principles are the same as in square chess. However, there is no Castling allowed, and the en-passent rule involving pawns does not apply.

Therefore, the Rooks and the Queen are powerful pieces, which can sweep around the board and can dominate entire rings.

Bishops are limited up to four cells per move, but can catch out an unwary opponent on a curving diagonal.

Knights are powerful because they can effectively block off one side of the board.

A pawn which gets halfway around the board (ie: to the enemy K/Q line) is promoted.