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Batgirl's thread on misconceptions
brings to mind this question: what was the last change in the rules of chess, and when did it occur?
I'm referring to changes in the play of a standard game (like en passant or how the bishop moves). This isn't a quiz, since I don't know the answer.
The last additions to the standard game were near the end of the fifteenth century, although a few local variations have persisted. In India, the two space first move wasn't introduced, which is why we have the King's Indian opening that features a one step move. In some places, pawn promotion was only allowed to a piece that had previously been captured, i.e. no two queens allowed. The rules as we know them were made more or less universal when international tournaments began in the 19th century.
A bit of clarification here courtesy of a post by Blunderprone:
"in 1862, at the London Congress, it was determined that when a pawn advances to the 8th rank, it no longer was held as a “dummy piece” until the right piece was captured to replace it. It was allowed to become any piece immediately."
I just read in a book by Raymond Smullyan, a logician. I forget the name of the book but it is a series of "forensic chess puzzles" solved by Sherlock Holmes.
Anyway, according to Smullyan, the last official change in rules occurred in the 1800s. The previous rule stated that a promoted pawn could become any piece except the king or a pawn. The rule had to be amended, stating that a promoted pawn could become any piece of the same color, except the king or a pawn. The rule change was precipitated by a famous game that ended similar to this:
White has an obvious advantage here but shouldn't be able to mate in one. Whatever white promotes to on b8, black's king can capture it.
Except...white played b8, promoting to a black knight! Not illegal, according to the rule book at the time
But if I remeber well, in 90' FIDE temporarily changed 50-move draw rule for certain endgames (e.g. 2xB vs N) when endgame databases proved checkmating can take longer. Later it was changed back.
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