First move for spherical chess
Sunday 27 October 1996
Mounted on a Corinthian column, the Chessball resembles a black and white enamelled globe, marked off in lines of latitude and longitude. From their starting positions on opposite sides of the sphere, magnetic bishops and knights poke out like the spines on a Second World War naval mine.
There are almost twice as many spaces as an ordinary board, but the same number of pieces, and it is, its creator believes, a far more attacking game.
Mr Gramolt, a management consultant from Hartfield, East Sussex, hopes this latest variation on the ancient game of chess will make him rich. "I wanted to put what I preach into practice," he says. "I wanted to put together the optimum business."
But he faces a tough battle. British Grand Master Nigel Short believes variants have little appeal."History is littered with people trying to improve it, but chess is a very rich game, almost infinite in its complexity."On this, Mr Short is at odds with the former world champion Bobby Fischer, who recently launched a variant called Fischerandom, in which the back row pieces are placed on the wrong squares.
The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants by David Pritchard lists 1,450 modifications, from three- dimensional chess to four- player chess, with pieces from wildebeests to nuclear warheads. There are five spherical chess boards listed. Not one of them took off.
John Wareing, owner of The Chess Shop near Olympia, says he only has one variant available. "I've got Tri-Chess for three players, and I used to have Three-Dimensional chess. But it's quite a specialised interest."
Mr Gramolt was inspired to create his new board on a ferry crossing from Newhaven to Dieppe in 1985. He and his son played battleships on the red and white gingham tablecloths. "The following morning I had Chessball on my mind."
Mr Gramolt is offering his new game to mail-order customers for pounds 149, or pounds 129 during an introductory offer.
He says: "I know there are chess people so obsessed they wouldn't want to waste their time with anything else. But I wouldn't want Chessball to be killed off by someone saying 'It's not real chess'."
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
China's 'Inconvenient Truth': video exposing country’s smog crisis watched 100 million times
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...
£38000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This B2B content marketing agen...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...