Il Vaticano refers to a special, albeit not legal, chess move, enabling bishops two squares apart to seize whatever piece lodges between them.
What is Il Vaticano?
Il Vaticano is a chess move that allows bishops two squares apart to take whatever piece of the opponent in between them.
For example, if it’s white’s move and it already has two bishops two squares apart on a rank or file, it can take the pieces between them.
It’s denoted B-O-O-B in standard chess notation.
It is not a legal move in the traditional game of chess.
Note that there are multiple interpretations of the rule given its non-standard nature.
Unlike the standard moves that abide by the time-honored rules of chess, Il Vaticano introduces a peculiar and deviant method of play.
A Closer Look at the Il Vaticano Move
The mechanic of the move itself demands an intuitive understanding of spatial positioning on the chessboard.
Two bishops, maintaining a respectful distance of two squares from each other, conspire to engulf an opposing piece that stands between them.
The bishops, like swift avengers, simultaneously capture the interloping piece(s), perhaps a pawn or queen, that lies in their designated path.
Example of Il Vaticano
An example of Il Vaticano would be the two white bishops on the e-file.
Given the two knights between them, if it’s white’s turn to move, white could capture both knights.
Il Vaticano on TikTok
Below is a short clip on TikTok of Il Vaticano:
Notation of the Il Vaticano
In standard chess notation, where each move is precisely documented for analysis or posterity, Il Vaticano carries the move notation of B-O-O-B.
A peculiar notation, no doubt, but one that encapsulates the unorthodoxy of the move itself.
However, it’s pivotal to emphasize that you won’t find this move in conventional tournaments due to its non-compliance with established chess rules.
The Illegality of the Move
The audacity of the Il Vaticano move, though enticing in its tactical potential, bears no legitimacy in formal chess play.
Its defiance of the well-established boundaries that dictate the permissible movements of each piece renders it a fanciful maneuver, limited to casual, experimental play among those who mutually agree to dabble in such strategic mischief.
The Underlying Appeal of Il Vaticano
With its refusal to adhere to the traditional legalities of chess, why does Il Vaticano continue to captivate certain pockets of players?
Its charm, paradoxically, lies in its illegality, offering a rebellious, off-beat strategy that shatters the foundations of classical chess theory.
Il Vaticano: A Friendly Anomaly
In amiable games, where the atmosphere accommodates experimentation and whimsical strategies, Il Vaticano finds its niche.
In these relaxed environments, free from purists, this can offer a lighthearted departure from the standard game when it’s presented.