Chess variant

Chess variant

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A chess variant is a game related to, derived from or inspired by chess
Chess
Chess is a two-player board game played on a chessboard, a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.Each player...

. The difference from chess might include one or more of the following:
  • different board (larger or smaller, non-square board shape overall or different intra-board cell shapes such as triangles or hexagons)
  • addition, substitution or removal of pieces in standard chess (non-standard pieces are known as fairy pieces)
  • different rules for capture, move order, game objective, etc.


Regional chess games, some of which are older than Western chess, such as Chaturanga
Chaturanga
Chaturanga is an ancient Indian game that is presumed to be the common ancestor of the games of chess, shogi, and makruk, and related to xiangqi and janggi.Chaturanga developed in Gupta India around the 6th century...

, Shatranj
Shatranj
Shatranj is an old form of chess, which came to the Western world from India. Modern chess has gradually developed from this game.-Etymology and origins:...

, Xiangqi
Xiangqi
Xiangqi is a two-player Chinese board game in the same family as Western chess, chaturanga, shogi, Indian chess and janggi. The present-day form of Xiangqi originated in China and is therefore commonly called Chinese chess in English. Xiangqi is one of the most popular board games in China...

 and Shogi
Shogi
, also known as Japanese chess, is a two-player board game in the same family as Western chess, chaturanga, and Chinese Xiangqi, and is the most popular of a family of chess variants native to Japan...

, are typically called chess variants in the Western world
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

. They have some similarities to chess and share a common game ancestor.

The number of possible chess variants is virtually unlimited. Confining the number to published variants, D.B. Pritchard
David Pritchard (chess writer)
David Brine Pritchard was a British chess writer and indoor games consultant. He "gained pre-eminence as an indoor games and mind sports consultant, a role that he in effect created...

, author of The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants, estimates there are well over 2000.

In the context of chess problem
Chess problem
A chess problem, also called a chess composition, is a puzzle set by somebody using chess pieces on a chess board, that presents the solver with a particular task to be achieved. For instance, a position might be given with the instruction that White is to move first, and checkmate Black in two...

s, chess variants are called fantasy chess, heterodox chess or fairy chess
Fairy chess
Fairy chess comprises chess problems that differ from classical chess problems in that they are not direct mates. The term was introduced before the First World War. While selfmate dates from the Middle Age, helpmate was invented by Max Lange in the late 19th century. Thomas Dawson , pioneer of...

. Some chess variants are used only in problem composition and not in actual play.

Chess-derived games



These chess variants are derived from chess by changing the board, pieces or rules.

Chess with different starting positions


In these variants, the starting position is different, but otherwise the board, pieces and rules are the same. In most of such variants the pawns are placed on their usual place, but position of other pieces is either randomly determined or selected by the players. The motivation for these chess variants is to nullify established opening
Chess opening
A chess opening is the group of initial moves of a chess game. Recognized sequences of opening moves are referred to as openings as initiated by White or defenses, as created in reply by Black. There are many dozens of different openings, and hundreds of named variants. The Oxford Companion to...

 knowledge. The downside of these variants is that the initial position has usually less harmony and balance than standard chess position.



  • Chess960
    Chess960
    Chess960 is a chess variant invented and advocated by former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer, originally announced on June 19, 1996 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It employs the same board and pieces as standard chess, but the starting position of the pieces is randomized along the players' home...

    (or Fischer Random Chess): the placement of the pieces on the first rank is randomized, and the pieces on the eighth rank mirror it.
  • Displacement chess
    Displacement chess
    Displacement chess is a family of chess variants, in which a few pieces are transposed in the initial standard chess position. The main goal of these variants is to negate players' knowledge of standard chess openings.- Variations :...

    : some pieces in the initial position are exchanged but the rules remain exactly the same. Some examples of this may be that the king and queen are flipped, or the knight on the b-file is traded with the bishop on the f-file.
  • Pre-Chess: proposed by Pal Benko
    Pál Benko
    Pal Benko is a chess grandmaster, author, and composer of endgame studies and chess problems.- Early life :Benko was born in France but was raised in Hungary. He was Hungarian champion by age 20. He emigrated to the United States in 1958, after defecting following the World Student Team...

     in 1978. The game starts with white and black pawns set as usual, but the initial position of other pieces is selected by the players in the following way: First, White places one of his pieces on his first rank, and then Black does the same. Players continue to alternate in this manner until all pieces have been placed. (The only restriction being, bishops must be placed on opposite-color squares.) Then the game proceeds in the usual way. Castling is permitted only if the king and a rook were placed on their usual squares.
  • Transcendental chess
    Transcendental chess
    Transcendental chess is a chess variant invented in 1978 by Maxwell Lawrence. It inspired Chess960 which is similar but has fewer starting positions. In transcendental chess the beginning positions of the pieces on the back row are randomly determined, with the one restriction that the bishops be...

    : similar to Chess960
    Chess960
    Chess960 is a chess variant invented and advocated by former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer, originally announced on June 19, 1996 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It employs the same board and pieces as standard chess, but the starting position of the pieces is randomized along the players' home...

    , but the opening white and black positions do not mirror each other.
  • Upside-down chess: the black and white pieces are switched so that all the pawns are one step away from getting promoted. The game can start, for example: 1. Nc6 Nf3 2. b8Q g1Q etc.

Chess with different forces


Some chess variants use different number of pieces for White and Black. All pieces in these games are standard chess pieces, there are no fairy chess piece
Fairy chess piece
A fairy chess piece or unorthodox chess piece is a piece analogous to a chess piece. It is not used in conventional chess, but is used in certain chess variants and some chess problems...

s.
  • Dunsany's chess
    Dunsany's chess
    Dunsany's chess, also known as Dunsany's game, is an asymmetric chess variant in which one side has standard chess pieces, and the other side has 32 pawns. Unlike many chess variants, this one does not feature any fairy pieces, which are pieces not found in conventional chess. This game was...

    (or Horde chess): one side has standard chess pieces, and the other side has 32 pawns.
  • Handicap chess
    Chess handicap
    A handicap in chess is a way to enable a weaker player to have a chance of winning against a stronger one. There are many kinds of such handicaps, such as material odds, extra moves A handicap (or "odds") in chess is a way to enable a weaker player to have a chance of winning against a stronger...

    (or Chess with odds): variations to equal chances of players with different strength.
  • Pawns game: in the starting position White does not have a queen, but has eight additional pawns (see diagram below). The game was played by such old masters as Labourdonnais
    Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais
    Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais was a French chess master, possibly the strongest player in the early 19th century.- Early life :...

    , Deschappelles
    Alexandre Deschapelles
    Alexandre Deschapelles was a French chess player who, between the death of Philidor and the arrival of Louis de la Bourdonnais, was probably the strongest player in the world...

     and Kieseritsky
    Lionel Kieseritzky
    Lionel Adalbert Bagration Felix Kieseritzky was a 19th-century chess master, famous primarily for a game he lost against Adolf Anderssen, which because of its brilliance was named "The Immortal Game".-Early life:...

    .
  • Peasant's revolt: by R.L. Frey (1947). White has a king and eight pawns (the peasants) against king, pawn and four knights by Black (the nobles).
  • Weak!: White has usual pieces, Black has one king, seven knights and sixteen pawns. This game was played at Columbia University chess club in the 1960s.







Chess with different boards



In these chess variants the same pieces and rules as in chess are used, but the board is different. It can be smaller or larger, non-square overall or based upon triangle or hexagon spaces (instead of square spaces). The movement of pieces in some variants is modified to account for the unusual property of the playing board.
  • Active Chess: played on a 9×8 board, an extra queen is placed with an extra pawn in front. Invented by G. Kuzmichov in 1989, his students play-tested the game, deciding the best opening array was to place the second queen on either the eighth or ninth file.
  • Alice Chess
    Alice Chess
    Alice Chess is a chess variant invented in 1953 by V. R. Parton which employs two chessboards rather than one, and a slight alteration to the standard rules of chess...

    : played with two boards. A piece moved on one board passes "through the looking glass" onto the other board.
  • Circular chess
    Circular chess
    Circular chess is a chess variant played using the standard set of pieces on a circular board consisting of four rings, each of sixteen squares. This is topologically equivalent to playing on the surface of a cylinder.- History :...

    : played on a circular board consisting of four rings, each of sixteen squares.
  • Cubic Chess: a 3D variant
    Three-dimensional chess
    Three-dimensional chess is any of various chess variants played on three-dimensional boards. Three-dimensional variants have existed since the late 19th century, one of the oldest being Raumschach , invented in 1907 by Dr. Ferdinand Maack and considered the classic 3D game...

     similar to Raumschach but played on a 6×6×6 board. Each player has six pieces and 12 pawns.
  • Cylinder chess
    Cylinder chess
    Cylinder chess is a chess variant with an unusual board. The game is played as if the board were a cylinder, with the left side of the board joined to the right side...

    : played on a cylinder board with a- and h-files "connected". Thus a player can use them as if the a-file were next to the h-file (and vice versa).
  • Chess Attack
    Chess Attack
    Chess Attack is a chess variant played on a rectangular board of six rows and five columns of squares...

    : played on a six row, five columns board, Chess Attack follows standard chess rules, and can be regarded as an endgame variant.
  • Doublewide chess: two or four regular chess boards are connected (for a 16×8 or 16×16 play surface) and each player plays with two complete sets of chess pieces. Because each player has two kings, the first king can be captured without ending the game.
  • Flying chess
    Flying chess
    Flying chess is a chess variant, based around a three dimensional board. It was invented by Dr David Eltis in 1984.- Rules :...

    : played on a board of 8×8×2, giving a total of 128 cells. Only certain pieces can move to and from the additional level.
  • Gravity chess: rules are the same as in regular chess, except that all pieces are gravitationally "attracted" to the h-file (or a-file, depending on variants). This means that whenever there is free space between a piece and the h-file, the piece moves as far as it can to the h-file until the free space runs out.
  • Grid chess
    Grid chess
    Grid chess is a chess variant invented by Walter Stead in 1953. It is played on a grid board. This is a normal 64-square board with a grid of lines further dividing the board into larger squares...

    : the board is overlaid with a grid of lines. For a move to be legal, it must cross at least one of these lines.
  • Hexagonal chess: a family of chess variants played on a hexgrid with three colours and three bishops.
  • Infinite chess: has a board shaped like the infinity symbol
    Lemniscate
    In algebraic geometry, a lemniscate refers to any of several figure-eight or ∞ shaped curves. It may refer to:*The lemniscate of Bernoulli, often simply called the lemniscate, the locus of points whose product of distances from two foci equals the square of half the interfocal distance*The...

    . It is connected at the center, and all pieces of the traditional chess are used.
  • Lord Loss chess: played on five different boards with two players. One person moves a piece on any board and his/her opponent can choose to move on a different or the same board. The game is featured in the book Lord Loss
    Lord Loss
    Lord Loss is the first novel in the fictional Demonata series book by best-selling teenage horror author Darren Shan. It was originally published in the UK on 6 June 2005. Soon after, it appeared in Japan and America, where Shan's previous series, The Saga of Darren Shan, had sold millions...

    by Darren Shan
    Darren Shan
    Darren O'Shaughnessy , who commonly writes under the pen name Darren Shan, is an Irish author. Darren Shan is also the main character in Shan's The Saga of Darren Shan young-adult fiction series. He also wrote The Demonata series as well as the stand-alone books, Koyasan and The Thin Executioner...

    .
  • Los Alamos chess
    Los Alamos chess
    Los Alamos chess is a chess variant played on a 6×6 board without bishops. This was the first chess-like game played by a computer program. This program was written in Los Alamos laboratory by Paul Stein and Mark Wells for the MANIAC I computer in 1956...

    (or Anti-Clerical chess): played on a 6×6 board without bishops. This was the first chess-like game played by a computer program.
  • Millennium chess: similar to Doublewide chess. Two boards are connected side by side; however, in this variant the middle files are merged, making a 15×8 board.
  • Millennium 3D Chess
    Millennium 3D Chess
    Millennium 3D Chess is a variant created by William L. D'Agostino in 2001 employing three vertically stacked 8×8 boards. The inventor describes his objective as "extending the traditional chess game into a multilevel environment without distorting the basic game".The 8×8×3 geometry is a popular one...

    : an easy-to-learn 3D variant
    Three-dimensional chess
    Three-dimensional chess is any of various chess variants played on three-dimensional boards. Three-dimensional variants have existed since the late 19th century, one of the oldest being Raumschach , invented in 1907 by Dr. Ferdinand Maack and considered the classic 3D game...

     played on a 8×8×3 board.
  • Minichess
    Minichess
    Minichess is a family of chess variants played with regular chess pieces and standard rules, but on a smaller board.The motivation for these variants is to make the game simpler and shorter than the standard chess. Martin Gardner recommended 5x5 chess variant to fill short breaks during the work...

    : a family of chess variants played with regular chess pieces and standard rules, but on a smaller board.
  • Polgar Superstar Chess: hexagonal variant played on a special, star-shaped board. It was invented by László Polgár
    László Polgár
    László Polgár , is a Hungarian chess teacher and father of the famous "Polgár sisters": Zsuzsa, Zsófia, and Judit. He authored well-known chess books such as Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations, and Games and Reform Chess, a survey of chess variants.László is an expert on chess theory and owns over...

     in 2002.
  • Raumschach: called "the classic 3D game" (Pritchard). Played on a 5×5×5 board, including a new piece (unicorn) to move through cube vertices.
  • Singularity chess: played on a board distorted in the center. Due to the distortion, some pieces can make U-turns, attack the same square multiple ways, and bishops can possibly change square colors (e.g., starting on a black square and ending on a white square).
  • Tri-D Chess (or Star Trek chess): the 3D version of chess depicted in the television series Star Trek
    Star Trek: The Original Series
    Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry, produced by Desilu Productions . Star Trek was telecast on NBC from September 8, 1966, through June 3, 1969...

    . Rulesets created by fans.

Chess with unusual rules

  • Absorption Chess: a capturing piece gains the movement abilities of the piece it is capturing. Therefore if a rook captured a bishop, the rook would then be able to move like a queen as it can move like the rook and now the bishop. This rule does not apply to kings and pawns.
  • Absorption Chess II (or Seizer's Chess): similar to the original Absorption Chess. A capturing piece gains the movement abilities of the piece it is capturing. This rule does apply to kings and pawns.
  • Accelerated Chess: each player makes two non-capturing moves or one capturing move in each turn.
  • Andernach chess
    Andernach chess
    Andernach chess is a chess variant in which a piece making a capture changes colour. For instance, if a white bishop on a2 were to capture a black knight on g8, the end result would be a black bishop on g8. Non-capturing moves are played as in orthodox chess...

    : a piece making a capture changes colour.
  • Antichess
    Antichess
    Antichess, also called losing chess, loser's chess, zero chess, giveaway chess, suicide chess, take-me chess or reverse chess is a chess variant in which the objective of the participants is to get all of their pieces captured. The most widely played variation, as described in the book Popular...

    (or Giveaway chess, Take Me chess, Loser's chess, Suicide chess, Must Kill, Reverse Chess): capturing moves are mandatory and the object is to lose all pieces. There is no check – the king is captured like an ordinary piece.
  • Arimaa
    Arimaa
    The objective of the game is to move a rabbit of one's own color onto the home rank of the opponent. Thus Gold wins by moving a gold rabbit to the eighth rank, and Silver wins by moving a silver rabbit to the first rank...

    : a piece may push or pull opponents weaker piece.
  • Atomic chess
    Atomic chess
    Atomic chess is a chess variant. While the other rules of chess apply fully, all captures result in an atomic explosion. This means that the surrounding pieces — not including pawns — will be taken off the board as well.- The rules :...

    : any capture on a square results in an "atomic explosion" which kills (i.e. removes from the game) all pieces in any of the eight surrounding squares, except for pawns.
  • Benedict chess: pieces are not allowed to be "captured". If a piece when moved could capture an opposing piece in its next move, that opposing piece changes sides.
  • Chad
    Chad (chess variant)
    Chad is a chess variant created by Christian Freeling in 1979. It is played on an uncheckered 12×12 gameboard and consists of one king and eight rooks per side, with rooks able to promote to queens....

    : a variant by Christian Freeling on a 12×12 board. Kings are limited to 3×3 castles while eight rooks per side rule the board and can promote to queens.
  • Checkers chess: normal rules of chess are followed. However, pieces can only move forwards until they have reached the far rank.
  • Checkless chess
    Checkless chess
    Checkless Chess is a chess variant where neither player is allowed to give a check, with the exception of checkmate. All other rules are as in regular chess...

    : players are forbidden from giving check except to checkmate
    Checkmate
    Checkmate is a situation in chess in which one player's king is threatened with capture and there is no way to meet that threat. Or, simply put, the king is under direct attack and cannot avoid being captured...

    .
  • Chicken Chess: a combination of Benedict Chess and Suicide Chess. As in Suicide, the object is to lose all of your pieces and captures are mandatory. As in Benedict, if you threaten a piece it changes to your color.
  • Circe chess
    Circe chess
    Circe chess is a chess variant in which captured pieces are reborn on their starting positions as soon as they are captured, based on the following rules:#Pawns return to the start position on the same file they are captured on....

    : captured pieces are reborn on their starting squares.
  • Crazyhouse
    Crazyhouse
    Crazyhouse is a chess variant similar to bughouse chess, but with only two players. It effectively incorporates a rule in shogi , in which a player can introduce a captured piece back to the board as his own....

    : captured pieces change the colour and can be dropped on any unoccupied location. There are two variations of this variant, known as Loop chess and Chessgi.
  • Einstein chess: pieces transform into more or less powerful pieces when they move.
  • Extinction chess
    Extinction chess
    Extinction chess is a variant of western Chess where the objective of the game has changed. Instead of the winning condition of the game being the checkmate of the opponent's king, the object of the game is to capture all of a particular kind of piece the opponent has...

    : a player must capture all of any one type of pieces his/her opponent controls to win (for example, all the knights an opponent has, or all their pawns, etc.)
  • Genesis Chess: the game begins with an empty board and opponents take turns placing down or moving pieces.
  • Guard chess (or Icelandic chess): allows captures only when a piece is completely unprotected by friendly pieces. Checkmate occurs when the piece forcing the mate is protected and therefore cannot be captured.
  • Hierarchical chess: pieces must be moved in the following order: pawn, knight, bishop, rook, queen, king. A player who has the corresponding piece but cannot move it loses the game.
  • Jedi Knight chess: knights may move three spaces diagonally or horizontally or both, depending on the rules accepted.
  • Kamikaze chess: when capturing, the capturing piece is removed from the board also. So, a king cannot defend itself by capturing an attacker. A capture is not allowed if it would expose the king to discovered check
    Discovered attack
    In chess, a discovered attack is an attack revealed when one piece moves out of the way of another. Discovered attacks can be extremely powerful, as the piece moved can make a threat independently of the piece it reveals. Like many chess tactics, they succeed because the opponent is unable to meet...

    .
  • Knight relay chess
    Knight relay chess
    Knight relay chess is a chess variant invented by Mannis Charosh in 1972. In this game knights "relay" their power to friendly pieces.- Rules :...

    : pieces defended by a friendly knight can move as a knight.

  • Knightmate (or Mate The Knight): invented by Bruce Zimov in 1972. The goal of the game is to checkmate the opponents's knight (which is placed on e-file). The kings on b- and g-files can be captured as other pieces. Pawns can additionally promote to kings but not to knights.
  • Legan chess
    Legan chess
    Legan chess is a chess variant invented by L. Legan in 1913. It differs from standard chess by starting position as well as by pawn movements.- Rules :...

    : played as if the board would be rotated 45°, initial position and pawn movements are adjusted accordingly.
  • Madrasi chess
    Madrasi chess
    Madrasi chess is a chess variant invented in 1979 by Abdul Jabbar Karwatkar which uses the conventional rules of chess with the addition that when a piece is attacked by a piece of the same type but opposite colour it is paralysed and becomes unable to move, capture or give check...

    : a piece which is attacked by the same type of piece of the opposite colour is paralysed.
  • Monochromatic chess
    Monochromatic chess
    Monochromatic chess is a chess variant created by Raymond Smullyan, in which the initial board position and all rules are the same as in regular chess, except that pieces which begin on a black square must always stay on a black square and pieces which begin on a white square must always stay on a...

    : all pieces must stay on the same colour square as they initially begin.
  • Patrol chess
    Patrol chess
    Patrol chess is a chess variant in which captures can be made and checks given only if the capturing or checking piece is guarded by a friendly unit...

    : captures and checks are only possible if the capturing or checking piece is guarded by a friendly piece.
  • PlunderChess
    PlunderChess
    PlunderChess is a chess variant in which the capturing piece is allowed to temporarily take the moving abilities of the piece taken.- Rules :The so-called plundering occurs when a chess piece captures an opposing chess piece and "plunders" or "acquires" additional moving capabilities directly from...

    : the capturing piece is allowed to temporarily take the moving abilities of the piece taken.
  • Reincarnation Chess: a captured piece can turn into a zombie, then reincarnate back into the game as a normal piece if captured again.
  • Refusal chess (or Outlaw chess, Rejection chess): when a player makes a move the opponent can refuse to accept it, forcing the first player to change to another move, which must be accepted. The only exception is when only one legal move is possible.
  • Replacement chess: captured pieces are not removed from the board but moved by the capturer anywhere else on the board.
  • Rifle chess (or Shooting chess, Sniper chess): when one piece captures another, it remains unmoved in its original square, instead of occupying the square of the piece it has captured.
  • Stationary King: both players' kings are not allowed to move.
  • Take-all: the first player to capture all opposing pieces wins. The king is allowed to move into check and pawns can be promoted to kings.
  • Three-check chess: a player wins if he checks the opponent three times.

Chess with incomplete information or elements of chance


In these chess variants, luck or randomness sometimes plays a role. Still, like in poker
Poker
Poker is a family of card games that share betting rules and usually hand rankings. Poker games differ in how the cards are dealt, how hands may be formed, whether the high or low hand wins the pot in a showdown , limits on bet sizes, and how many rounds of betting are allowed.In most modern poker...

 or backgammon
Backgammon
Backgammon is one of the oldest board games for two players. The playing pieces are moved according to the roll of dice, and players win by removing all of their pieces from the board. There are many variants of backgammon, most of which share common traits...

, good luck and bad luck even out over the long-term with clever strategy and consideration of probabilities being decisively important.
  • ChessHeads: played with cards that change the game rules.
  • Dark chess
    Dark chess
    Dark chess is a chess variant with incomplete information, similar to Kriegspiel. It was invented by Jens Bæk Nielsen and Torben Osted in 1989. A player does not see the entire board, only their own pieces , and squares where these pieces could move.- Rules :The goal of this chess variant is not to...

    : you see only squares of the board that are attacked by your pieces.
  • Dice chess
    Dice chess
    Dice chess can refer to a number of chess variants in which dice are used to alter gameplay; specifically that the moves available to each player are determined by rolling a pair of ordinary six-sided dice. There are many different variations of this form of dice chess. One of them is described...

    : the pieces a player is able to move are determined by rolling a pair of dice.
  • Fantasy Chess: traditional chess with a layer of wargaming added. Players fight for the square (which can be co-occupied) using dice. Can be expanded to 4 player game and piece capability can improve each game.
  • Knightmare Chess
    Knightmare Chess
    Knightmare Chess is a fantasy chess variant published by Steve Jackson Games in 1996. It is a translation of a French game Tempête sur l'échiquier , designed by Pierre Cléquin and Bruno Faidutti....

    : played with cards that change the game rules.
  • Kriegspiel
    Kriegspiel (chess)
    Kriegspiel is a chess variant invented by Henry Michael Temple in 1899 and based upon the original Kriegsspiel developed by Georg von Rassewitz in 1812. In this game each player can see their own pieces, but not those of their opponent...

    : neither player knows where the opponent's pieces are but can deduce them with information from a referee.
  • No Stress Chess: marketed for teaching beginners, the piece or pieces a player is able to move are determined by drawing from a deck of cards, with each card providing the rules for how the piece may move. Castling and en passant
    En passant
    En passant is a move in the board game of chess . It is a special pawn capture which can occur immediately after a player moves a pawn two squares forward from its starting position, and an enemy pawn could have captured it had it moved only one square forward...

     are not allowed.
  • Play It By Trust: devised by Yoko Ono
    Yoko Ono
    is a Japanese artist, musician, author and peace activist, known for her work in avant-garde art, music and filmmaking as well as her marriage to John Lennon...

    . Both players' pieces are white, which means after a few moves, players must learn to trust each other as to whose pieces are whose.
  • Penultima: an inductive chess variant where the players must deduce hidden rules invented by "Spectators".
  • Schrödinger's chess: each player's minor pieces are concealed in such a way that the opponent does not know what they are until they are revealed. When covered, pieces move in a restricted way.
  • Synchronous chess: players try to outguess each other, moving simultaneously after privately recording intended moves and anticipated results. Incompatible moves, for instance to the same square with no anticipated capture, are replayed. Alternatively, two pieces moving to the same square are both captured, unless one is the king, in which case it captures the other. Play ends with capture of king.

Multimove variants


In these variants one or both players can move more than once per turn. The board and the pieces in these variants are the same as in standard chess.
  • Avalanche chess
    Avalanche chess
    Avalanche chess is a chess variant designed by Ralph Betza in 1977. After moving one of your own pieces, you must move one of your opponent's pawns forward one space.- Rules :...

    : each move consists of a standard chess move followed by a move of one of the opponent's pawns.
  • Doublemove chess: similar to Marseillais chess, but with no en passant, check or checkmate. The object is to capture the king.
  • Kung-Fu chess
    Kung-fu chess
    Kung-Fu Chess is a chess variant without turns. It is a real-time strategy game. Any player can move any of his pieces at any given moment. After a piece was moved it must "rest" a while before it is allowed to move again. If two pieces of opposite color try to capture each other exactly...

    : a chess variant without turns. Any player can move any of his pieces at any given moment.
  • Marseillais chess
    Marseillais chess
    Marseillais chess is a chess variant in which each player moves twice per turn. The rules of the game were first published in Marseillais local newspaper Le Soleil in 1925...

    (or Two-move chess): after the first turn of the game by White being a single move, each player moves twice per turn.
  • Monster chess
    Monster chess
    Monster chess - or Super King chess - is a chess variant in which the White has only a king and four pawns to fight against all the pieces of the Black side. All the rules of chess apply, except that White makes two successive moves per turn. The white king can move into check on the first move of...

    (or Super King): White has the king and four pawns against the entire black army but may make two successive moves per turn.
  • Progressive chess
    Progressive chess
    Progressive chess is a chess variant in which players, rather than just making one move per turn, play progressively longer series of moves. The game starts with white making one move, then black makes two consecutive moves, white replies with three, black makes four and so on...

    (or Scottish chess): the White player moves once, the Black player moves twice, the White player moves three times, etc.
  • Zonal chess: board has triangular wings or "zones" on either side of the main 8×8 board. Queens, bishops and rooks that start from one of the squares in either zone may change direction and keep going on the same move. A queen, for example, could zig around an obstruction and attack a piece in the opposite zone. Note that the power to change direction only applies when a piece's move starts from a zonal area. It is possible (using the queen and rook) to cross the board from one zone to another, but any piece entering a zone cannot make use of the extended move.

Multiplayer variants



These variants arose out of the desire to play chess with more than just one other person.
  • Bosworth
    Bosworth (game)
    Bosworth is a four-handed chess variant manufactured by Out of the Box Publishing company since 1998. It is played on 6x6 board and uses 4 sets of standard chess pieces....

    : a four-player variant played on 6×6 board. It uses a special card system with the pieces for spawning.
  • Bughouse chess
    Bughouse chess
    Bughouse chess is a popular chess variant played on two chessboards by four players in teams of two...

    (or Double chess, Exchange chess, Siamese chess, Swap chess, Tandem chess, Matrix chess, Transfer Chess, Advanced Teamwork Chess): two teams of two players face each other on two boards. Allies use opposite colours and give captured pieces to their partner. The two-player version of the game, played with only one board, is Crazyhouse
    Crazyhouse
    Crazyhouse is a chess variant similar to bughouse chess, but with only two players. It effectively incorporates a rule in shogi , in which a player can introduce a captured piece back to the board as his own....

    .
  • Business chess
    Business chess
    Business chess is a variant of chess played in teams. It was invented in 1992 by Dr. Grachya Ovakimyan of Moscow with the aim of making chess more entertaining and spectacular....

    : played with two teams using normal chess playing rules but allowing up to five variations of the game. The team may discuss and play alternative moves freely.
  • Djambi
    Djambi
    Djambi is a board game and a chess variant for four players, invented by Jean Anesto in 1975.-Material:...

    : can be played by four people with a 9×9 board and four sets of special pieces. The pieces can capture or move the pieces of an adversary. Captured pieces are not removed from the board, but turned upside down. There are variants for three players or five players (Pentachiavel).
  • Enochian chess
    Enochian chess
    Enochian chess is a four-player chess variant, similar to Chaturaji, associated with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The name comes from the Enochian system of magic of Dr...

    : a four-player variant with magical symbolism, associated with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
    Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
    The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was a magical order active in Great Britain during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which practiced theurgy and spiritual development...

    .
  • Forchess
    Forchess
    Forchess is a four-person chess variant developed by an American engineer named T. K. Rogers. It uses one standard chess board and two sets of standard pieces.-History and motivation:...

    : a four-player variant using the standard board and two sets of standard pieces.
  • Four-handed chess
    Four-handed chess
    Four-handed chess is a chess variant, which is typically played with four people. It is played on a special board, which is made of standard 8x8 board with an additional 3 rows of 8 cells extending from each side. Four sets of different colored pieces are needed to play this game...

    (or Chess 4, 4-Way chess): can be played by four people and uses a special board and four sets of differently coloured pieces.
  • Fortress chess
    Fortress chess
    Fortress chess is a four-player chess variant played in Russia in 18th and 19th centuries. The board contains 192 squares including the fortresses at its corners...

    : a four-player variant played in Russia in 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Mad Threeparty Chess: for three players on a 10×10 board. Each player has two enemy kings to attack, and two of his own to defend.
  • Three player chess: a family of chess variants specially designed for three players.

Single player variants





Similar to card solitaire
Solitaire
Solitaire is any tabletop game which one can play by oneself or with other people. The solitaire card game Klondike is often known as simply Solitaire....

s, there are a few chess variants for a single player. In difference to chess puzzle
Chess puzzle
A chess puzzle is a puzzle in which knowledge of the pieces and rules of chess is used to solve logically a chess-related problem. The longstanding popularity of chess has paved the way for a rich tradition of such chess-related puzzles and composed problems, which assume a familiarity with the...

s, these variants have a random starting position. Some of these variants are similar to permutation chess problems, for example the game Queen's Quadrille, which was invented by Karen Robinson in 1998. All chess pieces (except pawns) are randomly placed on a 4×4 board. Then one of the queens is removed and the game is started. Pieces move as usual, however capturing is not allowed. A player can move white and black pieces in any order, without regard for color. The goal is to move the queen to one of the corners, or visit all squares on the board only once. The same idea is found in the game Hippodrome, which was invented by Andy Lewicki in 2003. The initial position is obtained by placing four knights on the first row and all other pieces from a chess set (except pawns) on the remaining fields. Then one of the pieces (except knights) is removed and the game is started. The goal is to move all knights to the opposite rank.

Chess with unusual pieces


Most of the pieces in these chess variants are borrowed from chess. The game goal and rules are also very similar to those in chess. However, these chess variants include one or more fairy pieces which move differently than chess pieces.

  • Anti-King chess: uses an anti-king. This piece is in check when not attacked. If the player has an anti-king in check and unable to move it to the position attacked by the opponent, the player loses (checkmate). The anti-king cannot capture opponent's pieces, but it can capture friendly pieces. The king does not attack the anti-king of the opponent. The anti-king does not check its own king. All other rules are the same as in standard chess, including check and checkmate to usual king. The game was invented by Peter Aronson in 2002.
  • Baroque
    Baroque chess
    Baroque chess is a chess variant invented in 1962 by Robert Abbott. In 1963, at the suggestion of his publisher, he changed the name to Ultima, by which name it is also known...

    (or Ultima): pieces on the first row move like queens, and pieces on the second row move like rooks. They are named after their unusual capturing methods. For example, Leaper, Immobilizer and Coordinator.
  • Berolina chess
    Berolina chess
    Berolina Chess is a chess variant using a popular fairy chess piece called the Berolina pawn...

    : which uses the Berolina pawn instead of the normal pawn, all other things being equal.
  • Bomberman chess: inspired by the Bomberman
    Bomberman
    Bomberman is a strategic, maze-based computer and video game franchise originally developed by Hudson Soft. The original game was published in 1983 and new games in the series are still being published to this day. Today, the commercially successful Bomberman is featured in over 70 different games...

    video game series. Played on an 10×8 board with special Bomb and Defuser pieces. The Bomb piece can be exploded on its turn in vertical and horizontal directions (similar to the movement of a rook), destroying any pieces in the blast range, and the Defuser piece can capture a bomb piece.
  • ButterflyChess: butterflies are the hybrids of the queen with a grasshopper, rook with RG, and bishop with BG – all with complete movement.
  • Chess with different armies
    Chess with different armies
    Chess with different armies is a chess variant in which two sides use different sets of fairy pieces. There are several armies of equal strength to choose from, including standard FIDE army...

    : two sides use different sets of fairy pieces. There are several armies of approximately equal strength to choose from including the standard FIDE chess army.
  • Dragonchess: uses three 8×12 boards atop one another, with fantasy chess pieces. By Gary Gygax, inventor of Dungeons & Dragons
    Dungeons & Dragons
    Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy role-playing game originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. . The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997...

    .
  • Duell: dice are used instead of pieces.
  • Gess
    Gess
    Gess is a strategic board game for two players, involving a grid board and mutating pieces. The name was chosen as a conflation of "chess" and "go". It is pronounced with a hard "g" as in "go", and is thus homophonous with "guess"....

    : chess with variable pieces, played on a go board.
  • Grasshopper chess
    Grasshopper chess
    Grasshopper chess is a chess variant, in which the pawns are allowed to promote to a fairy piece grasshopper. Grasshopper must hop over other pieces in order to move or capture....

    : a variant in which the pawns can promote to grasshopper, or in which grasshoppers are on the board in the opening position.
  • Maharajah and the Sepoys
    Maharajah and the Sepoys
    Maharajah and the Sepoys, originally called Shatranj Diwana Shah, is a popular chess variant with different armies for white and black. It was first played in the 19th century in India....

    : Black has a complete army, White only one piece – Maharajah (queen+knight).
  • Omega chess
    Omega Chess
    Omega Chess is a commercial chess variant designed by Daniel MacDonald in Toronto. The game is played on a 10x10 board with an extra square in each of the extreme corners where the wizards are placed at the start of the game...

    : played on a 10×10 board with four extra squares, one per corner. Also, two fairy chess pieces are used, the Champion and the Wizard. Both can jump other pieces like the knight.
  • Pocket mutation chess
    Pocket mutation chess
    Pocket mutation chess is a chess variant invented by Mike Nelson in 2003.In this game a player can take a piece from the board and put it into a pocket. The piece in the pocket can be put back on the board later. When placing the piece into the pocket the player can mutate the piece, i.e...

    : player can put a piece temporarily into the pocket, optionally mutating it into another piece.
  • Pole chess: each player has an uncapturable piece known as a Pole. The Pole, which does not begin play on the board, may be moved to any empty space on the board as a legal move. Thus, the Pole can be used to block check, making it much harder to achieve mate. Mentioned in the novel Robot Adept by Piers Anthony
    Piers Anthony
    Piers Anthony Dillingham Jacob is an English American writer in the science fiction and fantasy genres, publishing under the name Piers Anthony. He is most famous for his long-running novel series set in the fictional realm of Xanth.Many of his books have appeared on the New York Times Best...

    .
  • Shako: played on a 10×10 board. New pieces are the Cannon from Xiangqi
    Xiangqi
    Xiangqi is a two-player Chinese board game in the same family as Western chess, chaturanga, shogi, Indian chess and janggi. The present-day form of Xiangqi originated in China and is therefore commonly called Chinese chess in English. Xiangqi is one of the most popular board games in China...

     (Chinese Chess) and an Elephant moving as Fers+Alfil of old Shatranj
    Shatranj
    Shatranj is an old form of chess, which came to the Western world from India. Modern chess has gradually developed from this game.-Etymology and origins:...

     (ancestors of queen and bishop), so diagonally one or two squares with jumps allowed.
  • Stealth chess: played in the fictional Ankh-Morpork Assassins' Guild
    Ankh-Morpork Assassins' Guild
    The Ankh-Morpork Assassins' Guild is a fictional school for professional killers in Terry Pratchett's long-running Discworld series of fantasy novels...

     from the Discworld
    Discworld
    Discworld is a comic fantasy book series by English author Sir Terry Pratchett, set on the Discworld, a flat world balanced on the backs of four elephants which, in turn, stand on the back of a giant turtle, Great A'Tuin. The books frequently parody, or at least take inspiration from, J. R. R....

    series of books; played on an 8×10 board. The fairy piece is the Assassin
    Assassination
    To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

    .
  • 2000 A.D.
    2000 A.D. (chess variant)
    2000 A.D. is a chess variant created by V. R. Parton employing fairy chess pieces on a 10×10 board. The inventor describes his variant as "the game for Future Players in the Next Millennium", feeling that to be sufficiently challenging for later generations a variant should possess a larger board...

    : played on a 10×10 board, features pieces Empress, Capricorn, Gorgon, Chimaera, Dragon, Mimotaur, Unicorn, and Fury.
  • Wildebeest Chess
    Wildebeest Chess
    Wildebeest Chess is a chess variant created by R. Wayne Schmittberger in 1987. The Wildebeest gameboard is 11×10 squares, and besides the standard chess pieces, each side has one wildebeest and two camels....

    : played on an 11×10 board, invented by R. Wayne Schmittberger. Features two camels per player, and a wildebeest (camel+knight). Pawns move one, two, or three squares on their first move.

Bishop+knight and rook+knight compounds


There are a numbers of chess variants which use bishop+knight and rook+knight compound pieces. Several different names have been given to these pieces. Rook and knight compound (R+N) is named chancellor, marshall, empress etc. Bishop and knight compound piece (B+N) is called archbishop, cardinal, janus, paladin, princess, Prime Minister etc. To adapt two new pieces the board is usually extended to 10×8 or 10×10 with two additional pawns added.
  • Capablanca chess
    Capablanca chess
    Capablanca chess is a chess variant invented in the 1920s by former World Chess Champion José Raúl Capablanca. It incorporates two new pieces and is played on a 10×8 board. Capablanca proposed the variant while World Champion, and not as a "sour grapes" rationalization after losing his title as...

    : a chess variant by the former world chess champion, José Raúl Capablanca
    José Raúl Capablanca
    José Raúl Capablanca y Graupera was a Cuban chess player who was world chess champion from 1921 to 1927. One of the greatest players of all time, he was renowned for his exceptional endgame skill and speed of play...

    . Played on a 10×8 board with chancellor (R+N) and archbishop (B+N).
  • Capablanca random chess
    Capablanca random chess
    Capablanca Random Chess is a chess variant invented by Reinhard Scharnagl in 2004. It combines the piece set and 10x8 board from Capablanca Chess with the permutation idea of Fischer Random Chess...

    : by Reinhard Scharnagl
    Reinhard Scharnagl
    Reinhard Scharnagl is author of a book about the future of the game of Chess, inventor of Capablanca Random Chess and the Chess960 numbering scheme and developer of the chess variant program SMIRF.- Chessbook author :...

     (2004). A generalization of all possible variants of Capablanca chess
    Capablanca chess
    Capablanca chess is a chess variant invented in the 1920s by former World Chess Champion José Raúl Capablanca. It incorporates two new pieces and is played on a 10×8 board. Capablanca proposed the variant while World Champion, and not as a "sour grapes" rationalization after losing his title as...

     with random starting positions following a method similar to that used in Chess960
    Chess960
    Chess960 is a chess variant invented and advocated by former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer, originally announced on June 19, 1996 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It employs the same board and pieces as standard chess, but the starting position of the pieces is randomized along the players' home...

    .
  • Embassy Chess
    Embassy Chess
    Embassy chess is a chess variant created in 2005 by Kevin Hill. It borrows the opening setup from Grand chess by Christian Freeling and adapts it to the 10x8 board....

    : by Kevin Hill (2005). Played on a 10×8 board with marshall (R+N) and cardinal (B+N). The starting position is taken from Grand chess
    Grand chess
    Grand chess is a popular large-board chess variant invented by Dutch games designer Christian Freeling in 1984. It is played on a 10×10 board, with each side having two additional pawns and two new pieces: the marshall and the cardinal....

    .
  • Gothic chess
    Gothic chess
    Gothic Chess is a chess variant derived from Capablanca Chess by Ed Trice. It was patented in 2002, but the patent expired in 2006.It is played on the same 10×8 board and additional pieces as in Capablanca Chess...

    : a commercial chess variant. Played on a 10×8 board with chancellor (R+N) and archbishop (B+N).
  • Grand chess
    Grand chess
    Grand chess is a popular large-board chess variant invented by Dutch games designer Christian Freeling in 1984. It is played on a 10×10 board, with each side having two additional pawns and two new pieces: the marshall and the cardinal....

    : invented by Christian Freeling
    Christian Freeling
    Christian Freeling is a Dutch game designer and inventor of various chess variants, notably Grand chess, invented in 1984.Other game inventions by Freeling include:...

     (1984). Played on a 10×10 board with marshall (R+N) and cardinal (B+N).
  • Janus chess
    Janus chess
    Janus Chess is a chess variant played on a 10×8 board. It features a new piece, the Janus , with the combined moves of a bishop and a knight. This piece is named after the Roman god Janus because this god was usually depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions...

    : by Werner Schöndorf (1978). Played on 10×8 board with two januses (B+N).
  • Modern chess
    Modern chess
    Modern chess is a chess variant played on a 9x9 board. The game was invented by Gabriel Vicente Maura in 1968.Besides the usual set of chess pieces, each player has an additional piece with a corresponding pawn:...

    : played on a 9×9 board, with an extra pawn and a Prime Minister (bishop + knight). Created by Puerto Rico's Gabriel Vicente Maura in 1968.
  • Seirawan chess
    Seirawan chess
    Seirawan chess is a chess variant invented by grandmaster Yasser Seirawan in 2007. It is played on the standard 8x8 board and uses two new pieces, the hawk and the elephant . Yasser Seirawan has given simultaneous exhibitions for the game...

    : invented by grandmaster Yasser Seirawan in 2007. Played on standard 8×8 board with elephant (R+N) and hawk (B+N).

Chess hybrids


The pieces in these chess variants are borrowed from both chess and another game. The game goal and rules are either the same or very similar to those in chess. However, these chess variants include one or more fairy pieces which move differently than chess pieces.
  • Chessers: by Christopher Schwartz and Sander Beckers. Played on a regular chess board but with the inclusion of checkers pieces integrated into the mechanics of an otherwise standard chess game.
  • Proteus: by Steve Jackson Games
    Steve Jackson Games
    Steve Jackson Games is a game company, founded in 1980 by Steve Jackson, that creates and publishes role-playing, board, and card games, and the gaming magazine Pyramid.-History:...

    . Played on a regular chess board using 8+8 dice with a different chess piece on each side. Each turn a player must rotate one die and move another like the corresponding piece moves. Instead of a king, the dice have a new piece, Pyramid, which cannot move, capture or be captured. Winner is determined with a scoring system based on the value of captured pieces. Queens can be captured from both the square they're occupying and the square directly behind them.
  • Playing cards on a chess board: a card game allowing open play on a board with rectangular sectors where the chances to win are equal for both players, just as in chess or checkers but with application of traditional rules of playing cards.

Games inspired by chess


These chess variants are very different from chess and may be classified as abstract board games instead of chess variants (by restrictive, proper definition).
  • Arimaa
    Arimaa
    The objective of the game is to move a rabbit of one's own color onto the home rank of the opponent. Thus Gold wins by moving a gold rabbit to the eighth rank, and Silver wins by moving a silver rabbit to the first rank...

    : a game inspired by Garry Kasparov's
    Garry Kasparov
    Garry Kimovich Kasparov is a Russian chess grandmaster, a former World Chess Champion, writer, political activist, and one of the greatest chess players of all time....

     defeat by chess computer Deep Blue. This game is easy for people to understand but difficult for computers to play well.
  • ChessWar: complex strategy game played with chess pieces and board.
  • Connect Score: mixes chess with Dots and Boxes
    Dots and Boxes
    Dots and Boxes is a pencil and paper game for two players first published in 1889 by Édouard Lucas.Starting with an empty grid of dots, players take turns, adding a single...

    .
  • DracoKrak Chess: fully customizable fantasy board game with elements of chess, miniature wargame, role-playing games.
  • Martian chess
    Martian Chess
    Martian Chess is an abstract strategy game for two to six players invented by Andrew Looney. It is played with Icehouse pieces on a chessboard or checkerboard; to play with a number of players other than two or four, a small, Non-Euclidean which can be tiled to produce a board of the required...

    : played with Icehouse pieces
    Icehouse pieces
    Icehouse pieces are pyramid-shaped gaming pieces invented by Andrew Looney and John Cooper in 1987, originally for use in the game of Icehouse.- Description :...

    .
  • Navia Dratp
    Navia Dratp
    Navia Dratp is a collectible miniatures game with similarities to shogi, the Japanese equivalent of chess. See also chess variants for similar type games.-Gameplay:...

    : a cross between Shogi
    Shogi
    , also known as Japanese chess, is a two-player board game in the same family as Western chess, chaturanga, and Chinese Xiangqi, and is the most popular of a family of chess variants native to Japan...

     and miniature wargaming
    Miniature wargaming
    Miniature wargaming is a form of wargaming that incorporates miniature figures, miniature armor and modeled terrain as the main components of play...

    .
  • Shuuro: a cross between chess and miniature wargaming
    Miniature wargaming
    Miniature wargaming is a form of wargaming that incorporates miniature figures, miniature armor and modeled terrain as the main components of play...

    .

Chess-related historic and regional games



Some of these games have developed independently while others are ancestors or relatives of modern chess.

The popularity of these chess variants may be limited to their respective places of origin (as is largely the case for Shogi), or worldwide, as is the case for Xiangqi which is played by overseas Chinese everywhere. These games have their own institutions and traditions.

Historic chess-related games

  • Chaturanga
    Chaturanga
    Chaturanga is an ancient Indian game that is presumed to be the common ancestor of the games of chess, shogi, and makruk, and related to xiangqi and janggi.Chaturanga developed in Gupta India around the 6th century...

    : an ancient East Indian game, presumed to be the common ancestor of chess and other national chess-related games.
  • Chaturaji
    Chaturaji
    Chaturaji is a four player chess-like game. It was first described in detail circa 1030 by Biruni in his India book. Originally, this was a game of chance: the pieces to be moved were decided by rolling two dice...

    : four-handed version of Chaturanga
    Chaturanga
    Chaturanga is an ancient Indian game that is presumed to be the common ancestor of the games of chess, shogi, and makruk, and related to xiangqi and janggi.Chaturanga developed in Gupta India around the 6th century...

    , played with a die.
  • Shatranj
    Shatranj
    Shatranj is an old form of chess, which came to the Western world from India. Modern chess has gradually developed from this game.-Etymology and origins:...

    : an ancient Persian game, derived from Chaturanga
    Chaturanga
    Chaturanga is an ancient Indian game that is presumed to be the common ancestor of the games of chess, shogi, and makruk, and related to xiangqi and janggi.Chaturanga developed in Gupta India around the 6th century...

    .
  • Tamerlane chess
    Tamerlane Chess
    Tamerlane chess is a strategic board game related to chess and derived from shatranj. It was developed in Persia during the reign of Timur, also called Tamerlane . Some sources attribute the game's invention to Timur, but this is by no means certain...

    : a significantly expanded variation of Shatranj
    Shatranj
    Shatranj is an old form of chess, which came to the Western world from India. Modern chess has gradually developed from this game.-Etymology and origins:...

    .
  • Short assize
    Short assize
    "The short assize" is Harold James Ruthven Murray's name for a chess variant that was played in medieval Europe. It was somewhat like sittuyin but developed independently, probably to get the armies into contact sooner...

    : played in England and Paris in the second half of the 12th century.
  • Courier chess
    Courier Chess
    Courier Chess or Courier Spiel or the Courier Game is a board game in the chess family. The original form is known to have been played for at least six hundred years, after which it was replaced by a more modern form...

    : played in Europe from 15th to 19th century. Probably was one step in evolving modern chess out of Shatranj
    Shatranj
    Shatranj is an old form of chess, which came to the Western world from India. Modern chess has gradually developed from this game.-Etymology and origins:...

    .

Regional chess-related games

  • Banqi (or Chinese Half chess) (China)
  • Chandraki (Tibet)
  • Hiashatar (Mongolia)
  • Janggi
    Janggi
    Janggi , sometimes called Korean chess, is a strategic board game popular in Korea. It derived from Xiangqi , which itself is thought to be a descendent of the Indian chess game Chaturanga...

    (Korea)
  • Jungle game
    Jungle (board game)
    Jungle or Dou Shou Qi is a traditional Chinese board game. It is also known as Jungle Chess or Animal Chess. It is a two player, abstract strategy game played on a 7x9 board...

    (or Animal chess, Children's chess, Dou Shou Qi) (China)
  • Main Chator (Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines)
  • Makruk
    Makruk
    Makruk , or Thai chess, is a board game descended from the 6th-century Indian game of chaturanga or a close relative thereof, and therefore related to chess. It is regarded as the most similar living game to this common ancestor of all chess variants....

    (Thailand)
  • Ouk Chatrang (Cambodia)
  • Rek Chess (Cambodia)
  • Samantsy (Madagascar)
  • Senterej
    Senterej
    Senterej is a chess variant, the form of chess traditionally played in Ethiopia. It is the last popular survival of shatranj.- Rules:...

    (Ethiopia)
  • Shatar (Mongolia)
  • Shogi
    Shogi
    , also known as Japanese chess, is a two-player board game in the same family as Western chess, chaturanga, and Chinese Xiangqi, and is the most popular of a family of chess variants native to Japan...

    (Japan) see also Shogi variant
    Shogi variant
    Many variants of shogi have been developed over the centuries, ranging from some of the largest chess-type games ever played to some of the smallest...

    s
  • Sittuyin
    Sittuyin
    Sittuyin , is a chess-related game which is a direct offspring of the Indian game of Chaturanga which arrived in 8th century AD. Sit is the modern Burmese word for army or war, the word Sittuyin can be translated as representation of the four characteristics of army—chariot, elephant, cavalry...

    (Burma)
  • Xiangqi
    Xiangqi
    Xiangqi is a two-player Chinese board game in the same family as Western chess, chaturanga, shogi, Indian chess and janggi. The present-day form of Xiangqi originated in China and is therefore commonly called Chinese chess in English. Xiangqi is one of the most popular board games in China...

    (China)

Chess variants software


Some program authors have created stand-alone applications that are capable of playing a few, many or an unlimited number of variants.
  • Zillions of Games
    Zillions of Games
    Zillions of Games is a commercial General Game Playing system developed by Jeff Mallett and Mark Lefler in 1998. The game rules are specified with S expressions, Zillions rule language. It was designed to handle mostly abstract strategy board games or puzzles. After parsing the rules of the game,...

    : supports an unlimited number (but not types) of chess variants. One can write one's own rule files to create and play almost all chess variants, as well as almost any abstract strategy board game.
  • ChessV
    ChessV
    ChessV is a free computer program designed to play a large number of chess variants.ChessV is an open-source, universal chess variant program with a graphical user-interface, sophisticated AI, support for opening books and other features of traditional chess programs...

    : supports around 50 chess variants, including such popular variants as Grand chess
    Grand chess
    Grand chess is a popular large-board chess variant invented by Dutch games designer Christian Freeling in 1984. It is played on a 10×10 board, with each side having two additional pawns and two new pieces: the marshall and the cardinal....

    , Shatranj
    Shatranj
    Shatranj is an old form of chess, which came to the Western world from India. Modern chess has gradually developed from this game.-Etymology and origins:...

    , Three Checks chess
    Three checks chess
    Three-check chess is a variation of chess, in which a player wins if he checks his opponent three times. Anatoly Karpov is said to excel in this chess variant ....

    , Ultima
    Baroque chess
    Baroque chess is a chess variant invented in 1962 by Robert Abbott. In 1963, at the suggestion of his publisher, he changed the name to Ultima, by which name it is also known...

    .
  • SMIRF
    SMIRF
    The name SMIRF is an acronym for "Strategiespielprogramm mit intelligent rückkoppelnden Funktionen" . It designates an appropriate innovative variant of an adaptive recursive feedback implementation. The procedure cuts the to be evaluated search tree effectively both in the depth and in the width...

    : supports all FRC
    Chess960
    Chess960 is a chess variant invented and advocated by former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer, originally announced on June 19, 1996 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It employs the same board and pieces as standard chess, but the starting position of the pieces is randomized along the players' home...

     variants upon the 8×8 board and all CRC
    Capablanca random chess
    Capablanca Random Chess is a chess variant invented by Reinhard Scharnagl in 2004. It combines the piece set and 10x8 board from Capablanca Chess with the permutation idea of Fischer Random Chess...

     variants upon the 10×8 board.
  • Sunsetter: normal chess, Crazyhouse
    Crazyhouse
    Crazyhouse is a chess variant similar to bughouse chess, but with only two players. It effectively incorporates a rule in shogi , in which a player can introduce a captured piece back to the board as his own....

     and Bughouse chess
    Bughouse chess
    Bughouse chess is a popular chess variant played on two chessboards by four players in teams of two...

     engine (opensource).
  • Sjeng: besides Crazyhouse
    Crazyhouse
    Crazyhouse is a chess variant similar to bughouse chess, but with only two players. It effectively incorporates a rule in shogi , in which a player can introduce a captured piece back to the board as his own....

     and Bughouse chess
    Bughouse chess
    Bughouse chess is a popular chess variant played on two chessboards by four players in teams of two...

    , supports other chess variants.
  • DoubleChessBoard: supports bughouse, coin, ingols chess variants and various alternative starting positions.
  • Parmen site: supports Tri-D chess Standard and Tournament rulesets according to posted sample games, plus regular chess.

See also



  • Outline of chess: Chess variants
  • Advanced chess, Centaur chess or Cyborg chess
    Advanced Chess
    Advanced Chess is a relatively new form of chess, wherein each human player uses a computer chess program to help him explore the possible results of candidate moves...

  • Blitz chess
  • Fairy chess
    Fairy chess
    Fairy chess comprises chess problems that differ from classical chess problems in that they are not direct mates. The term was introduced before the First World War. While selfmate dates from the Middle Age, helpmate was invented by Max Lange in the late 19th century. Thomas Dawson , pioneer of...

  • Fairy chess piece
    Fairy chess piece
    A fairy chess piece or unorthodox chess piece is a piece analogous to a chess piece. It is not used in conventional chess, but is used in certain chess variants and some chess problems...

    s
  • Chess boxing
    Chess boxing
    Chessboxing is a hybrid sport that combines chess with boxing in alternating rounds. Most of the world championships have been held in Berlin. Ten events organised by the World Chess Boxing Organisation have been held in Germany overall. In London, England there have been 10 international...

  • Chess as mental training
    Chess as mental training
    There are efforts to use the game of chess as a tool to aid the intellectual development of young people. Chess is considered the "drosophila" of cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence studies, because it represents the domain in which expert performance has been most intensively studied...

  • List of abstract strategy games

General


Collections


In addition to individual chess variants with popularity, collections (generally acknowledged to be of respectable quality) have been created by several inventors: