The Chess Variant Pages


Some months ago, the Chess Variant Pages found a delivery in their postal box. Occasionally game sellers send their products to us for review and evaluation. On this occasion the game sent was called "CARDCHESS" invented by Jeff Widderrich.

This game, as the name implies, uses playing cards as chess pieces. The cards are 2 1/8" square with each card bearing a chess piece symbol (blank cards are also included). As you can see from the pictures (shown below), the cards are fairly ornate. The chess pieces are beautifully rendered and use colors that are easy to tell apart. The board is composed of squares that are slightly larger than the cards (2 3/16") and can be used as an 8x8 board as well as a 10x10 board.

The game includes rules (in both English and Spanish) for playing CARDCHESS along with two variants (Positional CARDCHESS and Memory CARDCHESS). Two, three or four people can play, or the game can be played as a doubles game (ie. two teams of two). The rules include explanations and diagrams of how the chess pieces move.

The standard version of CARDCHESS uses all 100 squares of the board. Pieces are introduced into the game in a random setup/order, but once on the board, operate according to standard chess rules. A variant game removes the random setup and order of introduction of the pieces but retains the other mechanics of the game.

My general impression of this game is that it is of very good production quality and the rules seem simple and well thought-out. I did find that the rules don't seem to cover certain situations involving check with multiple players, but that's a minor quibble. Overall, I would recommend this game for those with an interest in multiplayer games or with children (8 or older) who are interested in chess.

For more information on this game, see the CARDCHESS website at

Box [hi-res]

Board and Cards [hi-res]

Board and Cards Closeup [hi-res]

Card Closeup [hi-res]

Written by David Howe.
WWW page created: December 1, 2002. ´╗┐