The Chess Variant Pages

Brett Rules

Juraj Pivovarov sent an email with the following text, May 1999.
Hi Hans,
A friend of mine came up with an excellent chess variation that makes the game great fun:

It's called "Brett Rules" from a friend called Brett.

The rules, as sent by Juraj can be found below.


The game uses the same rules as usual chess, except that three pieces have added (or reduced) mobility and there is an additional criteria for winning, as described below.

1. Boomerang Bishops

  1. Bishops may move as regular bishops,
  2. or may move one square as a regular bishop, and then again as a regular bishop. (I.e., one square diagonally and then continue any number of squares in a diagonal line as a bishop).
This gives them incredible coverage of the board.

2. Right Angle Rooks

  1. Rooks may move as regular rooks,
  2. or may move one square as a regular rook, and then again as a regular rook. (I.e., one square up,down,left or right and then continue any number of squares in a orthogonal line as a rook).

3. Mexican Kings

  1. A player wins if his king can "Promote" on an unchecked square of his respective 8th rank. I.e., if he makes it to the border safely, he wins.

4. Queer Queens

  1. Queer queens may only take from behind or diagonally behind. (I.e., they may not capture sideways and may not capture forward, or forward diagonally, only in a reverse direction, or reverse diagonally)
(Knights, and pawns remain exactly as in real chess)


Additional observations by Juraj Pivovarov on this game are:
The queen's value is drastically reduced until endgames.
Rooks and Bishops take on the new values of queens - roughly speaking. It is like starting out with 4 queens instead of one.
Openings like b4 and g4 work really well were a bishop and rook can immediately be developed for control of the game.
Rooks are amazing pieces in the endgame as they can checkmate by themselves from almost any postion in one move. (Rooks on an open board cover three adjacent files / ranks - the one the rook is on and the two adjacent ones).

Play It!

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Written by Juraj Pivovarov. Edited and html-conversion by Hans Bodlaender. Thanks to Roger Blaine for noting an error.
WWW page created: June 5, 1999. Last modified: August 18, 1999.