The Chess Variant Pages

Magic Ring Chess

by Lim Ther Peng


Magic Ring Chess is based on the concept of magic rings that appeared on many stories of ancient myths on the land now called Europe.


  1. It is played on the usual Orthodox Chess 8x8 chessboard with the usual chess pieces.

  2. Each player has a magic ring. Each player's magic ring should be distinguishable from their oppenent's.

  3. Initially the ring is placed around each player's King. Whenever the ring is with the King, it has no magic powers.

  4. The game starts with all the pieces on their usual squares. Before the start of the game, both players will discuss what magic powers the rings have. For example, the list of magic powers may consist of: add extra power to the piece with the magic ring: level (1) Queen (2) Knight (3) Rook (4) Bishop and so on. If super pieces are involved, then the players must considered whether the moves of these super pieces could be added by the ring or not.

  5. White moves first. Passing the ring from one piece to an adjacent piece is considered to be one move. As the ring is passed from one piece to the next piece, the power of the ring also increases by one level to the next level. For example, initially, if the White King passes the ring to White Bishop. Since this is the first change, the White Bishop would have the combined powers of Bishop or Queen, as the power of the ring is at the first level. After a few moves, the ring is then passed from the White Bishop to a White Pawn, then the Pawn will have the power of Pawn or Knight, as the power is at the second level.

  6. If the piece with the ring is captured by the enemy piece, then that enemy piece will take over the ring and its power. If the ring's power is at level two then as the enemy piece captures the ring and the piece, the ring will then be at level three for the enemy piece to continue using the ring. The ring will continue to change its power level as the ring changes from one enemy piece to another enemy piece. The other player will have to try and capture back the ring or the enemy's ring.

  7. Each player will publicly the power level of their ring. If the end of the list powers is reached, then a new list will be used, or the power level starts from level one again.

  8. Pawns have an initial two-step move option and are not subjected to en passant capture if it have a magic ring on. Otherwise they are subjected to en passant capture as per normal.

  9. A Pawn cannot be promoted, if it has used any extra move granted by ring at any point in the game, otherwise it can be promoted according to FIDE rules.

  10. Other rules are as in FIDE Chess.

Written by Lim Ther Peng.
WWW page created: February 2nd, 2004.