The Chess Variant Pages

N-Relay Chess

N-Relay Chess, sometimes also called Knight-Relay Chess was invented by Mannis Charosh around 1972. It is regularly played in modern chess variant circles.


The rules of FIDE chess are in effect, with the exception of what follows.

  1. A pawn or a piece (but not the King or a Knight) guarded by a Knight of the same color is relayed the power to move (and in particular to capture) as a Knight. This power adds to the usual power of the pawn/piece and lasts as long as the pawn/piece is guarded by a Knight.
  2. A pawn relayed by Knight does not extend its powers to the 1st or 8th rank; e.g. a white pawn in f6 guarded by a while Knight in e4 cannot move to (or check the King in) e8 or g8, etc.
  3. A pawn moved back to its 2nd rank regains its right to a two-step move.
  4. Original or promoted Knights do not capture and neither can be captured.
  5. No en passant capture.

Best players

  • John McCallion (UK => USA - 1st International Champion)
  • Paul Yearout (USA - 2nd International Champion)
  • Alessandro Castelli (Italy)

Sample Game

Paul Yearout-A. Castelli (3rd Int.) 0-1
1. d4 d5
2. f3 h6
3. c3 e7f5R
4. c3:d5R h6g4R
5. e2c3R Nh6
6. f3e5R Qh4+
7. Kd2 f5e3R+
8. Kd3 Bf5+
9. c3e4R g4:e5R
10. e:f5 Q:d4+
11. Ke2 Qg4+
12. Nf3 Qf2R+
13. Kd3 Ng4+
14. Kc3 Q:d1R
15. Resigns

It was noted by Pierre Tourigny that this game is actually mate after the 12th move of black, i.e., the game should stop there.

Text by Alessandro Castelli. Comment added by Hans Bodlaender based on email of Pierre Tourigny.
WWW page created: 1995 or 1996. Last modified: August 18, 1999.