The Chess Variant Pages



The world of Fairy Chess

There are thousands of people, that use variants of chess to compose problems. Using chess variants in chess compositions is usually called the field of fairy chess, or sometimes also experimental chess. This field is recognised by FIDE: the problems appear in official FIDE albums, and FIDE also grants titles of master, IM and IGM in chess composition. The world championship for chess composition (WCCT) has always some sections for fairy chess problems.

The fairy problems are published all over the world; the most important magazines are Feenschach (pure fairy), The Problemist, Die Schwalbe, Probleemblad, Phenix.

The fairy problems feature in their content:

  1. change of chess target (not mate in n moves - the orthodox problems, but helpmates, selfmates, stalemates, reflexmates, serial problems etc.)
  2. different types of boards as cylinders, small and large boards, rotated boards at 45 degrees, etc.
  3. different types of fairy chess (the so called chess variants) as Circe + its family, madrasi, Andernach chess etc.
  4. fairy pieces -the most employed being the grasshopper and the nightrider.


Written by: Theodor Tauber and Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: September 30, 1996. Last modified: February 27, 1998.