The Chess Variant Pages

The 84-squares chess variant design contest


A contest will be held, in which you can participate. The aim of the contest is to design a chess variant on a board with exactly 84 squares. Read here more about the history, the rules, and the prizes to win. The contest celebrates the 7 years of existence of the Chess Variant Pages: 84 is 7 * 12, the number of months this website existed when the contest started.

Due to circumstances, the processing of entries to the contest had received some delay. Thus, we extended the deadline for submissions considerably, and change some of the rules of the contest.

The challenge

Design a chess variant on a board of exactly 84 squares.

The Rules of the Metagame

  1. To participate, design a game that is a chess variant and that is played on a board of exactly 84 squares, and send the rules to the Chess Variant Pages (see the feedback page how to send them: email to
    .) before November 30, 2002. You can also send them on paper to: Hans Bodlaender, Nedercamp 26, 3992 RP Houten, the Netherlands. Be sure that in such a case, your entry arrives before November 30, 2002.
  2. The notion of square can be interpreted broadly, and is meant to denote any cell that can contain a piece. So, e.g., variants with hexagonal cells are acceptable.
  3. In your entry, you may, if you want, also include a few sample games, comments, etc.
  4. If you submit a game, you should send the description of the game (either in html, word, or text-format, with or without added pictures), i.e., it is insufficient to have the game on your own website and send the URL.
  5. Hans Bodlaender and John Lawson are `first round judges'. Submissions to the contest that are not a chess variant, not a game, not played on a board with 84 squares (or other types of `cells'), or are deemed unsuitable for publication on the Chess Variant Pages for other reasons will be rejected in this first round. Other submissions will be published on The Chess Variant Pages.
  6. A participant may submit at most two entries. If you submit two designs, please make them very different from each other.
  7. The winning game will be decided by qualified judges, see below.

    Mention games that have inspired you. Write correct English, and be clear and complete in giving rules, but you may assume familiarity with the rules of standard chess. (For instance, you can write sentences like: Knights move like in orthodox chess. The purpose of the game is to mate the opponent's General. Stalemated players lose the game.)

  8. See also the additional rules below.


The contest will be judged by one or two qualified judges. It will be announced later who these judges are.


There are five prizes that will be given to the five games that are liked most by the judges. These prizes will be decided later.

Additional rules

  • Send the rules in HTML, text, Word, or WordPerfect format. HTML or `plain ASCII text' are preferred: if you use Word or WP, see if your version allows you to save your file in such a format.
  • Send the rules: do not just email the url of your own homepage!
  • Judges and the contest runners may not participate, but can send non-competing entries.
  • Pictures may be sent as GIF or JPG, or on paper to be scanned.
  • Changes or updates to your entries are allowed. However, in such a case you should edit the html-file yourself, and send again the updated version to Hans. No changes are allowed after the date of November 30, 2002.
  • If you send a file plus a number of pictures, it would help to save my time if you pack everything in one zip-file and send that zip-file. Thanks! This is not obligatory, however.
  • By submitting a game, you grant us an irrevocable and permanent right to publish what you send (or its edited form) on The Chess Variant Pages website and on the Chess Variant Pages CD-ROM. You also allow us to create and publish freeware for playing the game, such as a Zillions Rules File (ZRF) and/or a Java applet, which we are free to distribute on this site and its off-line versions. And you allow us to create and publish a Play-by-Mail version on this site. Copyright on each submission remains with the author, and you keep the right for publication elsewhere. But requests to remove your game will not be granted, even when you did not win a prize in the contest.
  • An entry having its own variants will have only its 'main variant' judged.

What else?

If you have questions or concerns, write to Hans Bodlaender (see the feedback page).

Written by Hans Bodlaender and Fergus Duniho.