The Chess Variant Pages


Re is the very short name of a game, invented by the games designer Dr Reiner Knizia. It is mentioned in The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants as one of the best chess variants for face to face play. Pritchard quotes the April 1994 number of Spielbox.


The game is played on a 5 by 5 board. When the game starts, the board is empty.

Each player has one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and two pawns.

Pieces move as in orthodox chess, with the following modifications: the king can be taken as a normal piece, and hence can be left in check, etc; pawns do not promote: a pawn on the last row just stays there until it is taken; pieces can only move when they capture.

Each turn, a player can do one of the following three things:

  1. Put one of his pieces (not yet put into play) on an empty square.
  2. Make a capture with one of his pieces.
  3. Pass. This may be done only when the player has put all his pieces on the board.
So, each piece is put exactly once on the board. The game ends when both players have passed directly after each other (i.e., after a `pass; pass'), or when all pieces of a player have been taken (so, this player also has no pieces anymore `in hand').

At the end of the game, points are counted: 3 points for each king or queen, two points for each rook, knight, or bishop, and one point for each pawn. Each player counts the total number of points for the pieces he has taken, and the player with the largest number of points wins the game: the `score' is the difference between the point totals.

Re-2: a variant

A variant of this game, which is, according to Pritchard more skillful is Re-2.

This game is similar to Re, with the following difference: one may not take any piece of the opponent before all ones pieces have been put on the board.

Written by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: November 18, 1996.