The Chess Variant Pages

Queen's Quadrille

This `solitaire chess-game' or puzzle was invented by Karen Robinson. It was published in Games magazine in spring 1998.

Queen's Quadrille directly reminds of the old 15-16 puzzle (the puzzle, invented by the famous puzzle inventor Samuel Loyd about a century ago, where 15 square blocks are slides with one open square in a 4 by 4 grid.) Here, this puzzle reappears, with a chess twist.


The white and black pieces of a chess set, with exception of the pawns, are placed at random at a four by four chess board. One of the queens is then removed, so there is exactly one empty square.

Now, ignoring check and color of pieces, the player can make legal moves on this small board, but without taking any piece, i.e., the player can move a piece to the empty square, using a legal chess move.

The task is to move the queen along a predetermined pattern on the board, e.g., from one corner to the other, or have the queen visit all squares with a tour that visits each square once.


The puzzle is not very complicated, but may be a fun way to spend some minutes.

Written by Hans Bodlaender, based on email of Karen Robinson.
WWW page created: November 23, 1998.