The Chess 
Variant Pages


by Edward Jackman

Inventor unknown

Modified and perfected by HUGH DENONCOURT of the STRATEGIC MIND GAMES CLUB of the University of New Hampshire

DYNAMIC CHESS uses the standard chess setup. A piece gets its power of movement from the closest piece of EITHER color in the same row on its left. (From White's perspective; the power comes from the right from Black's perspective. It might be simpler to think of the power coming from the absolute west of the board.) The power shift wraps around the edge of the board. If a piece is alone in a row, its power shifts back to itself. Power shifts affect all pieces including pawns and kings. For example:

King g6; Queen c4; Rook c8; Pawn f3.

King e3; Knight e8; Bishop b8.

White is playing up the board with the [bracketed pieces]. Starting at the top of the board:

The White Pawn is checking the Black King. The Black King's only move is to e2, but that square is under attack by the White Queen. Therefore, this position is checkmate.

There is no limitation on pawns moving anywhere on the board and they promote normally on reaching the eighth rank, though promotion to knight is most common.

Only actual pawns promote, not other pieces moving with the power of a pawn.

There is NO two-square pawn move by pawns or other pieces moving with the power of pawns.

There is no en passant.

Castling is not allowed.

The person playing Black may chose to have the powers come from the RIGHT for the whole game instead of from the left.

One of the main tactics of the game is to flush the opposing king out so that it gets stuck next to a pawn and becomes a sitting duck. Another tactic is moving a Queen or Bishop onto your second row and shoot off your pawns one at a time like missiles.

Here's a sample game:

Dynamic Chess

Edward Jackman Hugh Denoncourt
1. Bc1-b3 Pe7-e6
2. Pa2-a3 Pd7-d6
3. Pg2-g3 Bf8-e7
4. Pg3xd6 Pc7xd6
5. Pa3xd6 Bc8xd6
6. Bb3-a4+ Pe6-c4
7. Bf1-g2 Bd6xh2
8. Ng1xh2 Pb7-b6
9. Pd2-d3 Pb6-b5
10. Qd1-c3 Qd8-e6
11. Nb1-d1 Pc4xd3
12. Nd1xd3 Pb5xa4
13. Qc3-a4+ Ke8-f6
14. Nh2xb8+ Kf6-h4
15. Nd3-f4+ Kh4-g6
16. Qa4-c5+ Kg6-g5
17. Nf4xe6+ Pf7xe6
18. Pb2-e5+ Pg7xe5
19. Qc5-d4 Pe5xd4
20. Pc2-f5+ Ph7xf5
21. Pe2-h5+ Kg5-g4
22. Pf2-h4+ Kg4-g3 (forced)
23. Ke1-e2+ and mate on the next move

King e2; Rook a1, h1; Knight b8; Bishop g2; Pawn h4, h5.

King g3; Rook a8, h8; Knight b8; Bishop e7; Pawn a7, d4, e6, f5.

If 23. ... Kxg2, then Ra1-g1 mate
If 23. ... Kf4, then Ra1-f1 mate

Suggested but untested is Loony Dynamic Chess aka Strange Dynamic Chess. A piece gets its power of movement from the left but it gets its power of capture from the right. Black may chose to reverse these.

Another untried variation: Pieces get their power from the left from their own point of view. White Queen and King are reversed. For example:

White: Knight d2; Pawn c2.
Black: Rook e2.

The white pawn moves as a rook, the white knight moves as a pawn, but the black rook moves as a pawn, not a knight as it would in standard Dynamic Chess.

Written by Edward Jackman .
WWW page created: 1995 or 1996. Last modified: February 28, 2001.