The Chess Variant Pages
The Chess Variant Pages

Discover and Play Various Games Similar to Chess

Chess has its origins in the Arabian game of Shatranj, which goes back to the Indian game of Chaturanga.

It is also related to Xiangqi in China, to Janggi in Korea, and to Shogi in Japan.

Many more games are based on or inspired by Chess and its relatives.

Grant Acedrex is our featured variant for April, 2024.

Thanks to computers and the internet, we may now play several of these games without physical boards or pieces.

Game Courier ChessV Zillions-of-Games Fairy-Max Computer Programs

This website – The Chess Variant Pages – is here for cataloging, discussing, and playing the many games that are based on, related to, or similar enough to Chess.


The Chess Variant Pages may be viewed in either a Light color scheme or a Dark color scheme. Controls for this are in the menu. The logo for the Light scheme is flanked by an Elephant and a Unicorn from Musketeer Chess variant kits. The Elephant represents historic and regional variants, as many from Chaturanga to Janggi include this piece, and Xiangqi is even named for it. The Unicorn represents fairy chess, which was the practice of creating Chess problems with novel pieces or alternate rules, as well as modern variants.

The logo for the Dark theme is flanked by a Dragon Horse and a Fairy Princess. The Dragon Horse comes from Shogi and represents Asian variants. Though Shogi is normally not played with figurine pieces, the same piece could conceivably be used in a game that does use them. As a fairy, the Fairy Princess symbolizes fairy chess. Also, the piece known in fairy chess as a Princess is one of the most popular of Chess variant pieces, though it is usually known by other names and depicted differently. Both are AI art, generated with Leonardo.Ai, of potential Chess variant pieces rather than photos of real ones.