Check out Alice Chess, our featured variant for June, 2024.

This page is written by the game's inventor, BryanLambert.


Immediately after completing my Hourglass Chess II, I discovered a different board setup involving a normal 5x8 board. I immediately grabbed my set and played with the setup, and eventually managed to gather together a setup including every one of the FIDE pieces (two Knights, etc.) and five pawns.

This game was invented on July 27, 1999.


Just find a way to remember to ignore the last three rows of your board.

Board Setup

The board is an five-by-eight checkered board which looks like this:

King c1; Queen c2; Bishops b2, d2; Knights b1, d1; Rooks a1, e1; Pawns a2, b3, c3, d3, e2.

King c8; Queen c7; Bishops b7, d7; Knights b8, d8; Rooks a8, e8; Pawns a7, b6, c6, d6, e7.

The lower-right square is black in this variant so as to keep the principle of King on opposing colour.


Pieces move exactly the same as orthodox chess. However, the central pawns (b, c, and d) cannot make a two-square step on their first move. Outside pawns (a and e) can.

For castling, move your unmoved King one square towards an unmoved Rook. The Rook then moves to the other side of the King. (Yes, I've compacted everything!) ;-)

En passant is only possible with the outside pawns.


This is obviously just chess on a smaller board. There is one more step that could be taken, and it has been attempted by me. See Half-Chess.

If you would like to add any comments regarding strategy or even challenge me to a game, contact me by email. (Click the name `Bryan Lambert' below to get the most current email address; editor.)

Play It!

Use Zillions of Games to play this game! If you have Zillions of Games installed, you can download this game and play it.
Written by: Bryan Lambert. Editing comment added by Hans Bodlaender.
This game is an entry in the 40-Square Variant Contest.
WWW page created: July 28, 1999.