The Chess Variant Pages

Check out Metamachy, our featured variant for December, 2023.

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



Rob Nierse


Neighbors is a Chess-like abstract strategy/tactical game for 2, 3 or more players using Chess pieces on a board of 42 squares. Inspiration for this game came from the games Nachbarn, PsAddle and Eufrat & Tigris.

Board and Setup

Neighbors is played on a board that is 6 rows by 7 files.

The following pieces are used:

There are a total of 42 pieces, one for each square on the board. The pieces should be distributed randomly. (One approach would be to mark the piece types on the back of poker chips which are then draw out of a cloth bag, and placed on the board in row than column order.)



The player with most points wins.

Scoring for Three and Greater Players

When playing with three or more players, points are scored for each captured piece, the number of points scored depending on the type of piece captured. Pieces are worth the following points:

Points are calculated by adding the number of points of your left-hand neighbor to your own points.

Scoring the Two Player Game

When playing with two players, one point is achieved for the capturing of the majority of pieces of one type. E.g. if Player A captures 5 Rooks and Player B 3 Rooks, Player A scores 1 point.

Optional Rule

A player can only capture with a piece that is on the file or row of the landing place of the previously moved piece. E.G.:

*     *     *     *     F     *     *
*     *     *     F     *     *     *
*     R     *     N     *     B     *
*     *     *     *     *     *     *
*     F     *     Q     *     Q     *
*     *     *     *     *     *     *
Suppose the Rook on b4 captures the kNight on d4, the next player can only capture with pieces on the d file ( i.e. the F, R or Q) or the 4th row (i.e. B).


This game can be played using the pieces from four regular Western Chess sets, using the Kings as extra Queens, and the Pawns as Ferzes. The color of the pieces would not matter, and either player could move any color piece.

Computer Play

An implementation of two player Neighbors has been written for Zillions of Games. You can download it here:

Editorial Note: This game has some interesting similarities to, and differences from, Andrew Looney's Monochrome Chess.
Written by Rob Nierse. HTML conversion by Peter Aronson.
WWW page created: April 1st, 2002.