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Blue Chip Chess

Inventor: Neal Turner, March 2002


This variant is similar to Refusal Chess and No-Chess, but instead of denying the opponent a move, we deny him the use of a square. There is however also the extra possibility of reserving a square for our own use on our next move. Thus we have a variant which is very similar to normal chess but with more depth provided by the added options at each turn. It is very suitable for correspondance play, but not too difficult for OTB play.


  1. The variant uses the normal rules, a normal 8x8 board with the normal set of pieces with the addition of a single chip or marker (which doesn't have to be blue).
  2. When the chip is sitting on a square the player to move is denied the right to move on to that square.
  3. A move consists of two parts: moving a piece and placing the chip.
  4. The chip can only be placed on an empty square.
  5. The player moving the chip must place it on a different square to the one it is currently sitting on.
  6. At the beginning of the game black starts by placing the chip then white continues with a piece+chip move which then alternate in the normal way.


  • The chip isn't a piece, it's just an indicator that its square is off limits, thus line pieces can move over it, and its presence on b1 wouldn't prevent white's q-side castling.
  • The chip can take away a player's only legal move in which case if he's in check it's checkmate else it's stalemate.
  • #4 means that captures can't be forbidden, so exchange sequences are possible in the normal way.
  • #5 is the rule which sets this variant apart from similar ones. Because the chip must be moved to a different square each time, a player has the option of not only of forbidding a square to his opponent but of reserving a square for himself on his next turn. An example from the opening might be after 1.g2-g3 with the intention of 2.Lf1-g2 we place the chip on g2. Black must move it away on his move so leaving us free to complete the fianchetto. This notion of reserving squares adds an extra dimension missing from similar variants.
  • In writing down the moves, the new position of the chip can be indicated in brackets along with the piece's move: 1.g2-g3[g2]
  • Because we're using the chip we don't have to actually say anything in order to declare our intentions, which is more in the spirit of the game in which the pieces do the talking!

Written by Neal Turner.
Webpage created: January 17, 2003.