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Building Chess

By Sergey Sirotkin


Building Chess starts with the board and initial setup of Martin Gardner's Minichess. Each turn, after moving a piece, a player then adds a square to the board.

Initial Board and Setup

Building Chess initial setup.


The game is conducted by rules of International Chess with the following changes:

  • The setup is different (see the diagram above), with each side having a King, a Queen, a Knight, a Bishop, a Rook and five Pawns each.
  • There is no castling, Pawn double-move or en-passant capture.
  • Pawns promote on the fifth rank to a Queen, Rook, Bishop or Knight.
  • After they move a piece, a player then adds a square to the board. The square must share a common edge with a square this is already part of the board, and must be of the other color than the square it is placed next to. The white player places light colored squares, and the black player places dark color squares.

The game is won by checkmating your opponent's King.


This game is an alternative to games in which after each move, a field is removed from the board (For example: Cheshire Cat Chess, or Atlantis Chess). It is possible to start the game using other initial boards (For example: Petty Chess, Limiting Chess, Chess - The Speed Game, etc.).

It has some similarity to other build-your-own board Chess variants such as Stochastic Chess or Choiss, but differs in that all pieces start on the board, and there is no seperate board-building phase.

Written by Sergey Sirotkin. HTML Conversion by Peter Aronson.
WWW page created: August 22nd, 2001.