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

Fifo Chess

Recently, I was wandering in a colossal cave, and I met a giant, who said to me "FEE FIE FOE FOO, can you make a chess variant for me?" I said "Well, maybe", and he replied "FEE FIE FOE FOO, I'll give you these three golden eggs if you do."

So I said to the Giant, how about something on a giant board, maybe with giant pieces? and he said "FEE FIE FOE FOO, games like that are as common as dragon's teeth around these caves." So I said "Why do you talk like that? Why do you keep saying FEE FIE FOE FOO, -- hey, wait a minute, I have an idea!"

Thus was born the game of Fifo Chess, and thus it was that I was able to pay the ugly troll with three golden eggs and cross the bridge.


The rule of fifo is "first in, first out". In computer programming, this is also called a queue.

You may freely move onto the same square as one or more of your other pieces. However, when you have more than one piece on a square, only the one that was there first is able to move or to be captured. In computerspeak, only the piece at the head of the queue is available for movement or capture.

For example, you may play 1. Ke1-f2, and now your King is safe. Of course, it also cannot move (at least it cannot move until the Pf2 moves or is captured), and of course if the Pawn at f2 is captured your King will become vulnerable again; and this is the strategic tension that makes the game interesting.

Except for the rule of fifo, the rules of Fifo Chess are those of FIDE Chess, plain and simple.


"Last in, first out" is called a stack in computerese.

Until a giant offers me some golden eggs, I won't invent Lifo Chess.

Written by Ralph Betza.
WWW page created: June 28th, 2001.