Check out Chess with Different Armies, our featured variant for July, 2024.

Glenn Overby is no longer an editor, and this contest idea may be considered defunct.


A new idea for design contests


Most people who design new chess variants would really like to see them get played. Here is a way you can do just that, if you're also willing to help others with their dreams. It's called Invent-and-Play, and it's the brainchild of CVP founder Hans Bodlaender.

  1. Design your game, or pick an existing game for two players which you've already designed.
  2. Enter the game in Invent-and-Play. (If it doesn't appear on The Chess Variant Pages yet, submit the game to us as part of your entry.)
  3. Check the Opponents Wanted page regularly, and update us on which games interest you.
  4. When a matched set is located, competitions editor Glenn Overby will assign you to a group.
  5. You play six games of PBEM, using your own game and all the others in your group.
  6. Vote on the other games in your group.
  7. There will be two winners, a Design and a Play champion.

Invent-and-Play combines design contests with tournaments to play some different variants. Got an idea? Bring it on!


Designers may enter at any time by email to

The provided address no longer exists.

State which of your designs on CVP you wish to play. ZRFs are encouraged, but not required. (The staff does not pledge to write ZRFs.) You can have a maximum of three active entries, whether for an ongoing section or a game awaiting placement, at one time.

An Opponents Wanted page is no longer maintained listing all current entrants. A form will allow each entrant to submit the games/people they'd be willing to face. Updating preferences is possible. As a group of five with mutually acceptable preferences forms, the organizer will form a section.

Sections are formed every month, or more often as demand dictates.


Each section contains five designers. Each designer plays a total of six games, facing two opponents twice each and the other two once each. Each designer plays their own design twice, and each other design in their section once. Colors are equalized. Time rules, if needed, will be similar to the Multivariant Tournament 2003.

Variant A:

Entrant A v Entrant B
Entrant C v Entrant A
Entrant E v Entrant D

Variant B:

Entrant A v Entrant E
Entrant B v Entrant C
Entrant D v Entrant B

Variant C:

Entrant B v Entrant A
Entrant C v Entrant D
Entrant E v Entrant C

Variant D:

Entrant A v Entrant D
Entrant C v Entrant B
Entrant D v Entrant E

Variant E:

Entrant B v Entrant E
Entrant D v Entrant C
Entrant E v Entrant A


Each section yields a Design Champion and a Play Champion.

The Play Champion has the best won-lost record from six games.

The Design Champion is voted. The players submit a preferential ballot, ranking the games other than their own in a first- through fourth-place order. A volunteer juror (taken from a list maintained by the event director) also submits such a ballot on all five games. A simple Condorcet count is then used to produce an overall winner.

Design Champions and Play Champions will be recognized on the Invent-and-Play pages. Play Champions will be invited to special Champions Sections in the future. Design Champions will have a logo recognizing the achievement placed prominently on the game's CVP page.

Written by Glenn Overby II.
WWW page created: July 16, 2003.