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This page is written by the game's inventor, David Howe.

Shifting Chess

A chess variant created by David Howe.


This variation was inspired by those little puzzles with the shifting plastic squares, where you must relocate all the squares to their proper positions. My goal here was to create a chess variant that allowed players to shift the chess squares in a similar manner, while keeping the game as close to orthodox chess as possible. Unfortunately, I was unable to come up with a design for 15 2x2 sectors (i.e. just one blank area), and have the game remain balanced for both black and white.

The following board is the result, with corresponding rules (mostly regarding how to shift the squares). Having eight squares missing from the board makes for a rather cramped board. But, hopefully, the ability to shift areas of the board will make up for the reduced mobility of the pieces.



Move notation for shifting sectors:

   IV |   |   |   |   |
      +---+---+---+---+  Shifting sector x to the left would be
  III |   |  <- x |   |  written as:
   II |   |   |   |   |     CIII-BIII
    I |   |   |   |   |
        A   B   C   D


The board should be relatively easy to make. Take a cheap, cardboard chess board, use an exacto knife and a straight edge to cut the board up into 16 2x2 squares, and put aside two of the 2x2 squares. Placing the squares on a smooth surface is recommended for optimum ease when shifting.

Written by David Howe.
WWW page created: October 7, 1997.