The Chess Variant Pages



Check out Marseillais Chess, our featured variant for February, 2024.

The Chess Variant Pages:
Featured Chess Variants

Introduction

Every now and then, perhaps once a month, though don't hold us to that, we will feature a Chess variant described on our site by including a link to it on the header of all our pages. Each month, nominations will be accepted for Chess variants that meet the following criteria:

  1. The game should have a demonstrable history of being played, preferably through the listing of past games on a website, such as Game Courier does here. Concept games that even the inventor hasn't played will not be accepted.
  2. It should be playable by online correspondence in a manner that aids beginners by enforcing rules. The easiest way to get that done is to program it for Game Courier, which is located on this site and allows you to program nearly any Chess variant you can imagine, thanks to its Turing-complete programming language with many special features and include files for handling Chess variants. Various other websites also offer online correspondence play of selected Chess variants, and if a Chess variant can be played from one, that also counts.
  3. It should be playable against a fairly strong computer opponent. The easiest way to get this done is to program it for Zillions of Games, a once commerical program that can now be unlocked for a donation. Although it was originally made for Windows 95 and hasn't been updated in decades, it still works on Windows 10, and it allows you to provide your own graphics and program the rules for numerous puzzles and abstract strategy board games it then lets you play against the computer. While there are stronger, more modern programs that let you play multiple Chess variants, these are usually more limited to what the developer has decided to include with them. As far as enabling you to do it yourself goes, Zillions-of-Games is still the option most open to everyone, and it still supports more games than the others do. But if a game can be played with another program, that will normally count too, especially if it is freely available. Note that Zillions-of-Games provides a baseline for what counts as fairly strong, and weaker programs, such as our Interactive Diagrams or Java applets, are not sufficient, though they can still count when adding up how much support a game has.
  4. Our page for the game should provide a good example of what a CV page should look like, using grammatical English, correct spelling, good organization, clear explanations, and good use of graphics.

To become our featured game of the month, a Chess variant meeting the above qualifications should be nominated and seconded by people other than its inventors, and it should receive editorial approval. As long as no other editors veto the choice, it's enough that some editor take the initiative of featuring it.

List of Featured Variants

  1. Shogi - January 2011 - February 14, 2011
  2. Xiangqi - February 14, 2011
  3. Eurasian Chess - February 18 – 28, 2023 (N: Greg Strong, S: George Duke)
  4. Cylindrical Chess - March, 2023 (N: Greg Strong, S: Fergus Duniho)
  5. Shako - April, 2023 (N: Daniel Zacharias, S: Aurelian Florea)
  6. Wildebeest Chess - May, 2023
  7. Gross Chess - June, 2023 (N: Jean-Louis Cazaux, S: H. G. Muller, Aurelian Florea, Max Kovel)
  8. Opulent Chess - July, 2023 (N: Jean-Louis Cazaux, S: H. G. Muller)
  9. Chu Shogi - August, 2023 (N: Greg Strong, S: A. DeWitt, H. G. Muller)
  10. Expanded Chess - September, 2023 (N: Jean-Louis Cazaux, S: H. G. Muller)
  11. Sac Chess - October, 2023 (N: Jean-Louis Cazaux, S: H. G. Muller)
  12. Hectochess - November, 2023 (N: Jean-Louis Cazaux, S: H. G. Muller)
  13. Metamachy - December, 2023 (N: Edward Webb, S: A. M. DeWitt)
  14. Ultima - January, 2024 (N: Fergus Duniho, S: Lev Grigoriev)
  15. Marseillais Chess - February, 2024 (N: H. G. Muller, S: Fergus Duniho)

Recognized Variants of the Month

Between 2001 and 2006, we frequently featured recognized variants of the month. Since that tradition is now being relaced with this new one, the recognized variants of the month are being listed here:

Months
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2006
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
Magnetic Chess
Gothic Chess
Crazyhouse
McCooey's Hexagonal Chess
Courier Chess
Janggi: Korean Chess
Anti-King Chess II
Pocket Mutation Chess
2005
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
Kriegspiel
(n/a)
Avalanche Chess
(n/a)
(n/a)
Omega Chess
Losing Chess
Marseillais Chess
Hostage Chess
2004
Extinction Chess
Chess with Different Armies
Alice Chess
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
2002
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
Progressive Chess
Los Alamos Chess
Grand Chess
Fischer Random Chess
Tandem Chess
Shogi
Glinski's Hexagonal Chess
2001
Shatranj
Ultima
Xiangqi
Raumschach
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
(n/a)
Nominations & Seconds

So that we don't have to scour the comments to keep track of nominations and seconds, I have listed them here. The names of the people nominating or seconding games are linked to the comments where they nominated or seconded a game. Where we have a page for a game, I have provided a link. If a game has no page here, or we do not have a rules description page for it, it is not eligible to be featured. Note that nominations are listed here even if they are not eligible, so that supporters of these games may work toward making them eligible.


Written by Fergus Duniho
Page Created: January 03, 2011