The Chess Variant Pages

Check out Metamachy, our featured variant for December, 2023.

Favorite Games of their Inventors

Some of the Chess variants on the Chess Variant Pages have been invented by members of this site. Here is a list of the game the inventors themselves have picked as their favorite games among those they have invented. These may be understood to be the games they are most proud of, the ones they consider better than their other games. Since any member can favorite any game, these games have been listed in order of how many total people have favorited them, which may give some indication of quality. For ties, alphabetical order has been used. For your reference, the games you have favorited yourself are marked with a full red heart, and the games you have not favorited yourself are marked with an empty heart.

17 - Shako by Jean-Louis Cazaux.
Cannons and elephants are added in variant on 10 by 10 board.
14 - Eurasian Chess by Fergus Duniho.
Synthesis of European and Asian forms of Chess
14 - Metamachy by Jean-Louis Cazaux.
Large game with a variety of regular fairy pieces
12 - Falcon Chess by George Duke.
Game on an 8x10 board with a new piece: The Falcon
12 - Opulent Chess by Greg Strong.
A derivative of Grand Chess with additional jumping pieces (Lion and Wizard)
12 - Sovereign Chess by Mark Bates.
Ten neutral armies can be activated on this 16 x 16 board
11 - Caïssa Britannia by Fergus Duniho.
British themed variant with Lions, Unicorns, Dragons, Anglican Bishops, and a royal Queen.
11 - Gross Chess by Fergus Duniho.
A big variant with a small learning curve
11 - Expanded Chess by Daniel Zacharias.
An attempt at a logical expansion of Chess to a 10x10 board
10 - Opulent Lemurian Shatranj by David Paulowich.
Joe Joyce's Shaman and Hero pieces are now on a larger board.
9 - Shogun Chess by Daniel Lee.
Pieces promote and can be dropped, similar to Shogi
9 - Wormhole Chess by Fergus Duniho.
When a piece leaves a square, it `folds' together
8 - Great Shatranj by Joe Joyce.
Great Shatranj
8 - Apothecary Chess-Modern by Aurelian Florea.
Large board variant obtained through tinkering with known games
8 - Tamerlane II by Jean-Louis Cazaux.
Modern variant based upon ancient large chess variant.
7 - Apothecary Chess-Classic by Aurelian Florea.
Large board variant obtained through tinkering with known games
7 - Fusion Chess by Fergus Duniho.
Variant in which pieces may merge together or split apart.
7 - Grand Cavalier Chess by Fergus Duniho.
The decimal version of Cavalier Chess
7 - Grand Shatranj by Joe Joyce.
Grand Shatranj
7 - Shako_Balbo by wdtr2.
Game with Diamond Shape Board
7 - Storm the Ivory Tower by Fergus Duniho.
A Smess adaptation of Chinese Chess
7 - Unicorn Great Chess by David Paulowich.
Lions have been added to Unicorn Chess!
6 - Modern Shatranj by Joe Joyce.
A bridge between modern chess and the historic game of Shatranj.
6 - Brouhaha by Greg Strong.
Like Chess, but it really brings the ruckus!
6 - Chak by Daniel Lee.
A modern vision of what a Mayan chess would look like
6 - Gigachess II by Jean-Louis Cazaux.
Evolution of Gigachess (2001)
6 - Orda Chess by Daniel Lee.
Asymmetric variant where one army has pieces that move like knights but capture differently
6 - Sac Chess by Kevin Pacey.
Game with 60 pieces
6 - Synochess by Daniel Lee.
Asymmetric west vs east variant where the western chess army plays against a Chinese and Korean-inspired army
5 - Hannibal Chess by Kevin Pacey.
Chess with added Modern Elephants (ferz-alfil compound) on 10x8 board
5 - Hectochess by A. M. DeWitt.
10x10 variant that can be played with 2 mismatched Chess sets.
5 - Hex Shogi 91 by Fergus Duniho.
A hexagonal Shogi variant on a 91-space board
5 - Kamikaze Mortal Shogi by Fergus Duniho and Roberto Lavieri.
Send your Kamikazes on suicide missions in this Shogi variant
5 - Rose Chess XII by David Paulowich.
With Nightriders, (Half-)Roses, Spotted Gryphons and War Machines.
5 - Seireigi by A. M. DeWitt.
Variant of standard Shogi with promotable Gold Generals, as well as more varied and animalistic promotions.
5 - Team-Mate Chess by H. G. Muller.
Variant with 8 different pieces, none of which is able to checkmate a bare king on its own.
4 - Beast Chess by Bob Greenwade.
Replace conventional pieces with those that look like animals
4 - Butterfly Chess by Kevin Pacey.
Large board chess with butterflies (not Ns), advancers (not Qs) & flying dragons added
4 - Command and Maneuver: A Tale of Two Countries by Joe Joyce.
This is a diceless wargame,
4 - Maasai Chess by Jean-Louis Cazaux.
Large CV with 48 pieces per side, of 20 types including both regular and rapid Pawns
4 - Petteia XXI by Jose Carrillo.
A 21st century variant on an ancient Draughts-like game of the Roman empire.
4 - Pocket Shogi Plus by wdtr2.
Shogi Like game with a pocket to store and move pieces
4 - Shatranj Kamil X by David Paulowich.
Shatranj Kamil, with new pieces from Jetan, Shogi and Xiangqi
3 - Advanced Wizard Chess by Paul Newton and Andrew Newton.
Chess variant on 10 by 10 board with fantasy chess pieces
3 - Backlash by Greg Strong.
Play on two boards, but capturing on one board leads to a backlash on the other!
3 - Cataclysm by Greg Strong.
Large board game with short-range pieces designed to be dramatic without being overly complicated or dragging on too long
3 - Chieftain Chess by Joe Joyce.
This is a large variant using 4 royal pieces. It features command control and multi-piece moves.
3 - Fantastic XIII by Jean-Louis Cazaux.
A bizarre large odd chess variant with the weirdest men from Cazaux's family
3 - Frog Chess by Kevin Pacey.
Play chess with added frogs (ferz-threeleaper compound) on 10x8 board
3 - Grand Apothecary Chess-Alert by Aurelian Florea.
Very large Board variant obtained trough tinkering with known games
3 - Heroes Hexagonal Chess version 2 by Tony Quintanilla.
Updated version of Heroes Hexagonal Chess in 91 hexes.
3 - Horseman's Chess by Frank MacCrory.
Game where pieces mount and dismount
3 - Invasion by Jean-Louis Cazaux.
A military inspired Chess variant played on an 84-squares board.
3 - Latrunculi XXI by Jose Carrillo.
A 21st century variant on an ancient Chess-like game of the Roman empire
3 - Mansindam by Daphne Snowmoon.
A variant that combines 'drop' rule and strong pieces, and there is no draw
3 - Pemba by Jean-Louis Cazaux.
Extension of Shako, with 60 pieces
3 - Quinquereme Chess by Jörg Knappen.
Large variant with a new piece, the Quinquereme.
3 - Seenschach by Jörg Knappen.
Variant on 10 by 10 board with lake in the middle and new pieces
3 - Seeping Switchers by Jörg Knappen.
An army for Chess with Different Armies based on pieces that change color when they move.
3 - Switching Realms Chess by Jörg Knappen.
All noncapturing moves must change the board subset a piece occupies
3 - TessChess by Ben Reiniger.
4D chess featuring symmetrically-moving pieces
3 - Voidrider Chess by Fergus Duniho.
A 43 square variant with movable spaces
3 - Zo Shogi by Daphne Snowmoon.
A variant of Sho Shogi in which Drop rule is included and Prince (promoted Elephant) is a non-royal King.
2 - 4 Kings Quasi-Shatranj by Kevin Pacey.
Each side has 4 Kings, all pieces are short range
2 - 4*Chess (four dimensional chess) by Kevin Pacey.
Four dimensional chess using sixteen 4x4 boards & 96 pieces.
2 - Beautiful Beasts by Jörg Knappen.
A new team for Chess with Different Armies based on the Roc
2 - Bigorra by Jean-Louis Cazaux.
A 16x16 board chess with all pieces from my variants
2 - Dai Seireigi by A. M. DeWitt.
Variant of Dai Shogi playable with drops.
2 - Deception Chess by Greg Shanker.
Each piece has two identities, Cloak and concealed Base
2 - Epic Chess by Вадря Покштя.
Massive attack chess on a board 10x10
2 - Faceoff Chess by Lev Grigoriev.
Chess with big moving restrictions for kings.
2 - Fischer-Benko Chess by Davor Vujacic.
Three pieces are placed randomly, the other five by the players.
2 - Grand Apothecary Chess-Classic by Aurelian Florea.
Very large Board variant obtained trough tinkering with known games
2 - Grand Apothecary Chess-Modern by Aurelian Florea.
Very large Board variant obtained trough tinkering with known games
2 - Granlem Shatranj by Joe Joyce.
This is a mash-up of Grand Shatranj & Lemurian Shatranj with a 3 moves/player turn option
2 - Hajiku Shogi by Edward Webb.
Inspired by Shogi and Chu Shogi. Pieces can both promote and demote in promotion zone.
2 - Heavy Chess by Jean-Louis Cazaux.
A high-density chess-variant-variant
2 - Heavy Shako by Eric Silverman and Jean-Louis Cazaux.
10x10 variant inspired by Yangsi, made by Eric Silverman and Jean-Louis Cazaux.
2 - Horizons by Lev Grigoriev.
Game with 5 new pieces on 12x12 board
2 - Hyperchess4 by Joe Joyce.
Hyperchess updated: changed rules, discussion, sample game, etc
2 - Kinzoku by Lev Grigoriev.
Small variant for little ones, is based on Dobutsu but is very different from it.
2 - Lines of Relay (LoR) by Jörg Knappen.
Chess variant featuring a new type of morphing piece, the Lore apprentice, on a standard board together with the standard pieces
2 - Panoply by Daniel Zacharias.
A large hexagonal game with unusual pieces
2 - Rotor-blades Chess by David Cannon.
Game played on a board that is both circular and trigonal.
2 - Round Honeycomb Chess by David Cannon.
A cross between Circular/Cylindrical Chess and Hexagonal Chess.
2 - Royal and His Pet by Zhedric Meneses.
2 - Separate Realms Chess II by Jörg Knappen.
A Variant of Separate Realms Chess with standard FIDE King, and more powerful Knights and Queens
2 - Stone Garden Chess by Lev Grigoriev.
The animal statues in the stone garden came to life and attacked the two rival kings! With the help of a policeman each, they…
2 - Thuria Jetan by Fredrik Ekman.
Jetan variant played on standard chessboard
2 - Vanguard Chess by Bob Greenwade.
Game on 16x16 board, with 48 pieces per player
2 - Wide Chess by Kevin Pacey.
Chess with 2 types of non-colourbound elephants added on a 12x8 board using fast castling rules
2 - Wide Nightrider Chess by Kevin Pacey.
Chess on a 12x10 board with Nightriders, Champions and fast castling rules
2 - Yangsi by A. M. DeWitt.
A very playable chess variant with 12 different pieces on a 10x10 board.
2 - Yonin Seireigi by A. M. DeWitt.
Four-player variant of Seireigi based on Yonin Shogi.
1 - 4D Hexagonal Chess by Kevin Pacey.
4D analogue of Glinski's Hexagonal Chess based on Hyperchess4
1 - 4D Quasi-Alice Chess by Kevin Pacey.
8x8x2x2 four dimensional game with 32 pieces
1 - 16Chess by Zhedric Meneses.
Game with 4 royal pieces
1 - 88 Hexagons Chess by Davor Vujacic.
Hexagonal chess on chessboard with 88 hexagons
1 - 123456 Chess by (zzo38) A. Black.
Uses 2 dices for each player and 2 checkers for each player, in addition to normal chess pieces.
1 - Arena Cheturshogqi by Paul Newton.
2-4 Players on large board with mutating pieces and piece drops.
1 - Battle of Kings by Вадря Покштя.
You start with eight pawns. The rest chess pieces appear on the board during the game.
1 - Capatomic Random Chess by Gaelyn Autumnsong.
Variant that combines Capablanca Random and Stratomic Chess.
1 - Carrousel Chess by Kevin Pacey.
Game with 32 pieces
1 - Chess 1010 by Kevin Pacey.
Game played with 40 pieces
1 - Chess on the Rope by Lev Grigoriev.
1d chess experimental variant with standard rules and variations.
1 - Chess with checkers added by (zzo38) A. Black.
Add checkers in front of the pawns
1 - Chu Seireigi by A. M. DeWitt.
Variant of Chu Shogi playable with drops.
1 - Conservative Capablanca Chess by Davor Vujacic and David Paulowich.
Alternative, more traditional Capablanca chess setup
1 - Cutty Camels by HaruN Y.
Army for Chess with Different Armies that features Wizard from Omega Chess.
1 - Double Move Double Chess by Вадря Покштя.
The game is played on a 8x16 chessboard with each player in control of two complete armies.
1 - Dovecote Chess by Lev Grigoriev.
One small non-rules tweak generally changes the character and pace of gameplay.
1 - echess by bp .
(Micro) Evolutionary CHESS game
1 - Extra Move Chess by Fergus Duniho.
Double-move variant based on limitations of Zillions of Games
1 - Fairy Eater Chess by Вадря Покштя.
Game on a 9x9 board with fairy chess pieces
1 - Full house hexagonal chess by Kevin Pacey.
Game with 50 pieces
1 - Grand Dice Chess by Вадря Покштя.
Grand Dice Chess Battle on a 12x12 board with four dice
1 - Grand Shatranj N W by Mark Simpson.
Shatranj with 10 individual pieces + pawns per army
1 - Grand Triple Chess by Вадря Покштя.
Chess on an 16 x 24 board (i.e. six boards) with 3 sets of pieces.
1 - Hexagonal Raumschach by Kevin Pacey.
Three dimensional analogue of Glinski's Hexagonal Chess, based on Raumschach
1 - Hundred Acre Chess by Bob Greenwade.
Chess based on Winnie-the-Pooh
1 - King of the Hill by Paul Newton.
Be the first player to get your King to the top of the hill!
1 - Korean Random Chess by Jose Carrillo.
A Korean Chess variation with a random setup and a few new rules
1 - Kuuzen Dai Shogi by Eric Silverman.
Dai Shogi with different promotions, invented by Eric Silverman.
1 - Kyou Shogi by Edward Webb.
Modified Chu Shogi with pieces from and inspired by Tenjiku Shogi, featuring jumping pieces and Fire Demons.
1 - Matrix Chess by David Cannon.
Chess played on a tessellation of pentagons and diamonds. The name comes from the matrix in which diamonds are found.
1 - Modern Chess960 by Piotr Smagacz.
chess960 with piece placement by players and orthodox castling
1 - Modern Random Chess by Jose Carrillo.
1 - Noble WingS Chess by Mark Simpson.
Noble Wing - with twice as many variant pieces.
1 - Obento Chess by Eric Silverman and Jean-Louis Cazaux.
12x12 Chess variant with Shogi-style promotions and bent sliding pieces
1 - Ohm's Chess by Rushil Baweja.
A fun combination of Chess and Dota
1 - Orthodia by Lev Grigoriev.
Break your orthogonal and diagonal patterns! (Two versions).
1 - Riftwalker Chess by Nick Fletcher.
A 4 dimensional game on a 3x3x3x3 board.
1 - Rollerball by Jean-Louis Cazaux.
Chess race fight on board formed by removing 3 by 3 square from center of 7 by 7 square.
1 - Saisho shogi by Francesco Fonseca.
Game with one dice-shaped shared piece
1 - Short Sliders by Bob Greenwade.
Pieces are initially limited to 4 spaces (if that), and promote to longer moves
1 - Throne Chess by Kevin Pacey.
Same game as chess, except playing King to K8 wins too, by Thronemate
1 - Through the Looking-Glass by Paolo .
Alice chess, but you see only a board
1 - Total Symmetry Chess by Davor Vujacic.
24 random balanced symmetrical starting positions
1 - Tremendous Chess by Вадря Покштя.
Tremendous Chess is a large chess variant that is played on a 16×16 chessboard with 112 pieces per player.
1 - Turnover by Lúcio José Patrocínio Filho.
Three ring sizes fit into each other, combining and splitting into different pieces, sometimes taking over your opponent's.
1 - VD Chess by Davor Vujacic.
VD Chess is a game of random chess with 5,760 possible starting positions and with fairy pieces.
1 - Wildebeast9 by wdtr2.
A Variant of Wildebeast Chess
1 - Zwangkrieg by Bob Greenwade.
Pieces affect other pieces' movement, including forced movement

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