The Chess Variant Pages

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

[ Help | Earliest Comments | Latest Comments ]
[ List All Subjects of Discussion | Create New Subject of Discussion ]
[ List Latest Comments Only For Pages | Games | Rated Pages | Rated Games | Subjects of Discussion ]

Comments/Ratings for a Single Item

Later Reverse Order Earlier
Time Travel Chess. Pieces can travel into the Future. Kings can also return to the Past! (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
NeodymiumPhyte wrote on Thu, Dec 21, 2023 07:59 PM UTC:

I have a couple of questions about the rules.

  1. Can you travel back to a move in which you are in check? I'd assume not because you'd still be in check after dropping the king.
  2. If a man is scheduled to arrive on your move, can you go back in time instead of dropping the man on the board? What if that man happens to be a King?
  3. If a pawn travels forward in time, may it reappear behind the square from which it left? I know it can't reappear on the first rank, but can it reappear on the second rank if it left from the third? I ask because the bishops can only reappear on the squares they could have reached through on-board moves.
  4. If a man from move 5 is scheduled to appear on move 7, but a player on move 6 decides to go back to move 4, will that man still arrive on move 7 in the new timeline?

Anthony Viens wrote on Thu, Nov 29, 2018 12:03 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★

Excellent time travel twist on chess!  Beautiful!

summersolstice wrote on Sun, Apr 7, 2013 02:33 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
I've been working on a "time travel" chess game called "time portal chess"

the rules are incomplete atm and the game is untested but when I finish the rules I'm going to ask for volunteers to help test it out.

some of the main differences I've spotted between the two versions are

-the trigger for a piece to time travel is landing on a portal instead of
being next to a king

-when a piece arrives that doesn't count as a move (a player makes a move with anything other than the piece that arrived)

Future travel

-a piece has to arrive on the same sqaure it departed on, if it can't it becomes "lost in time"

-a player is allowed for a piece to be lost in time

-if a king is lost in time it's not checkmate but is very vularanable to checkmate 


-all pieces can travel back in time

-a player decides early on to bring a piece back in time by placing it on an empty square

-if it fails to arrive on portal (if the number of moves since it arrival excedes the largest numbered portal on the board) it's a "time paradox" the piece "disintegrates" (both copies are removed) 

-if the earlier piece is captured all 3 pieces (including the capturing piece) are removed because it's a paradox

check and checkmate are a lot more complicated in this game

for more info (like I say it's incomplete atm but I'm working on it) see

💡📝Gary Gifford wrote on Thu, Apr 5, 2007 01:39 AM UTC:
Jeremy - Thank you for your feedback regarding T.T.C. Your observations and rules of thumb are quite good and should prove to be of value to most players. And for those interested in seeing what I consider to be a very instructive game, I continue to highly recommend MSchmahl-cvgameroom-2004-77-566 from August 27, 2004.

Jeremy Good wrote on Wed, Apr 4, 2007 05:53 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★

A brilliant game, one of my favorites.

Time Travel Chess can be very sharp.

I suspect time travel must be entered into only extremely sparingly and at very decisive moments. Time Travel can be very fatal or debilitating.

There are three rules you must constantly, constantly bear in mind (like guarding against nightrider forks, they require constant vigilance).

(1) One is that pieces are lost in time if compelled by check to play a different move. One problem with this is that if you time travel with a major piece, your opponent might be able to frivolously check you with a minor piece right before the major piece is destined to arrive, causing you to lose at least an exchange.

(2) A piece can not be lost in time if there is a possible move. That allows your opponent to snatch pieces and / or pawns right before your time traveling piece is destined to arrive. With no recourse.

(3) When time traveling into the past, you must remember that your entire game will become twice as vulnerable if you have two times as many royal pieces that can be checkmated. I think I may have discovered a possible loophole to this, but if so, that will be saved for a later comment. So time traveling into the past may save you from a losing position, but it's usually a desperate measure.

I think the rule of thumb when time traveling into the future is this: Try to make sure that what you are threatening with the returning piece is likely to be greater than what is going to be threatened right before your piece returns.

💡📝Gary Gifford wrote on Fri, Dec 15, 2006 05:30 PM UTC:
Thanks to both Christine and the mystery writer for your comments.  For
Christine, I did not notice the comment until today - yes, I belive the
MSchmahl-cvgameroom-2004-77-566 Fri, Aug 27, 2004 game is very good for
anyone interested in seeing a real game of this played out.  Glad you
enjoyed that game.

In regard to the mystery writer's question: it reads like a real
mind-twister (brain teaser).  So I will try to disect it and take it
slow... my comments preceded by ****a nd followed by -gkg.  Mystery
writer's comments followed by -mw

1) white has 2 kings -mw  **** So we know a King went back in time
2) either side travelled backward in time again to when white only has one
king. - mw **** Possible for black to do.  But, as soon as white does this
White will have 2 Kings, the original King plus the King that went back
from the 2-King future.  This gives us an alternate past with 2-Kings
instead of one and will result in a new future - gkg
3)Now, white's 2nd king didn't really land in the new time variant.-mw
**** He did, but in an alternate time line which was superceded by the new
time line.  Think of it as parallel worlds.  Better yet, think of it has
each time travel going to a different chess board... thus we see alternate
past positions and future positions that existed... but, then due to time
travel no longer exist.-gkg
4)Then, white wants to travel backward once (if the 2nd time travel was
did by him) or twice (if that was did by black). Is that legal?-mw
**** Good question. Each King time travel counts as a travel towards his
limit.  King travels are never erased 'so to speak' by other time travel
events.  As long as your King has a Time Travel or two remaining, he can
travel (assuming the move is legal).  I hope this helps.  Best regards,

Anonymous wrote on Fri, Dec 15, 2006 07:13 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
When white has 2 kings, either side travelled backward in time again to when white only has one king. Now, white's 2nd king didn't really land in the new time variant. Then, white wants to travel backward once (if the 2nd time travel was did by him) or twice (if that was did by black). Is that legal?

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on Fri, Sep 22, 2006 01:14 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
time travel in chess, how good is this! I looked at the game you mentioned worth checking out - MSchmahl-cvgameroom-2004-77-566 Fri, Aug 27, 2004, very very good, classic. Fascinating game, well done Gary.

💡📝Gary Gifford wrote on Fri, Sep 8, 2006 08:27 PM UTC:
Abdul-Rahman Sibahi; I now see that I had mis-read your question; and
therefore gave a useless answer.  Sorry about that... I am fighting a
headache and ear-ache so I can easily mis-read things.

You asked, If there are two kings on the board, and one of them travelled
back to the time when there was only one king .. and you still have two
kings on the board. The question is : is this legal, or does the king
which didn't travel get lost in time ?  

Yes, that is perfectly legal.  And the King that remained in the future is
not lost in time.  'Losses in time' happen during time travel when a
piece cannot land when it is supposed to.  It happens when traveling to
the future, as that is when landing back on the board can be a problem (if
a check is in progress).  When traveling backward in time we do not see the
'lost in time' problem.  I hope this answer helps.

💡📝Gary Gifford wrote on Fri, Sep 8, 2006 04:09 AM UTC:
Abdul-Rahman Sibahi; Thank you for the comment. You can have two or three
Kings.  But, as indicated in the 'Tips' in the rules ( I quote them

(1) Be careful about using backward time travel. You can end up with 2 or
3 Kings. If two Kings are in check at once only a capture of the checking
piece will stop the loss of the game (or at least delay it). Remember that
you lose the game if one of your Kings becomes lost in time.

(2) If you have saved your two backward travels and you reach a King and
Pawn endgame you could use them to effectively create a three King and
Pawn vs. a 1 King and Pawn Ending, which is a great advantage as it is
unlikely for any of your 3 Kings to get checkmated and they should be able
to wipe out your opponent’s pawns while protecting your own.

There are a few game logs of some very good games and there is one sample
game in the rules.  Too much time travel can do more harm than good.

Take care, and thanks again for commenting. Best regards, Gary

Abdul-Rahman Sibahi wrote on Fri, Sep 8, 2006 01:57 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
I have a question regarding the rules. If there are two kings on the board, and one of them travelled back to the time when there was only one king .. and you still have two kings on the board. The question is : is this legal, or does the king which didn't travel get lost in time ?

💡📝Gary Gifford wrote on Tue, Aug 15, 2006 04:12 PM UTC:
This is in regard to the [King + Pawn] vs. [King + Rook] question about
draws (from a recent comment).
Response: It depends on the position and whose turn it is to move.  I can
easily create a positon in which the Rook-side wins, loses, or draws.

Anonymous wrote on Tue, Aug 15, 2006 04:02 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
Can a K+P to K+R draw by pawn go forward 1 move and drop to block the check, king hide after the pawn when check and protect the pawn at the square diagonal adjacent to it so it can travel in time and don't put king in check?

💡📝Gary Gifford wrote on Sat, Jul 15, 2006 05:16 PM UTC:
Recently a qustion came up regarding Time Travel Chess and what happens if
there are no legal moves.  Also, one player thought that a lone King could
just slip into the future at will... not so (and the rules forbid this). 
The following should help clarify:

If a K + Q were against a lone King, that lone King could not
Time Travel as he is required to have a friendly piece or pawn... so in
these cases a King could not just venture off into the past or future.

In general:

(1) When your last piece or pawn is taken, and you have only a King Time
Traveling, then he will be Lost In Time (a game loss).

(2) If you have a piece(s) and or pawn(s) but have no legal moves, then
even if you have a Time Traveling King the game is drawn.  Of course, the
King returning to the board on that very turn (if that was his designated
arrival time) would be a legal move and not a draw.

In summary - If you have no material and a Time Traveling King - you can
lose due to a Loss in Time condition.  If you have material, but no legal
moves (such as a blocked pawn) you will have a draw.

Could one of the Editors please add this comment to the notes in the rules
page?  Thank you.

Jeremy Good wrote on Wed, Jun 21, 2006 08:30 PM UTC:
In that game, Michael did a wise thing by exiting his king before returning his rook. I found out the hard way that unless you do that, a major piece can easily become 'lost in time.'

💡📝Gary Gifford wrote on Wed, Jun 21, 2006 04:45 PM UTC:
In regard to Jeremy's comment about Time Travel Chess: for anyone who has
the slightest bit of interest, I highly recommend that you play over the
logged game: MSchmahl-cvgameroom-2004-77-566 Fri, Aug 27, 2004 [available
with a click form the logged games].

At move 11 Michael Schmahl moved a Rook forward in time to move 14, where
it emerged from time travel to deliver a picturesque checkmate.  That mate
is now frozen in time as the final position.

Larry Smith wrote on Sat, Jan 17, 2004 07:20 AM UTC:
Those particular time-warp rules were submitted as part of Temporal 4x4x4
Chess, a 3D Chess variant.  It was never published.

My apologies to Gary for taking liberties with the posting at his
particular time travel variant.  I meant no dis-respect, I was only being

💡📝Gary Gifford wrote on Fri, Jan 16, 2004 02:21 AM UTC:
I was just wondering if the Larry Smith time-warp chess variant has been submitted to the editors. And if not, why not... Best regards to all...gkg

Larry Smith wrote on Thu, Jan 15, 2004 04:07 AM UTC:Good ★★★★
The following is a form of time travel chess worked out by Jens Meder and
myself.  It involves the use of Checkers as markers.

All pieces can be warped either from the future or into the future.

A piece is time-warped from the future by 'cloning' a piece located upon
the field.  A duplicate piece preforms a legal move from the location of
the 'original' piece.  The 'original' piece is denoted with a number
of red checkers, up to six.  The player is allowed to move either
'duplicate' and 'original' on subsequent turns.  At the end of each
turn, the player removes one of the checkers from the 'original' piece. 
The 'original' piece is removed from the game with the last of the
checkers.  (If there is no extra piece available for the 'duplicate', a
player can merely mark one of the checkers with a sticker noting the value
of the 'original' piece and use the current piece for the

A player time-warps a piece into the future by placing a number of black
tokens, up to six, with it.  Such a piece is considered to have
'dis-appeared' and not allowed to be move from its cell until it
'reappears' in the future.  Other pieces are allowed to move through and
upon a cell occupied by such a piece.  At the end of each turn, the player
removes one of the checkers from this piece.  When all the checkers are
gone, it has 're-appeared'.  Any other piece, regardless of owner, which
is located on the cell of a 're-appearing' piece is considered captured
and removed from the game.  The  're-appearance' of a piece is automatic
and not considered a turn in itself.

Each player is only allowed one warp, either to the future or from the
future, to exist during a turn.  Since the checkers are not removed until
the end of the turn, a player must wait to the next before creating a new
warp.  A player is not allowed to add checkers to a warp.

The game is won by check-mating the opponent King or capture of an
'original' piece of a time-warp from the future.  The latter condition
of this rule is due to a paradox, since a captured 'original' piece
would then be unable to warp back in time.  And yes, the King can
time-warp into the future to avoid a current check.  And the King can
time-warp from the future, its 'duplicate' would be subject to the
check-mate portion of the rule while the 'original' is now subject to
the capture portion of the rule.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on Wed, Jan 14, 2004 12:08 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★

20 comments displayed

Later Reverse Order Earlier

Permalink to the exact comments currently displayed.