The Chess Variant Pages




[ 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 ]

Rated Comments

Later Reverse Order EarlierEarliest
UPDATED! This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional, Large board, Three or more players, From ancient times, War game, Chess combined with some other game or sport
It was last modified on: 2021-07-27
 By Daphne  Snowmoon. Pandemonium (Surajang修羅場). (Updated!) Capablanca chess + Crazyhouse.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Michael Nelson wrote on 2021-07-24 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

A very well thought and pleasing out blend of a Capablanca's Chess and Shogi. I am curious about the rule against having identical promoted pieces other than promoted Pawns. I consider it a small wart on a otherwise perfect design.


This item is a play-by-email page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional
It was last modified on: 2017-12-05
 By Kevin  Pacey. Frog Chess. Play chess with added frogs (ferz-threeleaper compound) on 10x8 board.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Aurelian Florea wrote on 2021-07-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Adding the frog on a Capablanca board is a very nice idea. I'd suggest adding an fil move to the knight's first move, preferably a just move power, so that it can occupy it's regular place in the orthodox chess repertoire. But I don't see this as a problem more as a small enhancement, maybe, also motivated by the fact that the knight in this game starts so far from the center. Overall an excellent game!


This item is a play-by-email page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional
It was last modified on: 2017-12-13
 By Kevin  Pacey. Hannibal Chess. Chess with added Modern Elephants (ferz-alfil compound) on 10x8 board.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Aurelian Florea wrote on 2021-07-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Adding the modern elephant on a Capablanca board is a very nice idea. I'd suggest adding an fil move to the knight's first move, preferably a just move power, so that it can occupy it's regular place in the orthodox chess repertoire. But I don't see this as a problem more as a small enhancement, maybe, also motivated by the fact that the knight in this game starts so far from the center. Overall an excellent game!


This item is a play-by-email page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional
It was last modified on: 2021-01-11
 By Kevin  Pacey. Waffle Chess. Chess on a 10x8 board with waffles added.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Aurelian Florea wrote on 2021-07-22 UTCGood ★★★★

The idea of introducing two waffles (phoenixes) on a Capablanca board is a very interesting one. But the main drawback proved to the author to be finding a position where all pawns are defended in the initial position. This leads to a sole position where the waffle and knight share the best first move development field. To this gets in a way of the usual castling. To counter this a new way of castling is introduced. I don't like that because it requires to little effort creating a new problem of it's own. I'd approach this by offering the knight the forward fil moves when unmoved. Probably with just move power. This will help the knight further to the center without hindering the waffle's development. It can also go the other way around offering the field towards the center to the waffle by allowing it the two forward wide zebra move. This has the advantage of having the knight on it's orthodox chess spot after it's initial move, so orthodox chess openings can be used. This would help the game become more popular among regular chess players. Both solutions seem to be better than an arbitrary castling rule.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional, Large board
It was last modified on: 2021-05-06
 By Jean-Louis  Cazaux. Maasai Chess. Large CV with 48 pieces per side, of 20 types including both regular and rapid Pawns.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Eric Silverman wrote on 2021-07-07 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I have played this game extensively in the Ai Ai software package since adding it, and I feel it may be the best iteration so far of Jean-Louis Cazaux's series of 12x12 variants. The piece density and variety generate very interesting interactions on the board. The various Pawn- and Pawn-like pieces in the 3rd/4th ranks create a nice sense of progression, leading the board to gradually open up and allow more powerful pieces to enter the fray.

In a sense, the game reminds me slightly of a Chess equivalent to Dai Dai Shogi, which has a long opening phase that gradually expands into a delightfully complex middlegame. As a fanatic for large Shogi I consider this a plus :)

In any case, I highly recommend this game for fans of larger variants. In the future I hope Maasai might generate some similar developments of Gigachess and Terachess as well. I have experimented a bit myself with adding the two ranks of mixed Pawns to those games and the results were quite enjoyable.


UPDATED! This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional, Large board
It was last modified on: 2021-06-12
 By Adam  DeWitt. Yangsi. (Updated!) A very playable chess variant with 12 different pieces on a 10x10 board.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Eric Silverman wrote on 2021-07-02 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Having implemented this variant in Ai Ai and having played it a bunch of times, I really enjoy this game. Being a large Shogi fanatic, the higher piece density of Yangsi doesn't bother me in the slightest :)

For me this game is an improvement on something like Sac Chess, as the pieces in Yangsi are more interesting to use. In fact I was inspired by this game to make what I called 'Heavy Shako', an extension of Shako that fills in all the gaps in the back rank with other pieces used in the larger variants by Jean-Louis Cazaux. The original concept was much improved by some excellent advice from Jean-Louis, and the resulting game has been a lot of fun.

I'd enjoy seeing an extension of Yangsi to 12x12 with a high-density setup, too.


UPDATED! This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional, Large board, Oriental
It was last modified on: 2021-06-25
 By Adam  DeWitt. Gyaku-sama Shogi. (Updated!) Smaller version of Hanten Shogi on a 13x13 board.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Eric Silverman wrote on 2021-07-02 UTCGood ★★★★

I really like these experiments with reducing the size of Tenjiku Shogi with H. G. Muller's Nutty Shogi and Dr Eric Silverman's Makyou Shogi.

Thanks for mentioning Makyou Shogi, I'm glad someone noticed it :) It's a work-in-progress still, but I do enjoy it as a smaller, rapid-fire introduction to Tenjiku Shogi.

I have never played Tenjiku.

Give it a try before you go for even weaker pieces :) The original, full-power Demon is still usable even on 12x12. Personally I'd rather see this game with a stronger Demon than an even weaker one.

Hence my rating for this game -- I love the use of the Microshogi promotion rule, and the overall goal of a less brutal Tenjiku/Nutty Shogi is an admirable one. My one issue is that the Demon is so weak in the Suzumu family of games that the flavour of Tenjiku is mostly absent; Tenjiku is almost defined by the terrifying presence of the Demon, much like the Lion in Chu Shogi. If the Demon were powered up to something in between the original and this one, I think this game would be even more interesting.


UPDATED! This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional
It was last modified on: 2021-06-27
 By Albert  Lee. Palace. (Updated!) 7x7 board with a 3x3 Palace at the centre, where King promotes to Queen.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Simon Jepps wrote on 2021-07-02 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I like this, it brings out a rural realm to the game. Well done!


UPDATED! This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional, Large board, Oriental
It was last modified on: 2021-06-25
 By Adam  DeWitt. Gyaku-sama Shogi. (Updated!) Smaller version of Hanten Shogi on a 13x13 board.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Edward Webb wrote on 2021-06-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I really like these experiments with reducing the size of Tenjiku Shogi with H. G. Muller's Nutty Shogi and Dr Eric Silverman's Makyou Shogi.

What I like about this version is that the powers of the super pieces are more limited and the weaker pieces have been boosted. The board is also about the right size and the prmotion rule is intriguing.

The original powers of the Fire Demon and Generals were such that they could cause devastation and that any mistakes could be punished very quickly.

In fact I would like to see a version with even more limited pieces, where generals can only leap one piece and area movers are limited to two king moves.

I have never played Tenjiku. Me and a friend spent an hour setting up the game for the first time in a cafe and had to pack it away, just admiring the pieces all set up. I'll metion this game to him and see what he thinks of it.

A couple of things I am curious about is the lack of symmetry with the Phoenix and Kirin which looks a bit odd, and if it would be a good idea to have a Dog on g5 and g9 to prevent the early trading of Rook Generals.

Also a couple of issues with the page: in the piece table it currently it has a Rook General promote to a Free Eagle, and the King promotes to a Vice General in the interactive diagram.

The page is really well thought through and presented and must have taken a lot of work, well done.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional, Large board, From ancient times
It was last modified on: 2001-01-04
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender. Grande Acedrex. A large variant from 13th century Europe. (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniel Zacharias wrote on 2021-06-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I wish this game were more popular. It seems like an excellent design. The piece selection seems strange at first but after thinking about it I can see the beauty of it.

I imagine the aanca could have originated as an enhanced ferz, to go with the bigger board. Then the knights could have become unicorns by gaining a diagonal slide after their leap to complement the aanca. The crocodile is a fairly obvious addition. The giraffe and Lion both make knight-like leaps, suitable for the large board, and the Lion includes and extra 3,0 leap which removes it's color binding and forms a nice looking pattern.

The result of all that is eight pieces with a nice range of power and an aesthetically consistent set of moves. There are all of the 2,1 3,1 and 3,2 leaping moves, the rook and bishop moves, and bent rook and bishop moves (unicorn and aanca). The leaping pieces are differentiated in power by some of them having additional movements, but they don't ever feel like arbitrary combinations.

The initial setup is also elegant. The Pawns start as far apart as they do on the 8x8 board, and the pieces are all on the back rank. The promotion rule fits well with this setup and is another great innovation.

I think the main weak points, if there are any, would be the pawns and the king's leap. It seems unlikely that the king would benefit much from a 2 square leap on such a big board with so much empty space; and perhaps modern pawns would be better. But overall this variant appears to be carefully designed.


This item is a miscellaneous item
It belongs to categories: Not categorized
It was last modified on: 2015-12-11
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Home page of The Chess Variant Pages. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
digital sedition wrote on 2021-05-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Greetings, Thanks for doing this website. I don't see Commander Chess or Cờ Tư Lệnh in Vietnamese. This is not to be confused with the Vietnamese Chess listed here for zillions of games. Commander Chess was designed By Colonel Hải Nguyễn Quí and released in 2010. I think it's been adopted as the official Chess of Vietnam.

It's a modern warfare, sort of XianQi variant. Uses tanks, aircraft, a navy. Here's a link to the BGG for it:

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/191203/commander-chess

The Colonel has been trying to share his game with the world and I know for a fact they are about to release a new Commander Chess game set and online/mobile platforms to play online as well.


This item is a craft page
It belongs to categories: Not categorized
It was last modified on: 2016-02-27
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Chess Variant Construction Set. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
fennaixelphox wrote on 2021-04-05 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I'm working on making one of these with custom-built clay pieces!


Tristen Thielman wrote on 2021-04-05 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I'm working on making one of these with custom-built clay pieces!


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional, Orthodox chess set but with different moving pieces
It was last modified on: 1997-01-15
 By Ralph  Betza. Chess with Mixed Pawns. Four normal and four Berolina pawns per player. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Stephen Tavener wrote on 2021-03-24 UTCGood ★★★★

Fun idea! Might I suggest the name ChiMPs?


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Three dimensional
It was last modified on: 2001-03-26
 Author: Robert  Koernke Jr. Inventor: Robert  Koernke Sr. Quadlevel 3D Chess. Four level 3d chess. (4x8x4, Cells: 128) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
robert koernke wrote on 2021-03-18 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

You only need to checkmate/fork one King. In the standard-Rules version. Game play tends to be the same length as regular-chess.

Its one of the least complicated 3D-Games. Simply set-up 2-sets of chess-men.

The hardest part to explain is why its frowned upon to go on side-ways diagonals (in 3D) or that knights should not go in L-shapes without advancing or retreating from the opponent. I say frowned-upon, because of course you can change to non-standard rules. But you may find the game much longer, and knights to be as powerful as queens. Stalemates to be more attainable...


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional, Small board, Oriental
It was last modified on: 2001-01-04
 Author: Christian  Freeling. Inventor: Demian  Freeling. Congo. Animals fight on 7 by 7 board. (7x7, Cells: 49) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Sam T wrote on 2021-03-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I have, as per Freeling’s comment, made a number of variants to Congo to address the issues brought up:

  • To address the fact Congo looks drawish, I have adopted the “Ko Rule” in my variant: Someone who repeats a previous position in a game loses. This eliminates draws.
  • To address the issue with river drownings making attacks harder, I have made the A, B, F, and G files of the rivers have “islands”: While the crocodile can move like normal on these squares, other pieces will not drown.
  • I have made the pawns stronger: A pawn can not retreat until it is promoted on the 7th rank; on the other hand, pawns across the river can now move and capture sideways. A promoted pawn is more powerful: It can move or capture to any space one or two squares away (like Chess, a promoted pawn should win unless it can be recaptured quickly)
  • I have made the elephants able to move forward like a Shogi Lance. They can also only move backwards one square.
  • I have changed the opening setup from GMELECZ to ZCELECZ, removing the Monkey and Giraffe, and having a second Zebra (Knight) and Crocodile. This way, the game can be played with an ordinary chess board and pieces.

In my Zillions-vs-Zillions testing, the games are never draws, and Black wins more often once we give Zillions 30 or more seconds to think through a move.

My changes can be seen here: https://github.com/samboy/ChessVariantResearch

Look in the folder “Congo”. Full rules for this variant, along with multiple possible opening setups, is here:

https://github.com/samboy/ChessVariantResearch/blob/master/Congo/EBW-1.md

Out of respect for the copyright included with the Zillions implementation of Congo, I am not distributing a modified version of the Congo zrf. Instead, I am distributing the original version, along with a Linux/Cygwin script to change Congo to have another .zrf with the modified rules. I have also made from scratch board artwork representing the new river with islands.

(Admin: This is Sam Trenholme. If you have a chance, please update my email address to be “pbm” in the domain “samiam.org” so I can reset my password).


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional, Large board, Oriental
It was last modified on: 2021-02-15
 By Adam  DeWitt. Hanten Shogi. Variant of Suzumu Shogi with different promotion rules.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Eric Silverman wrote on 2021-03-11 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Good to see Hanten Shogi and its little brother revived! Looking forward to playing on Game Courier sometime :)

If I may make a suggestion, I remember in the previous version the switchback pieces had blue rather than red on the promoted side, which I thought was visually helpful. Any chance of that coming back?

Thinking ahead, perhaps there's an opportunity for an even wilder follow-up to Hanten Shogi -- a large Shogi with Kyoto-Shogi-style switchbacks after every move, including non-captures :)


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional, Orthodox chess set but with different moving pieces, Orthodox chess set but with different capturing rules
It was last modified on: 2021-02-25
 By Max  K.. Tiraspol chess. Variant in which pieces capture as the piece whose starting file they're in.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2021-03-07 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

An interesting and very playable game. The figures are divergent pieces moving as the nominal piece and capturing as Querquisites.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional, Hidden information
It was last modified on: 2001-01-04
 By Jens Baek Nielsen. Darkness Chess. You have only limited information on where your opponents pieces are. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
William Kiely wrote on 2021-02-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Here's an animation of the game:

First game of dark chess ever played

https://lichess.org/study/WjUgZzpG

I like black's idea on the final move (Rh2! hoping to provoke Kg1), however white called the bluff.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Large board, Three or more players, Unorthodox shaped board, In a category all its own
It was last modified on: 2021-02-09
 By Kerry  Langford. CHESSAGON. CHESSAGON® is like traditional Chess, but with Triangles, with one new additional piece named the Duke.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
David Cannon wrote on 2021-02-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I'm pleased to see this game! One correction : it is a trigonal, not hexaxonal, chess variant. The cells are triangles, not hexagons.

That said, I think this is an excellent contribution to the much under-explored trigonal tiling. Apart from a couple of games contributed by Graeme Neatham and Christian Freeling, along with a couple of my own, I think this is a little-used tiling which has lots of interesting possibilities for play.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Unorthodox shaped board, Board with hexagonal shaped cells
It was last modified on: 2018-09-03
 Author: KelvinFox. Inventor: George  Dekle. Masonic Chess. Game played on a Masonic tile board.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Spencer Reed wrote on 2021-02-01 UTCGood ★★★★
I dig this board. I tried writing a Zillions of Games .zrt for Masonic Chess last night.  I think it's about finished, but I can't seem to get through debugging to try it out.  Anyone here still messing with Zillions .zrt files?

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional, In a category all its own
It was last modified on: 2001-12-18
 Author: Sergey  Sirotkin and Peter  Aronson. Inventor: Frank  Maus. Thinktank Chess. Frank Maus' game where most pieces move differently when capturing from how they move without capturing.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2021-01-24 UTCPoor ★

The table in the center of this page has several mistakes in the description column


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional, Large board
It was last modified on: 2020-01-30
 By Aurelian  Florea. Apothecary Chess-Classic. Large board variant obtained through tinkering with known games.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniel Zacharias wrote on 2021-01-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

This is a very good game. Everything fits together well. The random setup provides variety without being completely chaotic. The brouhaha squares are a great way to add more pieces without making the board so big it feels empty. The promotion rule encourages more variety in promotion, which is something I look for particularly; and I like the auxiliary pieces used here. The Mameluk especially is fun.

I think I might slightly prefer the Modern Apothecary game, for it's Dragon and Griffin, which to me are more interesting than the Chancellor and Archbishop, but I like the Siege Elephant and Mameluk as auxiliaries, so it's hard to choose one game over the other. I don't know if I'd agree with the statement that the Joker can't defend well. It seems to me that it's ability to mimic an attacker's move makes it particularly good at defending and more difficult to use aggressively. I'm not great at chess (in any form), though, so I could be wrong about that.

I'm interested to see what the next games in this series will be like!


This item is a miscellaneous item
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional, Orthodox chess set but with different initial setups
It was last modified on: 2001-07-24
 Author: Eric  van Reem. Inventor: Robert J. Fischer. The Birth of Fischer Random Chess. Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Lukas wrote on 2021-01-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Excellent write-up, Eric. I actually didn't know Fischer presented 960 in 1996 - always thought it has been around for longer.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional, Sold commercially, Orthodox chess set but with different moving pieces, Orthodox chess set but with different initial setups
It was last modified on: 2020-12-31
 By Frank  MacCrory. Horseman's Chess. Game where pieces mount and dismount.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniel Zacharias wrote on 2021-01-06 UTCGood ★★★★

This looks fun


25 comments displayed

Later Reverse Order EarlierEarliest

Permalink to the exact comments currently displayed.