The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Daniel MacDuff.

Lifeform Chess

I read a variant on the pages called "Chesimals" and it got my mind working.  I uploaded a first draft of this variant, and my ineptitude at html became apparent- the entire page was mysteriously blank.  So these rules are different.  But I am relatively sure they are better...


You could go with the basic setup of chess.

Alternatively (as is the preferred version of play), players may set up their pieces however they wish along the first three rows, in keeping with the rules.  Whether you may examine your opponent's progress in setting up or not is up to you.


K- The Head- The Head is one of the royal pieces.  It moves or captures as a King.
Q- The Torso- The Torso is also one of the royal pieces.  It moves, but does not capture, as a King.
B- The Hands- The Hands move as Knights or as Rooks limited to four spaces (NR4).  They may capture an enemy piece on the final square or lay it on its side, immobilizing it while the Hand is there.  A Hand may not be captured while it is immobilizing a piece.
N- The Feet- The Feet move as Queens.
R- The Hair- The Hair does not move under its own power, its move is discussed under Rules.  It cannot capture nor be captured.  It serves only to block the opponent.
P- The Limbs- The Limbs do not move at all under their own power.  They can, however calture and be captured.


When a piece other than the Hair or Limbs moves, Hair and Limbs adjacent to the start square may also move one square in any direction.  If the move did not capture, a single Limb may capture during this move.  The following regulations must be met at all times or the offending piece is removed from play:

- The Torso and Head must, in their shortest connection, be directly adjacent or connected by a single Limb (the "Neck").  If a "Neck" is captured, the player who lost it loses the game immediately.  You also lose the game immediately if you cannot trace a path between the Torso and Head without going through two or more Limbs.
- The Hands and Feet must be connected to the Torso by an unbroken chain of Limbs (direct adjacency is not enough to keep them alive- you must be able to trace a path of Limbs).
- The Hair must be connected directly or through the other Hair to the Head, the Torso, a Hand, or a Foot.
- Each Limb must be connected to the Torso either directly or through an unbroken chain of Limbs.

There is no castling, promotion, en passant, double move, or checkmate.  You win by causing your opponent to lose a Head, a Torso, or a Neck.


The game may be played with different armies.

The purpose of immobilizing with a Hand may seem vague, but it limits mobility without discovering an attack and also makes the hand uncapturable.

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By Daniel Robert MacDuff.
Web page created: 2016-01-06. Web page last updated: 2016-01-06