Check out Chess with Different Armies, our featured variant for July, 2024.

This page is written by the game's inventor, Joshua Morris.

Phi Chess with Different Armies

Phi Chess is a variant inspired by the golden ratio, Phi.

Phi Chess with Different Armies is inspired by Ralph Betza's excellent Chess with Different Armies.


Phi Chess DA is played on a 13x8 board.

White sits on the bottom. The White King begins on g1; the Black King begins on g8.


Phi Chess DA allows players to choose their own pieces for each game.

The first step is for players to agree on the limits:

Recommended limits:

Once limits are decided, players choose their 12 pieces and 13 pawns.

Pieces can be anything; Phi Chess is limited to Rooks, Bishops, Knights, and their three possible compounds (Queen, Jack/Marshall, Fool/Cardinal), but Phi Chess DA could allow Camels, Zebras, Cannons, or what have you unless players agree to exclude odd pieces beforehand. Triple-compounds such as the Amazon could be permitted if both players are down.

Likewise, players have a choice of pawns; one may prefer Berolina pawns while another prefers a mix of Orthodox and Shogi. Players may even agree to more powerful pawns, such as Ferzians vs Wazirs.

Once pieces and pawns have been chosen, each player sets up their array however they please - pawns on their second rank and pieces on their first. The King sits on the center square.


0. Phi Chess DA has the same rules as Phi Chess.



The number of possible armies is staggering; something on the order of twelve kajillion. I think the added step of choosing pieces and arrays adds a new dimension to any variant.


A quiet game with simple pieces

Queens and Knights vs Archbishops and Rooks

Phi Chigorin Chess

Playing Tips

Don't bother studying openings. :)

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 Joshua Morris.
Web page created: 2005-07-17. Web page last updated: 2005-07-17