The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, John Lewis.

Backwards Stalemate Chess

The goal is to be the first player to have all your pieces in their standard chess starting positions.  The idea is that you are playing the game backwards.


Each players starts with their King in his normal starting position. No other pieces are on the board.

4k3/8/8/8/8/8/8/4K3 b - - 0 1


Uses the standard set of Chess pieces.


On your turn you may make one of three types of moves.

1. Move an opponents piece off one of your remaing pieces. In otherwords, on white's first move he could move the opposing king off of his knight as if the King had captured it.

4N3/5k2/8/8/8/8/8/4K3 w - - 0 1

2. Move your own piece off of one of your opponents pieces as if you had captured it. Here the Black King moves off a pawn.

4N1k1/5P2/8/8/8/8/8/4K3 w - - 0 1

3. Move one of your own pieces backwards. For example, White must move the pawn back one space.

4N1k1/8/5P2/8/8/8/8/4K3 w - - 0 1

Extra Rules

No Captures: You may not capture an opponent's piece. Pieces are only added to the board.

Kings in Check: If either King is in check you must move in such a way that the King is not in check at the end of your move. You may never move in such a way that both Kings are simultaneously in check.

Double Pawns: You may only move and or create a pawn on a file where no other pawn of that color exists and where no opposing pawn is behind it.

Pawns on First Rank: You may never create a pawn on the first rank. A white pawn may never be created on the 1st row, a black pawn may never be created on the 8th.

Promotions: You may make a promotional move of any piece that is on your opponents first row. In example, you could move from here:

4N1k1/8/5P2/8/8/8/8/4K3 w - - 0 1


6k1/4P3/5P2/8/8/8/8/4K3 w - - 0 1

or even:

4q1k1/3P4/5P2/8/8/8/8/4K3 b - - 0 1 if capturing Black's Queen and promoting in one move!!

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 John Kipling Lewis.
Web page created: 2005-10-09. Web page last updated: 2005-10-09