Check out Glinski's Hexagonal Chess, our featured variant for May, 2024.

Bear Chess

Bear Chess was invented by Mikhail Sosnovsky in 1985. It was quite popular in the former USSR. It appears in Chapter 15 of the Classified Encyclopedia of Chess Variants.


The board is 10x10, with bears flanking the king and queen and otherwise usual setup:

(bears are represented by squirrels here)


The bear leaps to any square in the second perimeter; in other words, it moves as a dabbabah, knight, or alfil. The piece is more commonly known as a squirrel.


Pawns may move up to three squares in their first move, en passant possible for two or three. Castling takes the king to the c or h file.

Pritchard mentions that subvariants exist with different setup and/or pawn moves, but does not elaborate.

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.

Author: Ben M Reiniger. Inventor: Mikhail Sosnovsky.

Last revised by H. G. Muller.

Web page created: 2018-12-31. Web page last updated: 2022-11-26