Check out Alice Chess, our featured variant for June, 2024.

This page is written by the game's inventor, Kevin Pacey. This game is a favorite of its inventor.

Brawl Chess

I came up with the idea of Brawl Chess in 2019, but I had left it unpublished, as I'd felt unsure of its merits. It was inspired by my earlier Sac Chess (which uses only 12 piece types). Some years after Brawl Chess, Very Heavy Chess was invented independently by Jean-Louis Cazaux, with the same 14 piece types being used (but it's played on a slightly smaller board than used for Brawl Chess). In some cases I've preferred slightly different names for a relatively small number of the unorthodox piece types used.

There are presets available for play on Game Courier. With rules enforced Brawl Chess (green dark squares) and Brawl Chess (brown dark squares). Without rules enforced Brawl Chess.



Brawl Chess uses the 6 piece types of chess, plus 8 unorthodox piece types:

Amazon — Can move like a Queen or Knight.

Ship — Can move like a Rook, Knight, or Ferz. Also known as Heroine.

Freemason — Can move like a Bishop, Knight, or Wazir. Also known as Templar or Popess.

Chancellor — Can move like a Rook or Knight. Also commonly called Marshall.

Archbishop — Can move like a Bishop or Knight. Also commonly called Cardinal.

Sailor — Can move like a Rook or step one square diagonally like a Ferz. Known in Shogi as Dragon King.

Missionary — Can move like a Bishop or step one square orthogonally like a Wazir. Known in Shogi as Dragon Horse.

Judge — Can step one square in any direction like a non-royal King or leap like a Knight. More commonly known as Centaur.


Brawl Chess follows the rules of chess, except where noted below.

The castling rules for Brawl Chess are the same as for chess, except castling occurs on the second rank, and a K moves three squares towards the rook it is castling with (instead of two).

Pawns promote on the last rank, to any piece type in the setup except for K. On their first move of the game they can take an initial step of two or even three squares forward (or just 1 step), if unobstructed. Capturing en passant, is allowed, even if the pawn took a triple step. The capturing pawn would land on the square that is diagonally in front of it on the same file as the enemy pawn that just moved. Here's a link to Omega Chess, which has very similar rules governing legal pawn moves; note the examples of en passant captures: Omega Chess

Threefold repetition of position or stalemate is a draw as in chess, and the 50 move rule is also in effect in Brawl Chess (game drawn if no captures or pawn moves have been made before 50 consecutive moves by both sides).

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 Kevin Pacey.

Last revised by Kevin Pacey.

Web page created: 2024-03-02. Web page last updated: 2024-03-02