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This page is written by the game's inventor, Hafsteinn Kjartansson.

Builder chess

I made this chess variant only to introduce a new piece of mine: the Builder. Descriptions on the builder's movement and capture is below.


The Builder is on the squeres where a queen should normally be.


Pawns, knights, bishops, rooks and kings move and capture as usual. The Builder moves as a queen, but doesn't capture that way.

One variant could be to make the builder only move as a rook, making it a bit weaker, thus better, as it's movement may be a bit too strong considering its great capture ability.

The builder switches the opponent's pieces for your dead pieces, killing the opponent's pieces. He does so by moving adjacent to the opponent's pieces. Example:

In this situation, white's builder can capture all black's pieces. It's black's turn, and black's king is in chess. His only legal move is

to move the king to d8. Now the builder can start to capture black's pieces, starting with the rook:

by moving adjacent to it and then

he switces black's rook with white's dead rook, dropping it on the squere black's rook originally occupied. If white had no dead rooks he would simply capture the rook, dropping no piece in return.

As this piece is so strong, one variant could be to not be able to mate or check the king of the opponent. I'm not a huge fan of this idea, but it's better than having a boring game with a superstrong piece which mates the king in five moves. (This was an exaggeration. It would probably take less moves....)

VARIANT: Use Anti-king instead of king. This would be an interesting couple, I think.

VARIANT: The builder captures by advancing (see rules on the advancer )and it can't capture the other builder. Pawns can only promote to builder if you have not got one. (Only one builder of each color on the board at once.)


FIDE rules.

When promoted pawns are captured they become pawns again. In the comments sector, Charles Gilman asked me about this and suggested that they should be treated as whatever they promoted to. This will now be known as the Gilman variant.


The builder is a very strong piece and i'm working on some restrictions for it. I'll post them here whenever i'm ready.


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By Hafsteinn Kjartansson.
Web page created: 2011-01-01. Web page last updated: 2011-01-01