The Chess Variant Pages
Custom Search

Ender's Chess


Way back when, about half a year ago, I received an email with a URL to an "Ender's Game"-inspired Chess variant, "Battle Room Chess", as a submission to my now defunct 47-cell Chess variant contest. I asked the inventor, Consul Bob, to make several changes (The game with minimal changes, which were condoned by Consul Bob, can be seen here.) This is intended as an offshoot of the original game, something inspired by the original, not an improvement or version 2.0.


Each player starts with 2 Rooks, 2 Bishops, 2 Kings, and 2 Knights off board. The top and bottom squares of the board are known as the "Gates".


Rook - Moves one square orthogonally or two squares orthogonally. It can leap over other pieces.

Bishop - Moves one square diagonally or two squares diagonally.

King - Moves one square orthogonally or moves one square diagonally. It can leap over other pieces.

Knight - Moves like regular Knight. That is moves one square orthogonally, then one square diagonally in the same direction. It can leap over other pieces.


1... B-f10 ; f10-d8

White opens with a King drop, then ends his turn.
Black, however, moves his Bishop after dropping it. This is generally a better idea because he can then drop a piece and move it next turn, instead of having to wait a turn, moving the gate occupant.


Turns alternate between White and Black, with White moving first.

If, at the start of a player's turn, his Gate is empty, he may drop a piece from his reserve onto it. After the possible dropping phase, a player may move up to all of his pieces on the board during his turn, in a definite sequence, with passing allowed, completing his turn. The first player to occupy his opponent's Gate is the winner, except that Black can draw by occupying White's Gate directly after White occupies Black's Gate. Winning may be truncated to the elimination of all of his opponent's pieces, as it is always possible to enter his gate in an indiscriminate amount of moves.


This may bear some uncanny resemblance to Melee, though it is strictly coincidental, a result of a simplification of the original game's requirement to occupy all squares adjacent to the gate, and Joe Joyce's like of short-range pieces. George Duke observes that besides Melee, it bears some resemblance to among others, in goal squares, to Brad Stone's (1996) Bombalot, Glenn Overby's (2002) Thronschach and Roberto Lavieri's (2003) Maxima. Also (1951) Joseph Boyer's Football Chess. Kudos to Consul Bob, for the concept, and Joe Joyce, for playtesting and subsequent improvements.

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 Smith.
Web page created: 2009-02-14. Web page last updated: 2009-02-14