The Chess Variant Pages
Custom Search

Foolish King Chess


In this game, the players have unequal forces and different winning conditions.


Fool e1; Archbishop b1, i1; Bishop d1, g1; Knight c1, f1, h1; Rook a1, j1; Pawn a2, b2, c2, d2, e2, f2, g2, h2, i2, j2

King e8; Queen f8; Knight b8, c8, h8, i8; Rook a8, j8; Hunter d8, g8; Pawn a7, b7, c7, d7, e7, f7, g7, h7, i7, j7

Initial Setup:

The first and second ranks are filled with White's agents. The seventh and eighth are filled with Black's.

White has a fool for a king.



The Archbishop (A) moves as either a Bishop or a Knight


The Hunter (H) can slide diagonally as a Bishop. It can and also slide horizontally or vertically, but can only stop on a square of the same color, although agents on the other squares still block its path (it cannot jump.) It does not give check to a King on a square of a different color.


The Fool (F) can move as a Knight or move one step horizontally or vertically. It cannot capture agents of any type. Only Pawns and the King can capture a fool, capturing by replacement in the usual fashion. Fools are forbidden to step onto a square that means that the enemy king is on a square that the fool could have reached (had it been unoccupied). On the other hand, the enemy king is forbidden to step onto a square that the fool could have reached in just one move, so the fools can contribute to mating the enemy king. The King can capture the Fool, but the Fool cannot capture the King (or anything else.)


All rules are as in orthodox chess except as noted below:

  • The game is played on an 10x8 board
  • Black's Pawns always promote to Hunters. White's Pawns always promote to Fools.
  • Castling is perform by the free castling rule. The usual restrictions apply, but the King can move any number of spaces, including all the way into the corner, and the Rook can move to any space the King travelled over, or where he started. Check can not be given by castling.
  • White wins if black is mated. Black can neither give check nor mate. Black can win in three different ways: (1) white has no Rooks or Archbishops; (2) white has no fool; or (3) by moving the black King to the far side of the board.
  • Fools are not subject to check. They are captured normally, but only by a King or Pawn.

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 Patrik Hedman.
Web page created: 2014-03-17. Web page last updated: 2020-09-25