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This page is written by the game's inventor, Rich Hutnik.

Henry VIII Chess

Henry VIII Chess came a suggestion for a variant by Farshad Froogh, using a Simplified chess board (it is 8x7) for a game with 8 pawns, 7 queens and a king. The object being to either capture your opponent's king, or eliminate all your own pieces except for the king. This was changed to just eliminating all your queens (not pieces), through playtesting in Zillions. With this change, came the name King Henry VIII (King Henry the 8th/Eighth), who was famous for getting rid of his wives.

You can play Henry VIII Chess online here:

You can get a Zillions adaptation of Henry VIII Chess here:;id=1590


This uses the same board as Simplified Chess, which is an 8x7 board. Players set up their 8 pawns on the second to last rows (2 and 6). In the back row (left to right), players place 3 Queens, then a King, and then 4 more Queens). In other words, instead of regular chess pieces, players use 7 Queens and a King. The White King goes on E1 and the Black King goes on D7.

The layout looks like this (Graphics by Zillions):


8 Black and White Pawns each. 7 Black and White Queens each. 1 Black and White King each.


The object is to lose all of one's seven queens or capture your opponent's king.

King moves as a normal chess King. Queens move as normal Chess Queens. Pawns move one space forward, and capture one space diagonally. Pawns promote to friendly queens that have been captured only. Pawns promote when they reach the last row, and can only reach the last row only if there is at least one friendly queen has been captured.

This game can be played with players being required to capture if they can or not being required to capture. Both work but play differently.


This game is an interesting hybrid of regular capture the king chess and also losing chess. It is not trivial. It was created in 2008 by Farshad Froogh and Richard Hutnik, through discussion of the original idea proposed by Farshad on the website.

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By Rich Hutnik.
Web page created: 2008-05-11. Web page last updated: 2008-05-11