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This page is written by the game's inventor, Vincent Bugica.


KingSwap! is a quick, solitaire game in which you must escort the lazy King across his domain and back to his throne. This King is so lazy that he can’t move on his own; instead, you have to swap him with another piece. But be careful: each swap incurs his fury and will capture your piece. Try to complete the King’s tour with the fewest casualties as possible!


Using a 5x5 area, place the King in the bottom right corner and then place 24 random pieces in the remaining squares. For example:



The goal is to move the King from the bottom right corner up to the top left corner and then back again.

For play, move one piece at a time like traditional chess, with one exception: Pawns move and swap one square orthogonally or diagonally forward (towards the row with the yellow square). Whenever a piece were to move into an occupied square, swap their two positions such that the first piece is in the second’s square and vice versa. This swap movement is the only way the King can change position – otherwise, you may not pick up the King directly. Moreover, the piece that swaps with the King is immediately captured and is removed for the rest of the game. For pieces with unlimited movement, you may only move them into the first occupied square in their allowed directions, otherwise they can traverse any number of empty squares.

Repeat moving and swapping pieces until you either successfully move the King to both squares or fail to move the King any further.


This variant has a relatively quick playtime and involves the constant movement of multiple pieces at once; as such, it is best enjoyed through a digital implementation – which you can try here.

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 Vincent Bugica.

Last revised by A. M. DeWitt.

Web page created: 2023-12-29. Web page last updated: 2024-01-28