The Chess Variant Pages

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This page is written by the game's inventor, Larry Smith.

Mad King Chess

Mad King Chess

The following was presented by R. Wayne Schmittberger in the book "New Rules for Classic Games" as Emperor King Chess.

Utilizes the same equipment and rules as the Mad Queen variant(FIDE) with the exception of the movement of the King.


The King is permitted to leap to any vacant or enemy-occupied cell upon the field. It is not permitted to capture a defended opponent King. This follows the rule of not moving a King into threat.

Due to the mobility of this particular King, castling is not necessary but can still be exercised according to its normal restrictions.

The game is won by checkmating the opposing King.


Since the King must maintain a defender to avoid capture by an opposing King, this greatly reduces(but does not eliminate) the opportunity for a draw game. At the start of the game the King has only its Queen as a defender, but it can leap to any cell to obtain others.

Several Shogi variants have this type of piece which is called the Emperor.


Another form of Mad King, or 'slightly mad', is one that moves as in the Mad Queen variant but is permitted to take an undefended opposing King as an Amazon. This is similar to the exposure rule for Generals in XiangQi.

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 Larry L. Smith.
Web page created: 2008-10-15. Web page last updated: 2008-10-15