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This page is written by the game's inventor, Bob Greenwade.

Monster Mash

It's Halloween, and the monsters are out in full force. And some of them don't get along.


Because this is a spooky kind of game, it's played on a 13x13 board.

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Some of the pieces are renamed to make them more fitting to the theme. In those cases, whether the in-game name is my own invention or one that others have used, I give the more familiar name as well.

Mummy (Pharaoh): The Mummy can move without capture to any adjacent space, but captures with a (1,3) leap like a Camel. It's also the game's Royal, able to Castle with the Jackals and otherwise behaving like the King in orthodox Chess.


Terror (Amazon): The Terror slides orthogonally or diagonally, like an orthodox Queen, but also leaps (1,2) like a Knight.


Grim Reaper (Reaper): The Reaper slides orthogonally, like a Rook, but may make a one-step diagonal move before doing so, like a Griffin.


Raven: The Raven slides orthogonally, like a Rook, or makes a series of (1,2) leaps in a straight line, like a Nightrider.


Dragon (Dragon King): The Dragon also slides orthogonally like a Rook, or may step one space diagonally, like a Ferz.


Cerberus: Cerberus slides diagonally, like a Bishop, or steps up to three spaces left or right.


Snake: The Snake steps one space forward or backward, from which point it may continue sliding diagonally.


Hangman: The Hangman moves to any adjacent space, optionally capturing an adjacent enemy piece in the opposite direction (capture by withdrawal).


Werewolf: The Werewolf moves to any adjacent space, or makes a series of (1,2) leaps in a straight line like a Nightrider, though in the latter case it must have an obstacle to pass, and stops at the next leap after.


Jackal: The Jackal leaps three spaces diagonally, or (2,3) like a Zebra.


Tarantula: The Tarantula moves to any adjacent space, or leaps three spaces orthogonally or diagonally.


Bat: The Bat slides forward orthogonally, or backward diagonally.


Vulture: The Vulture leaps without capture three spaces orthogonaly, or moves to the squares (1,4) or (3,4) but without leaping (like a lame Giraffe or Antelope). In other words, in reaches its destination by making three orthogonal and one diagonal move, or three diagonal and one orthogonal move, in any order (so long as the multiple orthogonal or diagonal moves are in the same direction).


Vampire: The Vampire jumps over a diagonally adjacent piece, then may continue sliding in the same direction, but cannot capture that way; or rifle capture to any orthogonally adjacent space; or do both, in that order; or step directly backward one space, without capturing.


Ghost: The Ghost moves without capture to any square within a two-space radius (but does not leap); it captures by passing through an enemy piece to the square beyond.


Two-Headed Man (Berolina Pawn): Moves without capture one space diagonally forward (or two spaces, on the initial move), or captures to the space directly in front.


Zombie Pawn: Moves (with capture) one space directly or diagonally forward, or moves without capture one space directly behind. Any piece that captures it through displacement (that is, stopping on the square where the Zombie Pawn was)immediately becomes a Zombie Pawn but doesn't change color. (Note that this makes the Vampire, Ghost, and Hangman immune to the effect; the Mummy and Reaper are also immune.)


Scorpion Pawn: Moves without capture one space directly forward, or by leaping two spaces left or right and one space forward; captures one space diagonally forward.


For the most part, other than the pieces and setup, the rules of orthodox chess are followed.


I came upon the idea for this variant when I started seeing a handful of pieces named for creatures often seen in horror movies: spiders, werewolves, scorpions, snakes, and so forth. I first got the general idea just before Halloween of 2023, but I didn't sit down to start really codifying it until the after the new year.

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 Bob Greenwade.

Last revised by Bob Greenwade.

Web page created: 2024-01-27. Web page last updated: 2024-05-14