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This page is written by the game's inventor, Florin Lupusoru.

Secret King

This chess variant seems to have no King, but the King is hidden among the Knights. 


The game is played on a 10x10 chess board.

The initial setup looks like this:



Each player has 10 Pawns, 10 Knights, 4 Rooks, 4 Bishops, and 2 Queens, or Captains. 

A Secret King is also present, hiding his identity among the Knights of each player. 

Pieces move like in the classical chess.

The Secret King will move like a Knight until his identity is revealed. 


There is no castling.

The promotion of Pawns is slightly different from the classical chess. There are four promotion lines for each player, the last four lines in the enemy territory. The first promotion line is reserved for the Knights, the second for the Bishops, the third for the Rooks, and the last for the Queens, or Captains. If a Pawn reaching a promotion line does not promote straight away, it will have to move to the next promotion line in order to be eligible for promotion again.

Each player has a Secret King hidden among his Knights. The Secret King behaves like a regular Knight until his identity is revealed.

The identity of the Secret King is marked underneath one of the Knights, hidden from view. Each player is allowed to place the Secret King anywhere he wants in the second rank of his pieces. 

When a Knight is captured by an enemy piece, it will have to reveal its identity. If it turns out to be the Secret King it will be replaced by a regular King and the capturing piece will be removed from the board. 

If the Secret King is still in check it will be allowed an extra move. . 

If a Secret King is captured by another Knight that also turns out to be a Secret King, the capturing piece will lose the game. 


The objective of the game is to bring a Secret King in the last rank of the enemy territory in order to win, on a square that is not in check, or to find the enemy Secret King in order to checkmate it. 

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 Florin Lupusoru.

Last revised by Florin Lupusoru.

Web page created: 2023-12-03. Web page last updated: 2023-12-03