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

Simpleton's Chess

Simpleton's Chess came out of discussions regarding Near Chess and Simplified Chess, and feedback from people who don't play chess. People had found the number of pieces in Chess to be a bit too much to handle. So, using the basis of Simplified Chess, the game was simplified even more.

You can play Simpleton's Chess online here:

You can get a Zillions adaptation of Simpleton's 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.


King moves as a normal chess King. Queens move as normal Chess Queens. There are three levels to play in the game (when teaching, players start at Level 1 and work their way up to Level 3). The levels:
1. Level 1. Pawns only move one space forward, and capture one space forward. They don't promote.
2. Level 2. Pawns promote only to friendly queens that have been captured, but otherwise like Level 1. If a Pawn can't promote, it can't move into the last row.
3. Level 3. Pawns move one space forward, and capture one space diagonally. The promote to friendly queens that have been captured only.

The object is to capture your opponent's King. 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 chess variant is meant for people who don't know chess, to be taught quickly, by being only marginally more complicated than checkers in rules. It can also be played by variant players who want a simple variant to not take seriously. For hardcore chess (and variant) players, this game may seem like a simplistic horror, but please keep in mind the intended target for this game.

For those who want something a bit more substantial, it is recommended to try Henry the 8th Chess, which is the same as level 3, except the object is to either lose all of one's seven queens or capture your opponent's king. Capture can be optional or mandatory, both of play differently. Henry the 8th will be written up as a separate game.

Simpleton's Chess is by Richard Hutnik, utilizing a Simplified Chess board by John Kippling Lewis.

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