Check out Alice Chess, our featured variant for June, 2024.

This page is written by the game's inventor, Robert Kalin.

Soul Reaver Chess


This 2 board variant combines elements found in Standard Chess, Glinski's Hexagonal Chess, and inspired a little by Alice Chess.

It utilizes one standard board and one round hexagonal board. During gameplay pieces exchange locations from one board to the other within the provided set of rules. Pawns and Kings have new moves that make them more useful than normal.

Due to the board-swapping nature of this game and the differences between boards, using boards with 'notation' for hex and square location is highly suggested if not mandatory.


All the playing pieces are placed on the Square board. They are assembled and placed according to the 'normal' set of chess rules.


All the pieces in the game move as in normal chess with the exception of two.

The pawn.

Due to the circular nature of the round board and the board swapping ability of the king, promotion of the pawns is abandoned. Instead a new rule applies.
When a pawn reaches the back row of the board it does not promote. Instead on it's next turn it can swap between boards. Then on its next turn it can begin moving in the opposite direction. It can not turn around on the same board. In this way pawns move in a back and forth loop between the two boards. When on the round board the movement for pawns goes between the inside of the board and the outside of the board.

If a Pawn is "Summoned" by the king to the other board it ALWAYS goes in the same direction as if it had looped around properly.
For example. If a pawn starts at B1 on the standard board and eventualy loops around at B8 to B8 on the round board (on the outside) then it -always- moves to the center of the round board. Even if the king summons it at b5 on the round board it still moves to the center.

The King

The King in this variant still moves as a normal king does.
It is however given 2 new special functions.

Teleport/switch board
Instead of moving along the surface of a board as normal, the king can choose to move to an empty space on the opposing board. Provided that...
A. The space is empty.
B. The space has the same location notation as on the opposing board.
C. The placement does not put the king into check.
D. The placement does not put the opposing king into check.

Optional:Ignore rule A.
The king can not capture by moving between boards. Instead the king exchanges places with the displaced piece reguardless of ownership. The king can not 'swap' places with an opponents king. This option makes it more difficult to play as the king needs to be in check on BOTH boards.

Summon/move piece
Instead of taking a normal move the King can bring one of his own pieces from the opposing board to his own board. Provided that...
A. The piece is his own.
B. That the piece is adjacent to the notated space occupied by the king on the opposing board.
C. That the space on the same board as the king, with matching notation, is empty.
D. That the space on the same board as the king is adjacent to the king.

Summoned pieces can not capture pieces in their path when summoned by the king. In those instances the summoned piece is blocked and can not be brought through.

NOTE: The round board is in essence the square board wrapping around from left to right. If the king is at A1 on the round board he can summon a piece from H1 on the square board. This element is not true in reverse. If the king is at A1 on the square board he could not summon from H1 on the round board to H1 on the square board. As the summoned piece would no longer be adjacent to the king. Adjacency in destination (not origin) is the main requirement. Adjacency on the hexagon board does not include diagonals, but does on the square board. So you can summon to 8 locations around the king on the square board but only to 6 on the round board.


Whenever an attacking piece is moving to displace a defending piece the following rules are observed.
The location of the defending piece on the first board is noted. The corrosponding place on the second board is located. If the corrosponding place on the second board is empty then the defending piece is simply "moved" from the first board to the empty location on the second board.
If the location on the second board is occupied by a piece of either player then the piece being captured is removed from play.


I was looking for a specific type of 2 board chess variant and never found one close to what I was looking for. Without It's existance I desired to fill in this gap. Now there are tons of 2 board variants that use 2 standard chess boards. The distinct element of this game is that the second board is not square. At first I thought to use a standard 'round' or 'circular' board but I felt that the differences between them and a standard board were too similar. I wanted the pices not to just move differntly because of the shape of the board but to move differntly all together. In this manner the same pice would have a completely differnt set of values and uses on the second board. Thus a Hexagon board was chosen. Unfortunately Glinskys 91 cell board left some empty unused cells. So I created my own. A circular 64 cell hexagonal chess board. The center of the board is 'solid' and can not be passed over or through.

The original themeatic inspiration was from an old Playstation 1 video game. In it the primary player character can go between the normal and 'shadow' world. The shadow world being a twisted and altered version of the normal world. Each 'world' haveing its own advantages and disadvantages compred to the other.

Playing Tips

Beware the Pawn for it patrols its Routes.
Beware the Tricky King for he can Escape.
Beware the Kings men fore they can lie in ambush invisible.

You can also play this game by email, using the web-based Play by Mail system on this site.


One Standard set of chess pieces.
One Standard Chess board with notation on the board for cell location.
One Custom Hexagonal Round board (see illustration above)

Sample Game


Written by Robert Kalin
WWW page created: September Eighth, Two Thousand and Eleven.

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 Robert Kalin.
Web page created: 2009-04-06. Web page last updated: 2009-04-06