Wild Kingdom Chess
Wild Kingdom Chess is a battle between two sets of jungle animals each with different movement
patterns and different special abilities. It also adds terrain to the game to provide different
avenues of approach. I came up with this game because one of my all time favorite board games is
the old Chinese childrens game entitled "Dou Shou Qi" (which literally translates to "Game of
Fighting Animals") or "Jungle". I thought it would be cool to try to combine Chess and Jungle
to make a variant. Besides, most of the pieces were already created for me :) Wild Kingdom
Chess was invented in January of 2009.
SetupThe Board and Setup: Please refer to the below diagram for the board and initial setup.
The white player starts at the lower numbered end.
On the Wild Kingdom Chess board, there are 4 swamps indicated by the groups of squares of different
green color. The swamp inhibits the movement of certain pieces by limiting the amount of spaces they
can move while entering the swamp or occupying a swamp space, or by prohibiting movement into the
swamp altogether, as you will read below in 'The Pieces' section.
No promotions occur in Wild Kingdom Chess. If a player cannot make a move during their turn, the
game ends in a draw.
Object: To capture, not checkmate, the opposing Lion.
The Frog is Wild Kingdom's replacement to the Pawn. As you can see in the initial setup, each player
starts out with 12 of them. The Frog cannot move on its own, it needs the help of surrounding pieces.
It moves by "leap frogging" over other peices, though it cannot leap backwards, only forwards and
side to side. If a "hop" is available after completing one, the frog may,
but is not required, to make another one as long as it doesn't retrace any of its steps for that move.
Swamps do not affect Frog movement. (See below for movement)
The Frog can capture an enemy piece if it leap frogs over it, much like checkers. This means that it
can capture more than one piece per turn. A Frog can jump over both friendly and enemy pieces in the
Special - Croak: During your turn, as a move, a frog has the ability to croak. If you croak,
you place an additional Frog, as a new piece, onto your home row for use during the game. You cannot
use this ability if your home row is full.
The Crocodile does not have an equivilant to FIDE chess. The Crocodile is color-bound to its
starting square and can move to the square of the same color inside of its swamp. It captures
by displacement. If a Crocodile is somehow removed from his color on the swamp, he is destroyed.
Special - Swamp Jump: During your turn, as a move, your Crocodile can make a jump from its current
location to any swamp square of the same color on the board. If a piece is on that location, it is
The Jungle Spider can slide one space orthogonally and one space diagonally or vice versa. The end result
should be simular to a knights move, however a Jungle Spider cannot make a capture and cannot
jump over other pieces. Jungle Spiders cannot enter swamp areas.
Special - Web: The Jungle Spider's special is automatic and does not have to be used in leiu of a
move. If an opposing piece begins its turn next to a Jungle Spider, it is considered webbed and cannot move
until the Jungle Spider has moved or is captured. An enemy piece next to a Jungle Spider may not use their
special. Jungle Spiders cannot web opposing Jungle Spiders.
The Giraffe can move as a bishop in FIDE chess, though it must stop on the second swamp square it reaches.
Special - Necking: During your turn, as a move, one of your Giraffes can have a necking duel with an
adjacent animal. If the opposing piece is not a Giraffe, the piece gets thrown two squares in the direction
opposite of where the Giraffe was next to it. Any piece in the path is destroyed. If the animal being
dueled is another Giraffe, then the winner is the player who has the most Giraffes on the board. If
each player has the same amount of Giraffes, then two Giraffes cannot duel each other. Giraffes can perform
necking duels against their own pieces.
The Rhino can move as a rook in FIDE chess. However, it must stop on the second swamp space reached during its move.
Special - Charge: During your turn, as a move, you may use the charge ability. When this ability is activated,
the Rhino using it MUST move 5 spaces orthogonally or until it reaches the edge of the board (whatever comes first),
charging through friend and foe alike. Any piece on the 5th or last space is captured. Any other pieces charged are stomped flat for the next turn and
cannot move until their respective owner completes another turn. A charge cannot be used if any piece is next to
the rhino orthogonally in the direction it is charging, because it needs room to build up speed. A charge also cannot
occur if there is a swamp space in the first square of the charge. Swamp spaces do not count as two spaces during
a charge. If the charge runs into the side of a board, it ends on the last square possible. If a Rhino charges over
a Frog or a Jungle Spider, they are removed from the game.
The Hippo moves and captures just like a queen in FIDE chess. She can move freely through a swamp without
Special - Swamp Jump: As a move, a Hippo can perform the swamp jump special with the same restrictions
as a Crocodile.
The Lion is the king of the jungle, thus he is the king of Wild Kingdom Chess. If he is captured, not
checkmated, then the game is over. The Lion moves as a knight in FIDE chess. A Lion can move into a
swamp without penalty.
Special - Roar: During your turn, as a move, the Lion may use the roar ability. When a Lion roars,
all adjacent enemy pieces flee 4 spaces (or to the end of the board should they run out of room before four
spaces) directly away from the Lion. Should a piece stand in the path of the fleeing enemy, they too are
pushed away accordingly. If a fleeing piece travels through the swamp, their regular swamp movement rules
Special - Devour: During your turn, as a move, the Lion may devour any enemy animal adjacent to him, removing it
from play, while he remains fixed in the same place.
NotesIf there are any rule clarifications, email me at [email protected] I will clarify them and add them
to the rules page.
Special ThanksI would like to give a special thanks to my lovely wife, Cathy, and my stepson, Jacob, for helping me tailor the rules
to perfection and playtesting the game in its early stages. Also, thanks to Joe Joyce for helping me understand the
board making process, John Smith for board coloring, and to Gary Gifford for his advice and answering questions.
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 Nick Wolff.
Web page created: 2009-01-11. Web page last updated: 2009-01-11