Check out Glinski's Hexagonal Chess, our featured variant for May, 2024.

This page is written by the game's inventor, Richard Stack.

Toystore Chess

By Richard Stack


Toystore Chess is a small Chess variant designed so that it could be printed on a single sheet of stiff paper. It is a game of placement where each player starts with a King, Queen, Rook, Bishop and Knight in hand, and takes turns placing them on a 5x5 board before regular play begins.


The game is conducted by rules of FIDE Chess with the following changes:

  1. The board is five by five (25 squares), and starts empty.
  2. Each player has a King, Queen, Bishop, Knight and a Rook.
  3. Players, starting with white, alternately place their pieces on the board until they are all placed, the King being placed last. Only once all pieces have been placed can any moves (including captures) be made. One can place the pieces anywhere, except that one cannot place one's King in check.
  4. Play then proceeds according to standard chess rules, with the exception that there is no castling.
It seems to work well, and it is quick. There is, needless to say, a lot of "action" (perhaps mayhem would be the right word!) It's play has something in common with solving a chess problem.


While Toystore Chess is a distinct game, it has some similarities to both Unachess and Re.

Zillions of Games

There is an implementation of Toystore Chess for Zillions of games. You can download it here:

Written by Richard Stack. HTML conversion by Peter Aronson.
WWW page created: July 31st, 2001.