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This page is written by the game's inventor, Terry Jones.

Ascending the Throne

by Terry H Jones

"The King is dead. Long live the King!"


I suppose it comes from being raised in 20th century America, but the idea of an army fighting and dieing for a king is a little distasteful. But for a cause or country that outlives the ruler - that's different! That's the idea I want to bring to this variant. Kings are considered more as field generals that the cause of conflict, and the body will outlive the death of the head.


  1. King's are subject to actual capture, not just the threat thereof.

  2. Immediately upon the capture of a player's King, he may continue the game by having another piece ascend to the throne and becomes the new King. This ascension takes place immediately and does not alter turn order. (These are practical chess-people; chain of command has already been determined, and there's no time wasted on foolishness like coronation ceremonies.) The captured player specifies which of his remaining pieces will ascend to the throne (see below for order of ascension), and the capturing player replaces that piece with the previously captured king.

  3. Rank for ascending the throne are as follows:
    • Queen
    • Rook
    • Bishop
    • Knight

    That is, if the player has a Queen available, the Queen becomes the new King. If no Queen is available, but a Rook is available, a Rook becomes the new King, etc.

    If a player has two (2) or more Queens, Rooks, Bishops or Knights, he may choose which one ascends to the throne.

    This list obviously assumes the players are using FIDE chess movements and rules. Players using variant pieces (Camels, Dabbabahs, Yawns, etc.) should agree beforehand on the order of ascension.

  4. Pawns may not ascend the throne. However, pawns may, as usual, be promoted to Queen, Rook, Bishop or Knight by reaching the opponent's back rank. These newly created Queens, Rooks, Bishops or Knights take their place in the ascension order just like any other.

  5. A piece may be promoted even if it is immediately placed in check.

  6. A player is only forced to resign / lose if he has no remaining pieces available to ascend the throne.
Index of Terry H. Jones website | email: (email removed contact us for address) .com | © 1997 by Terry H Jones


The idea is not entirely new: I recall to have seen something similar in the Encyclopedia of Chess Variants, although not in this form. While the rules are not entirely clear, I assume that a royal piece has the moves of a king, i.e., when your king is taken, your queen now can move at most one square in any direction. A fine point: I would assume that only the original king can castle.
Written by Terry H. Jones. Copied from Terry Jones original site with his permission.
WWW page (copy) made September 8, 1997.