The Chess Variant Pages

Check out Cylindrical Chess, our featured variant for March, 2023.

Zillions of Games file for Karma Chess


Object: Checkmate the opponent's King.
Some Buddhists believe that 'If you have done something good in one life, you come back as something better'.
In Karma Chess a piece that has captured an opponent's piece is turned into one of better quality ('capture-promotion'): A Pawn turns into a Knight, a Knight into a Bishop, a Bishop into a Rook, a Rook into a Queen.
At the end of all re-incarnations you do not reincarnate anymore. Hence a Queen disappears from the board after her first capture!
In variant 2 and 4 of Karma Chess each piece re-incarnates only once.
Variants 3 and 4 have capture-demotion instead of capture-promotion.
Variants 5 to 8 are like variants 1 to 4, but the last level of reincarnation is stable, which means Queen stays a Queen in capture-promotion games, and a Pawn stays a Pawn in capture-demotion games.
Variant 9: All pieces (except the King) promote to Queens after capture.
Variant 10: All pieces (except the King) demote to Pawns after capture.
Apart from this, the standard chess rules apply.
This game originally posted in the Zillions of Games site,;id=542



Download Instructions

The ZRF file and its accompanying graphics are bundled together in a .zip file. These will work with Zillions of Games, a Windows program that will let you play any puzzle or strategy board game you can feed it the rules and graphics for.

Instructions on downloading this Zillions file:

Karma Chess is a Zillions-of-Games file. It is categorized as: Two dimensional, Orthodox chess set but with different capturing rules.

By Karl Scherer.