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Types of chess

Currently our catalogue has descriptions of 27 variants of chess. If you know of any other chess variants not described in our catalogue, please, submit your descriptions here and we will be glad to post them on this site, besides, you gain a free 5* status for one month for each new description.


  Fischerandom Chess, Chess 960 The rules coincide with those of classical chess apart from the initial position of the pieces and castling rules. The pawns are placed as in regular chess. The pieces are set up randomly on the condition that two bishops of a player are placed on the opposite-colored squares, and the king is placed somewhere between the rooks. The black pieces are placed equal-and-opposite to the white pieces.
  Battle Chess Players can arrange pieces on their boards in no particular order. After that two halves of the board are brought together, and a battle starts.
  Cylindrical Chess A chess variant, where the chessboard is considered to be a cylinder. The only difference is between «a» and «h» files — these are «connected», thus a player can use them as if «a» file were next to «h» file and vice versa.
  Chess on Round Boards It was played on a round (ring-like) board with 16 squares along the perimeter and 4 squares wide. The pieces moved according to Shatranj rules: the bishop jumped over one square diagonally, pawns did not have a double first step (there was no promotion for pawns), the Queen moved only one diagonal like a Bishop in regular chess.

National Chess Versions

 Russian ChessThe names of the chess pieces (Tavrels) in Russian Chess differ from the conventional ones, but the set of pieces and their movement rules are almost identical. Tavrels are positioned on the chessboard in the same order as their counterparts in the conventional chess. Tavrel movement rules, including castling and en passant capture, as well as the goal of the game - mate, match the conventional ones. Helgi is a special chess piece in Russian Chess.
 Chinese Chess, XiangqiXiangqi is played on a rectangular 9x10 board. As distinct from Western Chess, the pieces are placed on the intersections, but not in the fields. Each player starts the game with the following pieces: 1 King (or General), 2 Guard (or Advisors), 2 Elephants, 2 Horses, 2 Rooks (or Chariots), 2 Cannons and 5 Soldiers.
  Japanese Chess, Shogi Shogi is played on a 9x9 board. Each player starts the game with the following pieces: 1 King, 1 Rook, 1 Bishop, 2 Gold Generals, 2 Silver Generals, 2 Knights , 2 Lances and 9 Pawns. As distinct from Western Chess, all pieces are of the same color and of the same pentahedral shape. The name of the piece shows who controls the piece during play.

Chess Played according to Unusual Rules

 Capablanca ChessThis chess variant was proposed by Jose Raul Capablanca to avoid the «draw death», which in his opinion was expecting chess. Capablanca used a 10x8 board, turned with its 10-square side to the player. He introduced two combined pieces: a Chancellor — combining properties of both Knight and Rook and an Archbishop — which moves as both Knight and Bishop.
 Grand ChessA variant of Capablanca chess proposed by Christian Freeling in 1984. In contrast to Capablanca chess there are two additional ranks in Grand chess, so the game is played on a 10x10 board. There are two new pieces: a Marshall, and a Cardinal.
 Gothic ChessThis game variant was proposed by Ed Trice (patented in 2002). Al rules are identical to Capablanca chess. The only difference is that the Chancellor is placed on the «e» file, while Archbishop is placed on the «g» file. In such position all pawns are protected with pieces.
 Dice ChessThe players alternate moves after having thrown a die. If there is a one — you can only move a pawn, a two — only the King, a three — a Knight, a four — a Bishop, a five — a Rook, and a six — a Queen. If there is no legal move with this piece, the turn is lost.
 Amazon Queen ChessThe Queen can move as in regular chess and as a Knight. This piece is called the Amazon Queen.
 Knight FightAll pieces except pawns and the King are replaced with Knights.
 Super BishopA Bishop can not only move diagonally but also shift one square to a side (perpendicular to its further movement)
 MansubatA Bishop moves only one square diagonally
 Monochrome ChessBoth sides use pieces of the same color. The rules for the initial setup — the Queen likes own colour, the white square must be at the right-hand end of the rank nearest to the player — are optional, the main thing is that the Queens stand opposite to each other.
 Progressive ChessThe game starts with white making one move, then black makes two moves at once, white replies with three consecutive moves, black makes four and so on. There are Italian, English and Scottish variants of the game.
 Billiard ChessA variant of progressive chess, which is played on a billiard chessboard, Bishops and Queens when moving diagonally can bounce off the edge of the board at a right angle and then continue their movement
 Horde ChessThe white side has a standard set of chess pieces, and the black have only a horde — 32 pawns placed in a certain order
 Maharaja ChessThe game has a new piece called Maharaja, which is a combination of a King, a Queen and a Knight. This means that Maharaja moves as both Queen and Knight, but it cannot move to the square under the check (this square is attacked by the opponent), it must just make a move or capture the opponent’s piece.
 Ice Age ChessA new element — an ice cube — is introduced, which works as an obstacle, and pieces (except the King) cannot pass through.
 Checker ChessA mixture of chess and checkers, pieces move only over dark squares of the board. Pawns move as checkers pieces: moving one diagonal square and capture by jumping over one square.

Chess for Several Players

  Xiangqi for three players Opponents’ camps were divided with a river, flowing from the centre in three arms at an 120° angle to each other, and horizontal and vertical lines are no longer straight but polygonal
  Astronomy Chess The game was played on a round board with concentric circles. The sky, astrological signs and planets are the elements of this chess. The planets were placed as in the Ptolemaic system (starting from the centre) — the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. In some parts of the Zodiac starting positions of some planet pieces are denoted.
  Bishops The Queens are placed to the left of the Kings. White move first, then the move is passed on clockwise. A player has to checkmate the king of the left-hand player to win the game.
 Bughouse ChessThe pieces of the opponent, which were captured during play are displayed beneath (or above — depending on the position of the board) the board in the window. The captured pieces are shown in a different colour, as they have become the new pieces of the player, who captured them. These pieces can be placed back onto the board on an empty square, one piece at a move (this replaces one standard chess move).

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