The Best Chess Variations | Part 2

Chess VariationsYou are looking for changes in playing tactics and are tired of playing only classical chess all the time? Beginning today, Chessimo will introduce you to five interesting variations of classical checkmate, one every month. You can easily try them out at home and will still practice all fundamental skills for progress in your classical variations.

In Part 1 we focused on Chess960 / Fischer Random Chess, Casablanca Chess, Andernach-Chess, Nuclear Chess, and Soccer Chess. Today, we have another five variations for you to try out.

1. Maharajah Chess

The variation Maharajah treats the two opponents differently: While White plays with all chess pieces in accordance with the usual rule set, Black can only use the King and, depending on the player’s skill level, three (professional) or six (beginner) Pawns. These are lined up on the d, e, and f lines, and expanding to the b and g line in the case of a beginner playing. The specialty:  Black can always perform two moves in a row, in which the King may even move beyond checkmate, if it is not checkmated after the second move. Black may also give check in the first of its two moves and finally checkmate the White King in the second move. Furthermore, Black may checkmate White with its King.

2. Crowded Chess

Usual chess set and positions, all usual moves are allowed. The specialty: Both players are allowed to move every single one of his chess pieces once during his turn.  In other words, one player can make up to sixteen moves in one turn, though is not forced to move every singly chess piece. The variation creates extraordinary positioning that encourages the players to engage in the game with especially farsighted thinking.

3.Coin Chess

This variation begins with placing a coin in the square e4. The usual set of rules applies. Both players always move a chess piece and the coin during their turn. The coin must move into the same direction and distance as the chosen piece. One can only perform moves that allow the coin to stay on the board, on a free square. The coin is always moved prior to the chess piece, so that the piece can be placed on the coin’s previous position; but not vice versa. Loser is who can perform no further legitimate move.

4. Robbers‘ Chess

In Robbers‘ Chess there is neither giving chess nor checkmating. The King is treated like every other chess piece which allows the players to turn their Pawns into Kings. It is the games declared goal to first lose all pieces. Every move is under obligation of capture – meaning that one must eliminate a figure if he has the opportunity to.

5. Follow Up Chess

With every move one must cover the very square that the opponent just left unoccupied after his move. Only if doing so is absolutely impossible, a player may choose a “free” move. It is allowed to move the own King into checkmate or leave it there – a clever move if the opponent is then forced to move a figure onto a recently left square. Follow Up Chess requires a high degree of farsighted thinking. Sequences of moves that are well thought though, can trigger a chain reaction of scoring, and at the same time, one small mistake can lead to quick loss of the entire duel.

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe