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Chess Variants

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Anyone who knows chess and is quite good at it, may be interested in trying out some other chess variants using rules based on the common ones which give the game a new flavour. Here are some of the most common wild-type chess mutants given in order of difficulty.

Dice Chess

The aim of the game is as usual to capture the opponent's king. The basic rules of making moves are valid, except for the fact that it is no longer necessary to move out of a check or to avoid moving into a check.

Every piece is connected to a number of the dice, eg one for the pawn, two for the knight, three for the bishop, four for the rook, five for the queen and finally six for the king. The dice is rolled now in turns and the number thrown indicates the piece the player must move. If the player isn't able to move that particular piece, because he no longer possesses it or because the piece is boxed in, he is forced to wait a turn. The one who first manages to capture the other one's king wins the game.

This game is especially for people who don't want to think too hard on their moves or for two players whose difference in knowledge about the original game is too big to play an interesting game.

Tandem Chess

Tandem Chess is played on two boards with four players - two players making up one team. Each team is white on one board and black on the other. The two games start independently from each other following the common chess rules, until at one board someone is able to capture a piece. The player can then pass this piece to his teammate who can use it as one of his or her own figurines on the other board. This piece can be placed anywhere on the board and this act counts as the player's normal move. Note: pawns may not be placed on the first or last rank.

The team who first manages to decide a game at one board wins the whole tournament. This is especially funny when playing in a group of weird chess people.

Atomic Chess

Atomic Chess is played with common chess rules. The only small difference is that when capturing a piece the captor will vanish as well as all pieces that stand on the eight fields in the neighbourhood of the field of capture. The one who first manages to blow up the opponent's king has won.

This variant is very interesting for people who don't appreciate games going on for longer than 20 moves.

Coin Chess

The game is exactly as original chess except for a coin that is at first placed on the field e4 or d4 when starting to play. Every move a piece makes (no matter from what side), the coin must make too, eg if you play g1 to f3 in your first move of the game, the coin will move from e4 to d6. Moves that lead to fields the coin can't occupy because there is already a piece on it, are not allowed. The winner is the one who first achieves mate (pay attention to the coin rule!).

This game is very tricky and can lead to long thinking periods - so only start this if you have plenty of spare time.

Help Chess

Again there are teams of two competing against each other, but this time on just one board. The move is divided into determining a piece and actually moving this piece. One player always has to determine a kind of piece (eg bishop), and the other player has to move. The interesting thing in this game is that you are not allowed to tell your plans to your teammate.

This is a game for people who know each other quite well and don't tend to blame the other for not following their own plans!

Robbery Chess

Also known as Suicide Chess, the main aim of this game is to be the first to be rid of your pieces. If one player is able to capture a piece of the opponent he has to do so. At least he can choose what piece to capture if there are more than one opportunities. The king isn't of any more worth than any other piece, so the game won't end if the king is captured and most games will end with a knight against two pawns endgame or something like that. The winner is the one who loses all his pieces first.

This is a totally different kind of chess playing so it will take a lot of time to really find the best strategy.

Veto Chess

The game is played with normal chess rules, except that the players have the opportunity to prohibit one move of the opponent in each turn. The opponent then has to make another move that the other one must accept. In return now the second player may forbid the first player to do his move and so on. The players don't have to use their right of revising a move, but they also can't 'save' this right for later turns.

This is even more tricky then Coin Chess because you really have to think twice on your next moves if you don't want to lose quickly.

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