29 Wild Variants of Chess

28 of these wild types came from ICC, internet chess club.

1: White moves one, Black moves two, White moves three etc. Until 20 moves has been reached or checkmate. If 20 moves is reached, stalemate. If you are in check at the begining of your turn, you must move out of it first.

2: Here the usual set of pieces is arranged randomly on the first and eighth ranks. Black's arrangement is always a mirror image of White's. Castling is not allowed.

3: Here the set of pieces itself is randomly chosen (subject to the constraint that there is one king of each color). Black's pieces mirror White's, and castling is not allowed.

4: A random set of pieces is generated. These are placed randomly for white and black, subject to the constraint that the bishops must be balanced.

5: This game is played exactly like regular chess with one twist. All of the pawns are one move from queening. This means that your first move will always be with a knight, because all of the pawns are blocked by your own pieces. The color that you are chosen to play will seem to be on thewrong side of the board, but that's to make it so that your pawns queen at the same place. Ex. If you are white, your first move could be N-f6.

6: Empty position for setting up positions in examine mode.

7: Position: White King d1, pawns a2, b2 and c2, Black: King e8, pawns f7, g7 and h7.

8: The same as normal chess, except the pawns start on the 4th rank instead of the 2nd.

9: There are two kings. You win if you checkmate the king that is closest to the a-file. If both kings are on the same file, you win if you checkmate the one that is closer to rank 1. For example, if your opponent has kings on a7 and c5, you win if you checkmate the king on a7. The other king (on c5, for example) is just an ordinary piece. It can be checked and captured with no consequences. The king you must mate can change during the course of the game.

10: Stronger player handicapped by pawn and move. Black pawn @ f7 missing.

11: Odds of a Knight: Stronger player takes White, and before play begins his N/b1 is removed. From then on, play proceeds normally.

12: Odds of a Rook: Stronger player takes White, and before play begins his R/a1 is removed. From then on, play proceeds normally. Queenside castling with the "ghost" of that Rook is *not* permitted.

13: Odds of a Queen: Stronger player takes White, and before play begins his Queen is removed. From then on, play proceeds normally.

14: Odds of a Rook (variant): Stronger player takes White, and before play begins his R/a1 is removed, *and* his a2 pawn is put on a3. From then on, play proceeds normally. Queenside castling with the "ghost" of that Rook is *not* permitted.

15: Practice mating with a bishop and knight! White gets the pieces.

16: Kriegspiel! You can't see your opponent's pieces! "help Kriegspiel".

17: Loser's chess! You must capture if possible. The goal is to lose all your pieces or get mated. See also wild 26, Giveaway chess.

18: Power Chess! You get 7 queens (and one king and 8 pawns).

19: Mate with two knights against King and pawn. Position: White king g3, Knights h2 and e5, black King g7, pawn e6.

20: A wild to allow positions to be loaded into the game.

21: Same as 20, except it automatically loads from a specific library position.

22: Fischer Random Chess! The usual set of pieces is arranged randomly on the first and eighth ranks, with bishops on opposite colors, and the king between the two rooks, and Black's arrangement a mirror of White's. Castling O-O puts the king at g1 (g8 for Black), the rook at f1 (f8). Castling O-O-O puts the king at c1 (c8), rook at d1 (d8). See "help Fischer-random".

23: Crazyhouse! If you captured a piece earlier, you can place it (as a piece of your color) like in bughouse, as a move.

24: Bughouse! Play with a partner, and use the pieces he captures on you board by "dropping" them onto the board! "help bughouse".

25: Three checks and you win! Double-check only counts as one.

26: Giveaway! You must capture if possible. The king plays no special role and can be captured or left en prise. Pawns can promote to king. Win by losing all your pieces or getting stalemated. See also wild 17, Losers Chess.

27: Atomic! The capturing piece or pawn explodes, destroying itself and any pieces (but not pawns) of either color in a one-square radius. "help atomic".

28: Shatranj! The ancient precursor to chess. See "help Shatranj"

29: Selects another wild at random from wilds 1-28. The game will be rated in the category of the wild selected (if the game is a rated game).


Wild 17 is loser's chess. There are three differences from ordinary chess:

(1) If it is possible to make a capture move, then you must make a capture move.

(2) If all of your pieces are taken (you have a lone king), you win the game.

(3) If you are stalemated or checkmated (in the sense of ordinary chess) you win the game.

Atomic chess (wild 27) is a chess variant in which any capture also destroys the capturing piece (or pawn) and any piece (but NOT pawns) in a one square radius (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal). There is no chain reaction -- only direct captures detonate. For captures en passant, ground-zero of the explosion is the square on the sixth rank upon which the capturing pawn lands.

Win by capturing or destroying your opponent's king without simultaneously destroying your own king. You may not make a move which destroys your own king. Check and checkmate are not recognized; you may move into check, castle out of check, or castle through check.

Bughouse(Siamese chess or double speed chess) is a chess variant with four players and two chess sets. Players partner up in teams of two, and then two teams play each other. When your partner captures pieces on her board, she passes them to you. On your turn, you may either make an ordinary chess move, OR place a piece your partner has given you on any empty square (except no pawns on the first or eighth rank.) Ending the game on one board (by flag or checkmate), ends the game for the other board too.

- Piece-drops with check (or even checkmate) ARE allowed.

- It's not checkmate when there's the possibility of interposition.

- Repetition draws are disabled; you can draw only by agreement.

- Takeback and adjourn are disabled.

Fishbait's bughouse tips. Bert Enderton, 4 December 1995.

Attack and Defense

- Try to keep your opponent in check, so he can't use his pieces.

- Checks which don't permit interposition are especially good.

- Watch for weak squares near the king.

- Watch for holes on the 7th rank, where pawn-plunks can be deadly.

- Don't resign. Your partner may have a chance to win, even when your position is hopeless. And your opponent could always blunder.

- Don't lose. Defend against the mating threats, whatever the cost.

- Play fast when defending. You want to get out of trouble before your opponent gets more material.

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