Circular Chess was invented in 1983 by Dave Reynolds. It is not that different from standard chess as far as the rules go. The big difference is the shape of the board, which is a flat donut with a four square width, sixteen square circumference, and squares on the outer rings which are larger than squares on the inner rings.

Circular Chess is known as a chess variant (as opposed to a game all its own), because it doesn't really alter piece movement. The pieces move as they would if the board were a standard chess board, with the exceptions being that no piece can rotate completely around the board to land on the space it was previously occupying, and that if a piece reaches the center circle, it completely crosses it as if it weren't there, and lands on the opposite square across the center circle that is in accordance with its movement. The piece cannot change direction while crossing the center, for the same obvious reasons that the piece cannot change direction in mid-movement any other time, and also because the center is not considered a space. In addition, there is no castling.

The setup for each player is a 'folded' version of the original setup, which is to say, the pieces are set up as if the original board was cut down the middle and each slice were rotated ninety degrees. The queen and king are right next to the center of the circle followed by the bishops, then the knights, and finally both rooks on the outside. A line of four pawns stand to the left and to the right of the center pieces while being in front of them as they would in standard chess.

There are numerous reasons to actually take the time to play Circular Chess (one of the main ones being that it's not square) but one of most liked and least obvious reasons is that on a circular chess board, although very little has changed, absolutely no strategy that was built or used on a square chess board will carry over. This, of course, gives a much needed spray of Febreze to the good ol' game.

As far as Circle Chess' popularity goes, in 1996, thirteen years after Dave Reynolds invented Circular Chess, he started the Circular Chess Society. They are a currently small but always expanding group, and they have been hosting the World Circular Chess Championships since they came together.

For more info on/To join the Circular Chess Society go to

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.