Chess variants comprise a family of strategy board games that are related to, inspired by, or similar enough to the game we today call Chess . The game we commonly know today was based on earlier games, most immediately the Arabian game of Shatranj, itself descended from the Indian game of Chaturanga. Besides its direct ancestors, Chess has many cousins, the most popular being Shogi (in Japan), Xiangqi (in China), and Janggi (in Korea). The modern game of Chess has also inspired countless variants. Some have been created by Chess champions seeking new challenges. Some have been created by entrepreneurs who have provided commercial sets. Some have been created for fairy Chess problems without any intent of actually playing them. And most have been designed by creative people who like to try out new pieces, new rules, or new ideas.
This site seeks to catalog the vast number of Chess variants created throughout history, as well as to nurture the creation of new variants. Thanks to computers and the internet, it is now easier to play new Chess variants than ever before. We have benefited from Zillions-of-Games, which has allowed us to program and play numerous Chess variants against the computer. And we offer Game Courier, which enables you to play numerous Chess variants against others online, including new games of your own invention. This time in history is a renaissance for Chess variants, and this site is here to share this renaissance with the world.