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Contest to design a chess variant on 43 squares

The winners have been announced:
First: Duel Chess, by Erez Schatz
Second: Voidrider Chess, by Fergus Duniho
Third: Diminuendo Chess, by David Jagger
Fourth: Opposition Chess, by Uri Bruck
Fifth: Rook Mania, by Jared B. McComb


A contest will be held, in which you can participate. The aim of the contest is to design a chess variant on a board with exactly 43 squares. Read here more about the history, the rules, and the prizes to win.

We have hosted nine previous variant design contests. Our first was held from October 1997 until April 1998: the task was to design a chess variant on a board with 38 squares. That contest was inspired by chess variants designed for Hans Bodlaender's 37th birthday, and an early one for his 38th birthday by Eric Greenwood.

In 1998-1999, there was a follow-up contest for designs on a 39 square board, and an annual tradition was born. We have also irregularly held contests on other themes.

The original tradition continues...hence now we have a contest to design a chess variant on a board with exactly 43 squares.

The challenge

Design a chess variant on a board of exactly 43 squares.

Skip to rules

Competing entries

  1. Bipartite Chess. By Timothy R. Newton.
  2. Trubix-43. By David Short.
  3. Voidrider Chess. By Fergus Duniho. 2nd place winner.
  4. Asteryx Chess. By David Jagger.
  5. Fleap. By Gavin King.
  6. Infantry Chess. By Erez Schatz. Finalist.
  7. Motorotor Chess. By Gavin King.
  8. Duel Chess. By Erez Schatz. 1st place winner.
  9. Opposition Chess. By Uri Bruck. 4th place winner.
  10. Diplomat Chess. By Carlos Martin-Fuertes Moreno. Finalist.
  11. Rook Mania. By Jared B. McComb. 5th place winner.
  12. Outer Space Chess. By Nicholas Kuschinski.
  13. Pocket Polypiece Chess 43. By Antoine Fourrière. Finalist.
  14. Chestria. By Jared B. McComb.
  15. Diminuendo Chess. By David Jagger. 3rd place winner.

Non-competing entries

  1. Ziggurat. By Glenn Overby.
  2. Hopgi. By Peter Aronson.
  3. Keltic Chess. By David Jagger.

The Rules of the Metagame

To participate, design a game that is a chess variant and that is played on a board of exactly 43 squares, and send the rules to the Chess Variant Pages at

before April 15, 2003.

You can also send entries on paper to Hans Bodlaender, Nedercamp 26, 3992 RP Houten, the Netherlands.

  1. The notion of square can be interpreted broadly, and is meant to denote any cell that can contain a piece. So, e.g., variants with hexagonal cells are acceptable.
  2. In your entry, you may, if you want, also include a few sample games, comments, etc.
  3. If you submit a game, you should send the description of the game (either in html, MS Word, or text-format, with or without added pictures), i.e., it is insufficient to have the game on your own website and send the URL.
  4. Hans Bodlaender and Glenn Overby are preliminary judges. Submissions to the contest that are not a chess variant, not a game, not played on a board with 43 squares (or other types of `cells'), or are deemed unsuitable for publication on the Chess Variant Pages for other reasons will be rejected in a preliminary round. Other submissions will be published on The Chess Variant Pages.
  5. A participant may submit at most two competing entries. If you submit two designs, please make them very different from each other.
  6. For the first time in recent annual XXXX-1960 contests, the winners will be selected by a two round poll of Chess Variant Pages readers. See Polling below.
  7. By participating, you give us an unrevokable permission to publish what you send, in original or edited form, on The Chess Variant Pages and its offline versions. Copyright remains with the author, and you keep the right for publication elsewhere. However, you cannot request to remove your game from our website, and requests to remove your game will not be granted, even when you did not win a prize in the contest.
  8. An entry having its own variants will have only its 'main variant' judged.
  9. We offer the following tips: Mention games that have inspired you. Write correct English, and be clear and complete in giving rules. You may assume familiarity with the rules of standard chess. (For instance, you can write sentences like: Knights move like in orthodox chess. The purpose of the game is to mate the opponent's General. Stalemated players lose the game.)


  1. The first round of voting will take place from May 1, 2003 through June 30, 2003. All readers of The Chess Variant Pages may vote.
  2. Your vote should be emailed to:
  3. Voters may vote for up to 15 games, in order of merit. Voters may also vote for just one game, or for any number in between. (But see the next two rules.)
  4. Any entrant who does not vote for at least ten games in round one will have his or her own entries eliminated from further consideration.
  5. Entrants shall not vote for their own games.
  6. Any ballot which does not provide the name and a verifiable email address for the voter, or which shows other evidence of attempted fraud, will be discarded.
  7. A multi-round Transferable Vote system will be used to count the ballots and name eight games as finalists.

Second Round Poll

  1. The second round of voting will take place from July 15 through August 15, 2003, in the same fashion except:
    1. Voters will vote for up to six games from the eight finalists.
    2. A multi-round Condorcet counting process will select the winners.
  2. The top five games in the second round will be awarded prizes, which will be announced on September 1, 2003.


To be announced on September 1, 2003 or sooner.

Submission format

What else?

If you have questions or concerns, write to Glenn Overby or Hans Bodlaender (see the feedback page).