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Comments by Mark Bates

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Sovereign Chess. Ten neutral armies can be activated on this 16 x 16 board. (16x16, Cells: 256) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
💡📝Mark Bates wrote on Sat, Dec 12, 2020 06:43 AM UTC in reply to Aurelian Florea from 06:06 AM:

I'm simply replying to a comment you made a while problem!

💡📝Mark Bates wrote on Fri, Dec 11, 2020 11:47 PM UTC in reply to Aurelian Florea from Fri Aug 17 2018 09:15 PM:

So...Aurelian, I've been wondering. Why would someone change the rules of a game to discourage what is the key feature of that game?

Sovereign Chess is about the neutral armies, just as we live in a world with hundreds of different cultures, not just our own. When a player tries to win by just using their own pieces, they quickly get overwhelmed by an opponent who uses neutral armies wisely.

I appreciate variants of variants, but this one made me go "Hmmm...". Thanks for the suggestion!

💡📝Mark Bates wrote on Mon, Dec 7, 2020 09:42 PM UTC:

As appreciation to the Chess Variants community, we are offering Sovereign Chess at a 10% discount through the remainder of 2020, if you use the discount code "XMAS2020" at

Thanks for all the great support of chess variants here!

💡📝Mark Bates wrote on Thu, Dec 3, 2020 12:47 AM UTC:

How many chess variants out there use the "pie rule", where one player makes an opening move, and the other player chooses which side to play? In Sovereign Chess, I think this helps neutralize the first-player advantage. Do you agree?

Sovereign Chess Available for Sale[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Mark Bates wrote on Fri, Jun 1, 2018 08:27 PM UTC:

Sovereign Chess is here!

Thank you for this great community, which has contributed to the development of this game! If you would like to pre-order, please do so at .


Mark Bates

Sovereign Chess. Ten neutral armies can be activated on this 16 x 16 board. (16x16, Cells: 256) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
💡📝Mark Bates wrote on Sat, Apr 7, 2018 03:43 AM UTC:

We are less than a month away from delivery of Sovereign Chess, and for those of you who have seen my self-designed, hand-painted prototypes, I am excited to show you that the production set is just as beautiful! The team at Accord International has been a dream to work with, and they have exceeded my highest quality standards for the game.

Pre-orders are available now at!

Sovereign Chess at OrcCon 2018[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Mark Bates wrote on Sun, Feb 4, 2018 11:11 PM UTC:

Sovereign Chess is excited to be at Strategicon in a few weeks for OrcCon 2018! If you are in the Southern California area, we will be at the event on Saturday and Sunday, February 17th and 18th.

We will be demoing the game, as well as introducing the 4-player version, Sovereign Chess Royale! Pre-orders are available now!

Sovereign Chess. Ten neutral armies can be activated on this 16 x 16 board. (16x16, Cells: 256) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
💡📝Mark Bates wrote on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 12:16 AM UTC:


Thanks for your kind comments about the game. Like many variants (and even traditional chess), there can be wild swings for players who aren't used to how the game plays. 

Probably the most important aspect is how the value of a piece changes, based not only on the type of piece, but on how it influences other armies. For example, if a white pawn sits on a red square, and if there is a red piece on an orange square, and if there is an orange piece on an ash (light gray) square--then that white pawn may be the most "valuable" piece in the game!

In playing Sovereign Chess, and watching hundreds of others play it, I think there is the same clarity as traditional chess, although many players would say that they are playing "on an extra dimension". I think the ability to control multiple armies can allow a strong player to take advantage of a mistake quickly, just like a chess GM will always annihilate a lesser player if they have a simple pawn advantage.

As for the pieces and squares, I made the pattern symmetric, and located the squares so that they were not that close to the actual color. This made it easier to create a "chain of control", like the example above.

Let me know if you'd like to play a game online to try it out. Thanks again for your comments!


💡📝Mark Bates wrote on Thu, Jan 4, 2018 06:08 AM UTC:

Sovereign Chess is in production, and pre-orders are available on our website!

This Alpha Edition of the game also includes Sovereign Chess Royale, a 4-player variant of the game. Rules will be uploaded to soon...

💡📝Mark Bates wrote on Mon, Mar 9, 2015 04:52 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★

I have had a few people ask me about adapting the pieces for color-blind players. One solution I have found is by creating small stickers which can be affixed to the pieces and the board, thus helping players see which squares control which armies.

I like the idea of stripes on the pieces because that should be possible for a larger manufacturing company, and I'm open to other suggestions that people have.

Thank you for taking a look at the game, and for helping to make it accessible to a wider audience.

Sovereign Chess on Kickstarter[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Mark Bates wrote on Fri, Feb 13, 2015 02:40 AM UTC:
Sovereign Chess if now on LIVE on Kickstarter:

Our goal is to create this colorful variant for you to have in your home.
Come check us out at Strategicon at the Los Angeles Hilton this weekend,
February 14-15.

Sovereign Chess Rule Update[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Mark Bates wrote on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 04:54 AM UTC:
While we are awaiting the inclusion of Sovereign Chess on this website, we
wanted to direct followers to some minor rule changes we made recently:

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Mark Bates wrote on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 10:37 PM UTC:
Since the content for this game has been removed, and since I have created
a different variant with the same name, is there a way to remove the game,
so I can submit under the same name?


Mark Bates
Creator, Sovereign Chess
[email protected]

EDIT: The old game has been removed, and the associated comments moved
here.  --Ben Reiniger

Game Design[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Mark Bates wrote on Sat, Nov 17, 2012 07:08 AM UTC:

Thank you very much for your help!


Mark Bates

Sovereign Chess[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Mark Bates wrote on Mon, Nov 12, 2012 09:13 PM UTC:
I have developed a large-scale variant which employs pieces of 12 different
colors, using unique mechanics to control multiple armies and checkmate
your opponent!

You can check out the game at

I look forward to your thoughts and comments! Also, if I can be listed as a
contributor, I would be able to post more information about the game
directly to this site.


Mark Bates

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