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Chessgi is a game, that has been reinvented many times. Pritchard writes that a variant like this has already been played in 1827. The name Chessgi, under which this game is now played in NOST and AISE, was introduced by Ralph Betza.

Other names for this game as Drop Chess, Mad Mate, Reinforcement Chess, Turnabout Chess, Schizo Chess, and Neo-Chess. The latter was a commercial variant, where each piece was a small cylinder, of various heights for different pieces. The symbol of the piece was shown on the upper and lower flat side of the cylinder, on one side in white, on the other side in black.

Pritchard states that Edmondson, Larsen, Spassky, and Petrosan have played this game.

Chessgi can be played on-line on MEWIS: an Internet Chess Server dedicated to chess variants. On that server, it is known under the name crazyhouse.


All rules of normal chess apply, except for the following rule, which seems to be borrowed from Shogi: when a piece is taken, it changes sides, and is available for the other player to be `parachuted', or `dropped' on the board. A player may drop a piece instead of a normal move. The only restriction on dropping is that a pawn may not be dropped on the 8th rank.

For instance, when white takes a black knight, he can drop a white knight in some later turn.

Promoted pieces take their rank after being taken. For instance, if a white pawn promotes to queen, and this queen is taken, black has a queen available for dropping. This is unlike the rule in Shogi.

Play It!

Use Zillions of Games to play this game! If you have Zillions of Games installed, you can download this game and play it.

The marble board pictured here was added to the ZRF March 20, 2001.

Written by Hans Bodlaender, based upon information of Ralph Betza, and from Pritchard's Encyclopedia of Chess Variants.
Last modified: March 20, 2001.