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This page is written by the game's inventor, Gary Gifford.

Binary 1010

Win by one of three methods: (a) checkmating your opponent (b) making it impossible for your opponent to move, or (c) by capturing his King if it is in a (0) OFF state. Pieces change state from OFF(0) to ON(1) and visa-versa. The solid pieces are in an ON state (1) and can move and capture. The light cross-hatched pieces are OFF (0) state and cannot move. On your turn to move, if you (a)have all zero-state pieces and (b) have no pawns to drop (see rules) you lose. See setup and rules. Link to pre-set: /play/pbm/play.php?game%3DBinary+1010%26settings%3Dred_blue


As suggested by the above diagram.

*Each player has 5 pawns "in-hand."  See Rules for use.


As in chess, except pieces are in OFF (0) or ON (1) states of existence. 

Solid pieces equal a "1" binary code and are "ON" or "Activated."  When in a "1" state pieces can move and can capture. They can also be captured.

The light cross-hatched pieces equal a "0" binary code and are "OFF" or "Inactive."  When in a "0" state pieces cannot move, cannot capture, but can be captured.

*Each player has 5 pawns "in-hand."  See Rules for use.

The King is always in a "1" state.**

**It is possible to play the game with the addition of a zero-state King if desired.  If so, place it on the empty square in front of the "1" state King.


Pieces in a "1" state move as in normal chess.  But, upon completion of their move they turn into their binary opposite state (0).  And then a friendly binary counterpart immediately (on the same turn) turns into an active state (1).

Pawns as in Fide chess.  There is pawn enpassant.  

Example Pawn move: The pawn on e2 could move to e3 or e4.  It would then turn into a "0" zero-state and then either (a) any one of the other zero-state pawns would then turn into a "1" one-state, regardless of where it was on the board or (b) you could drop a "1" state pawn [from Pawns in Hand] onto a vacant space in your third row. or (c) neither "a" nor "b" if neither is possible.  But, if one of those actions is possible it must be done.

PAWNS IN HAND.  You can drop a pawn-in hand on an empty space on your THIRD row only.  You can drop a pawn as follows.
(A) If you move a pawn it becomes (0) state, you can then drop a (1) state pawn instead of changing state of one of the on-board pawns.
(B) Instead of moving, if you have a vacant spot on your THIRD rank you can drop a pawn.  This drop can be either of a 0) or (1) state.

Promotion: Pawns promote when they reach the tenth rank.  However, the promoted piece is in zero-state (0) and will need turned ON.

A player may run out of legal moves.  For example. If he moves his last active piece and he has no counterpart, then that piece becomes a binary zero (0) and there is no new one-state that can move on the next turn.  Unless the player had one of their 5 in-hand pawns to drop, they would lose by not being able to move.

A King that is in a Zero (OFF) state can be captured, thus ending the game.
Other ways to end the game are: (a) your opponent cannot move legally (including the ability to drop a pawn); and (b)traditional checkmate. Thus there are three ways to win.


(1) When you move to deliver check (unless it is a discovered check) realize that the piece moved changes to (0) state and so the check is instantly gone.  A player can ignore such a "dead check."

(2) A (0) piece positioned such that it would check a King, if a friendly "sister" piece moves then that (0) piece could become a (1) state piece and the King would then be in check.

(3) If you want to play a version of the game using a zero-state King you can use {_GG_KR} and {_GG_kr} for the (0) red and blue pieces respectively [to match the current pre-set 0-state pieces].

(4) I imagine there are related games and will update these notes with a list of them, their inventors, and dates invented as I come across them.
Note to self: look at Alice Chess, Bario, Doppelganger, Clockwork Orange

(5) I will likely fine-tune these rules and and a sample game before weekend's end; and possibly a problem.  gg (10-16-07)

Development note: I came across this "lost game" on 10-14-07 while cleaning my office.  I came across my sketch for an 8x8 version with notes (that I made on October 23 of 2006).  I have made the board bigger so I could play off of the binary concept (10 x 10  i.e. which looks binary (1010)).  I have also added more pieces than suggested by my original notes.

I have found a few other "lost games" and may be able to add them at some point down the road.

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By Gary K. Gifford.
Web page created: 2007-10-18. Web page last updated: 2007-10-18