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This page is written by the game's inventor, Doug Chatham.

Bachelor Chess

a 42-Square Variant Contest entry
in which each side tries to find
a Queen for its King


The board has seven files and six ranks and the following initial setup:

The three files to the left (from White's point of view) of the center file are the "Knights' side". The three files on the right side of the center file are the "Bishops' side." If there is a need to distinguish between the two knights or between the two bishops, the knight and bishop that start adjacent to the king are the Near Knight and Near Bishop and the other knight and bishop are the Far Knight and Far Bishop.


  1. Except as otherwise indicated, the rules of ordinary (FIDE) Chess apply to this game.
  2. If a player's King is adjacent to a friendly Queen, that player's King is "married" and the player wins "by marriage".
  3. If a player's King is in check, moving the King or a Queen so that the King and Queen are adjacent is not permitted unless that movement also gets the King out of check according to the rules of ordinary Chess.
  4. If a player's King can become married in the player's next turn, the King is said to be "engaged". It is polite, but not required, to announce to the other player any state of engagement.
  5. Whenever moved onto a square on the sixth rank, any Rook, Bishop, Knight or Queen may promote (or demote) to Queen, Bishop, Rook, or Knight. As in ordinary chess, a Pawn that reaches the final rank must promote.
  6. A Pawn never has the option of moving two squares forward in a single turn, nor is there any en passant capturing.

Sample game

Here is a game that the Zillions of Games engine played against itself. (bachelor.zsg)

(The notation is similar to the algebraic notation used in ordinary chess. Looking at the setup picture above, the ranks are numbered 1 to 6 starting at the bottom rank. The files are labelled alphabetically a through g, starting at White's left. Castling on the "Knights' side" would be denoted O-O, while castling on the "Bishops' side" would be O-O-O. Engagements are denoted by E and marriages by M. All else is as in ordinary chess algebraic notation.)

White Black
2. d2-d3 Kd6-c5
3. e2-e3 d5-d4
4. Kd1-d2 b5-b4
5. d3xc4 Nb6xc4
6. Na3xc4 Be6xc4
7. Nc1-b3+ Kc5-b5
8. Bf1-d3 e5-e4
9. Bd3-f1 d4xe3+
10. Kd2xe3 Bf6xb2
11. Ra1-d1 f5-f4+
12. Ke3xe4 Rg6-e6+
13. Ke4-f5 Bc4xf1=QE
14. Rg1xf1 Re6-f6+
15. Kf5-e4 Kb5-c4
16. Ke4-f3 a5-a4
17. Kf3-e4 a4xb3
18. c2xb3+ Kc4-c5
19. Rd1-b1 Ra6xa2
20. Rb1xb2 Ra2xb2
21. Be1xb4+ Kc5xb4
22. g2-g3 Rb2-e2+
23. Ke4-f3 Rf6-e6
24. g3xf4 Kb4-b5
25. f4xg5 Re2-e1=QE
26. Rf1xe1 Re6xe1=QE
27. g5-g6=QE Qe1-b4M


Here is a Zillions of Games implementation of Bachelor Chess:

Written by Doug Chatham. This game is an entry in the 42-Square Variant Contest.
WWW page created: March 31, 2002.