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The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Alfred Pfeiffer.


This game was invented by Alfred Pfeiffer, 1997/1998. ed.

The name "CHESSNIM" is the composition of the words "CHESS" and "NIM".

"Nim" is a category of games, were the players have to reduce an given amount of items to zero and the player who does the last move wins. In this game the items to reduce are the "free" fields of the board (i.e., the empty squares that are not attacked by any piece.

The game is realized with the chess-typical material, but the pieces are to be dropped on the board, not to be moved.


A field is called "free" if it is empty and not threatened by any piece.
The goal of the game is to be be the last who dropped a piece.


  1. The players choose a board to play on it (by lots or by an agreement). If nothing is declared use the standard board (8x8).
  2. The players choose a set of pieces to play with it. If nothing is declared use the standard set of the normal chess game.

    Instead of or additional to the normal chess set you may use any number and types of pieces (from other chess variants or fairy chess). Also an unlimited number of pieces is possible.
    The king is an ordinary piece without any special "royal" properties. This game has no concept of "check", "mate" etc.
    Pawns are allowed to be dropped to the first rank of the board (seen from the side of the dropping player).
    In case of boards with holes should be valid (if nothing else is agreed): Jumping pieces (knight, alfil, nightrider, dabbaba, ...) attack over the non-existing squares, other (sliding) pieces do not so.

  3. At the beginning of the game the board is empty. The white player starts by dropping one of his pieces on the board. In the following the players drop alternately a piece to an empty square.
  4. The player who has the duty to drop a piece has to fulfil the following condition:
    The number of free squares after his drop must be less than before the drop.
    If he reduced the number of free squares to zero he has won.
  5. A player loses the game if he cannot make a drop according to the above rule.


Board:  Standard ( 8 x 8 )
Pieces:   Kings only (unlimited number)

1.   b7  e7
2.   g7  g4
3.   d4  b4
4.   b2  c3
5.   f3  f1!
6.   d2  h2
Black won!

Written by Alfred Pfeiffer, Jan. 1998. Two editioral comments added by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: February 2, 1998.