Check out Chess with Different Armies, our featured variant for July, 2024.

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


Chazz is a chess variant, invented by David Moeser in 1970 in Cincinnatti, USA.


Chazz is a simple game to play. The initial position consists of only one King and eight pawns for each side. (See diagram.)

King e1; Pawn a2, b2, c2, d2, e2, f2, g2, h2.

King e8; Pawn a7, b7, c7, d7, e7, f7, g7, h7.

Like Regular Chess, the object of the game is to checkmate the opposing King. However, there are a couple of special rules:

  1. Pawns are allowed to move backwards. *NOT* to capture backwards (either diagonally or on the file), but only to move backwards. And that retreat can be only one square at a time no double-jumping to the rear is allowed. Moving back to the first rank is legal.
  2. Promotion occurs only on the eighth rank, of course, but can only be to a Rook, Bishop, or Knight. Promotion to Queens is not allowed.
  3. Pawns always have the possibility to make a double step forwards when on the second row at their side of the board. Also, pawns on the first row of the board may make a double step forwards. So, white might move at his first four moves as follows: b2-b1; b1-b3; b3-b2; b2-b4.

Otherwise all rules are as in Regular Chess.

Written by David Moeser, (some editing and figure by Hans Bodlaender).
WWW page made: June 9, 1997.