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

Conquest® and Quest-Chess

Conquest® is a popular board game, designed and marketed by Donald Benge. He designed in 1974 a chess variant, based on principles from Conquest®. Several problems have been composed for Quest-Chess, and two Quest-Chess problem solving competitions have been held, one with several thousands of dollars of prizes. Below, you can read Donald Benge's description of Quest-Chess.

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by Donald Benge

Quest Chess is played with a standard chess set. The pieces move the same as in regular chess. White begins by moving five different pieces, after which each player makes up to ten moves per turn. No piece may be moved more than once during your turn unless that piece has first made a capture or has moved to create a check. You may pass your turn any time after making one move.

If you make a capture, you must stop and allow your opponent one move to take your piece which made the capture. This retaliatory defensive capture is called a "recapture" and is a free option. He may make one move to recapture, in any way possible, or he may refuse to recapture. After the recapture, or refusal to recapture, you continue on with the rest of your ten moves and the piece which made the capture may be moved again on that turn.

If you create a check, your opponent must immediately make one move to get out of check. He may move his king, interpose, or capture the checking piece. You then continue on with the rest of your ten moves and the piece which moved to create the check may move again on that turn. In case of a double check or a discovered check, it is the piece which moved to create the check that is regenerated.

If you capture or check on the last move of your turn, your opponent does not have a free response, but must immediately start counting his moves. Thus, if you put your opponent in check on your tenth move, or on any move and then pass, your opponent must use the first move of his turn to get out of check. If you make a capture and pass, your opponent can not make a recapture.

If you move a pawn two spaces passing your opponent's pawn on the fifth rank, you must allow him the chance to capture en passant. When a pawn is promoted to a major piece, that "new" piece may be moved on that turn. Castling is a king's move. If you castle, the rook may still move, but not the king.

You may not make a move which exposes your king to check. regardless of whether the checking piece has previously moved. If your opponent puts you in check during your turn by a recapture or by a response to your check, and your only way out of check is to move a piece that has previously moved on that turn, you may then make any move necessary to get out of check. However, if you can get out of check by moving a previously unmoved piece, you must take that alternative.

You play to checkmate your opponent's king. When the king cannot get of check in one move, he is checkmated. Sometimes checkmate will occur on a recapture or response to a check. A draw occurs when: ten consecutive turns are made without moving a pawn and without a capture; the same position occurs three times with the same player on the move; when a player cannot make at least one legal move on his turn.

© Copyright 1974, 1977 by D.Benge


I devised QUEST-CHESS simply by taking the rules to CONQUEST® and adapting them to the chess board. You will find CONQUEST® is much more fun in that you make twenty moves per turn on a land and sea map wherein soldiers can mount elephants and chariots to get a free ride which in turn can board ships and galleons and do battle at sea. The rules are as simple as chess with no element of luck. CONQUEST© is to chess as chess is to checkers.

Rules to CONQUEST® are available in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Swedish. If you are on the internet, you can find the Conquest® web page at: < > You can download a computer version of the 2-player game and you will find instructions on how to use the program to play via email.

Donald Benge
1122 W. Burbank Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91506

Written by Donald Benge. Introduction written by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: August 11, 1998. Last modified: August 12, 1998.