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Tag Chess

By Robin Wells


Tag Chess is a team Chess variant based on the variant Turnstyle which was published on these pages.


The game is played by the usual rules of orthodox chess, except for who moves which pieces.

Tag Chess is played by two teams of players, two players per side. One player is responsible for moving the pieces on the Queen-side and the other the King-side.

After deciding which member of the team is to move first, that player retains the move for his side as long he uses only the pieces on his side of the board (he may play a piece to his partner's side of the board without relinquishing the move as long as his next move take place with the pieces on his side of the board).

When the moving player for a team decides that the position for his side requires a move from the side of the board that he does not control, he passes the move to his partner. This is accomplished by saying 'Your move' - his partner then has the move using the pieces on his side of the board until he passes the move back again. No other form of comunication is allowed between partners as consultation would spoil the essence of the game which is that playing styles and strategic plans do not always mesh within a partnership, and therefore the stronger players do not always triumph.

The game is best played with a 10 minute or so time control per side. If in the heat of the excitement a player moves with a piece from the side of the board that he does not control, that move is considered invalid. He then immediately passes the move to his partner, but his partner may not play that move - as a form of penalty. Stalemate can not be caused by passing the move to a partner when legal moves are still available on the currently moving player's side.

The game is very popular in my chess club as it is very exciting and bears a close relationship to conventional chess. All the elements of as successful partnership game are in place, and it has the advantage over the mechanical rotation of the move which detracts from Turnstyle.

Written by Robin Wells HTML Conversion by Peter Aronson.
WWW page created: September 5th, 2001.