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The Chess Variant Pages

Refusal Chess

There is some debate over the origins of this game; most likely, this game has been invented by by Fred Galvin in 1958. A closely related variant to this game is Compromise Chess. Compromise Chess is the one of the two that is more suited for correspondence games, while Refusal Chess is more suited for face-to-face play. The game is both suited for a serious game, as for fun.

See also:


All rules are as in normal chess, except for the following: each turn, a player has the right to refuse at most one move of the opponent. For instance, if white starts with e2-e4, black may refuse and then white must select another move. This second move cannot be rejected by black.

Two moves, both promoting the same pawn, but to a different type of piece, count as two different moves. If a player has only one legal move, this move must be accepted.

Written by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: 1995 or 1996. Last modified: April 20, 1998.