The Chess Variant Pages

Check out Cylindrical Chess, our featured variant for March, 2023.


This page contains one or more presets for playing a game online with Game Courier, an online server for playing Chess variants by correspondence.

In Chess256 (Randompawns Chess) the opening setup for the pawns is chosen randomly while satisfying the condition that the pawns must be either placed on the second or third rank. There are 256 possible configurations. All of them are sound and balanced, and fully playable. Black's setup mirrors white's. In all other respects this game is the same as orthodox chess. The opening setup for the pieces on the first rank is the same as in orthodox chess. This is convenient, as chessplayers will feel immediately at home.

Chess256 was created as an answer to the problem of opening monotony in standard chess, which threatens to stifle spontaneous creativity in chess. The pawn army is the soul of the chessboard, and the strategical aspects depend strongly on the setup of the pawns. Such variability arouses enthusiasm for the game, unlike the tedium of opening study in orthodox chess. The randomization of the pawn chain implies a thourough kill of opening theory (except in one case of 256). This variant could be ideal for chess training. In the following preset the rules are enforced. The pawns are randomly dropped when the game is started. To make a move, you can click on the piece. At pawn promotion the player is asked about promotion piece.

Chess256 (big graphics)

Chess256 (small graphics)

You can also download a Zillions implementation here.

See also my other Game Courier presets.

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By M Winther.
Web page created: 2006-06-13. Web page last updated: 2006-06-13