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


This chess variant features an element of chance, by way of the use of a standard 52 card deck. The cards correspond to the squares on the game's 13x4 rectangular board. 52Chess is my first attempt at inventing a feasible variant which uses playing cards as a feature of it, and the idea of having a board with 52 squares seemed natural to me.



The piece types used in 52Chess are the same six that are used for standard chess.


52Chess uses a standard 52 card deck, in addition to the board and pieces depicted in the setup diagram. At each turn a player draws a card from the deck before moving (after each card draw and completed turn by him, a player's drawn card is put back in the deck and it is re-shuffled, just prior to his opponent making his own one card draw for his given turn). Each card in the deck corresponds to a square on the 52-square board, as depicted in the diagram of the setup. After a player first draws just one card, he then may either teleport an uncaptured piece or pawn of his to that square, if it is unoccupied, with some restrictions, or else he may make a normal move according to the rules of chess (although the goal in 52Chess is to actually capture the enemy king, so it's legal, though not productive, to not get out of check or walk into it). A player must either teleport or move normally each turn, and there is no stalemate in this variant.

The restrictions on teleporting not already mentioned would be that a king can never teleport, and a pawn cannot teleport to the first or last rank, nor can a pawn teleport to a rank behind the one occupied at the moment by the enemy king. Otherwise, it's legal for a player to have 2 or more bishops on the same coloured squares after teleporting.

As in chess, a kind of 50 move draw rule is in effect in 52Chess, except it applies only to there being no captures for 50 consecutive moves (pawn moves being now irrelevant to the rule). Three-fold repetition of a position is a draw, regardless of the card drawn at each move (a card drawn might allow a player by luck to avoid such a drawn game, e.g. by willingly blocking a checking piece with a teleported piece before the 3-fold repetition occurs). There's no draw by perpetual check due to the possibility of teleportation arising, so the game's 50 move rule (or 3-fold repetition of postion rule, if applicable) would be used instead to call it a draw, unless the players agreed to a draw. There's no castling, but double step pawn moves are possible from a player's 2nd or 4th rank (even if a pawn of his was teleported [or moved normally] to there in the past), and en passant capturing is possible in either case.


I'd tentatively estimate the piece values for 52Chess as: P=1; N=B=2; R=5; Q=R+B+P=8 and a K's fighting value=4.9 approx.

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 Kevin Pacey.
Web page created: 2018-11-24. Web page last updated: 2018-11-24