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This page is written by the game's inventor, (zzo38) A. Black.

Chess with wickets


Same as FIDE chess.


All pieces are like FIDE chess, with one new piece, called a Ball (O). There is no Ball on the board at first, and the Ball cannot move/capture.


Like FIDE chess, but as follows:

  1. Behind each King's 1 is a new square called the "wicket". It is vacant at the start of the game. Wickets is notated w0 for White's wicket, w9 for Black's wicket. In descriptive notation, your own wicket is K0 and your opponent's wicket is K9.
  2. At the beginning of the game, designate King as Ball-haver and Queen as Defender.
  3. Your own wicket can be entered only by your own Defender and by your opponent's Ball-haver. (It is also possible for a Ball to be in a wicket.)
  4. After a Ball-haver moves, it can throw the ball as a Queen's move, where it must touch another one of your own pieces other than a Defender, or a vacant cell. If the ball thrown to a vacant space, put the opponent's (not your own) Ball on that space. If ball thrown to one of your other pieces, that piece now becomes the Ball-haver. Either way, the piece that moved is no longer a Ball-haver.
  5. The Ball-haver special action described above is optional.
  6. Promoted pawns retain their Defender/Ball-haver status.
  7. In case of castling, if either the King or Rook is Ball-haver, either of them can make the Ball-haver special action, or one can move the ball to the other and have it make that action.
  8. If a Ball-haver is captured, the player making the capture must place the Ball on any adjacent vacant space. If they cannot, they are not permitted to make that capture, with the exception that you are allowed to capture the King in this way without placing the Ball (because it is checkmate).
  9. Defenders cannot capture Balls.
  10. A piece capturing a Ball becomes a Ball-haver.
  11. Any piece in the wickets does not give check.
  12. If a Defender is captured, the player whose Defender was captured must immediately call one of their other pieces that still remains the Defender. They are not allowed to call a Ball-haver also the Defender. If this is impossible, the player with no Defender loses the game.
  13. If you manage to make a Ball-haver move the ball into the opponent's wicket, make the decision (see below) whether you "take the wicket". If you succeed, remove their Defender from the board (if it is the King, they lose instantly) and then they select a new Defender according to the rules above. (It doesn't count if the Ball-haver moves into the opponent's wicket; you have to move the Ball-haver and have it put the ball there.)
  14. It is permitted for any of your non-Defender piece to move into opponent's wicket if it contains a Ball you can capture, thus making that piece the Ball-haver.
  15. Any piece that captures the Ball is not allowed to make a ball's move on the same turn.
  16. If the King is in the wicket, it can still be checked/checkmated by other pieces.

There are three ways for decisions: Cards, Dice, Deterministic. Decide which one before the game starts.

Cards: Each player gets ten cards from a shuffled deck of forty cards (use a South Italian deck (or Italo-Spanish, or Spanish deck) or remove the face cards from a standard deck). You are not allowed to see your opponent's cards. Aces are low. To make decision, the player making the move plays any card. The opponent then must follow suit if able, otherwise can play any card. You succeed if your card is higher number than opponent's card. If it is the same number, you have to both play another card. If the opponent's Defender can see their own wicket (meaning is guarding it as its capturing move), then the opponent gets +2.5 bonus to whatever card they play. After a card is played, you must immediately draw a replacement from the deck. If there is no more left, remix the discards into the deck so that you can draw another one.

Dice: To make decision, roll the dice 1d6. If the opponent's Defender cannot see their wicket, you need a number 3 to 6, if they can, then you need a number 5 or 6 only.

Deterministic: You always succeed if they cannot see a wicket. If they can, then you must sacrifice three of your own pieces other than King or Defender (remove them from the board) in order to succeed.

Cards II: Same as Cards above but if you fail you can try again a second time on the same turn (you only get one additional chance, however).

Dice II: Same as Dice above but if you fail you can sacrifice one of your own pieces other than King or Defender (remove it from the board) and try again a second time on the same turn (you only get one additional chance, however).

Deterministic II: You always succeed if they cannot see a wicket. If they can, then you must sacrifice two of your own pieces other than King or Defender (remove them from the board) in order to succeed.


You can indicate Defender by your own color of checkers, Ball-haver by opponent color of checkers, and Ball by checkers by itself. The wicket can just be the space off of the board, near the King's 1 square (when I played, I used face-down dominoes to see more easily where it is; another way would be draw pencil marks there).

Also note that the Rook can never be the Ball-haver before castling, because if it is, the King must have moved already and therefore you are not allowed to castle.

If there is similar game with Cannon, then the Ball could be used as the screen for Cannon, even.

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By (zzo38) A. Black.
Web page created: 2011-04-15. Web page last updated: 2011-04-15