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This page is written by the game's inventor, Gary Gifford.

Fighting Kings

Fighting Kings was inspired by the Short Range Project by Joe Joyce and Christine Bagley-Jones.

From this rules page a sister game, "Fighting Kings and Throne Kings" can also be understood and played (see Notes).

It is likely that many chess players do not think of the King as a "short range" fighting piece due to his royal status. He is the King, he moves 1 space, and that is that. The move-limited, but extremely important King, typically gets to fight only in the late middle game. Thus his battling capabilities are seldom witnessed.

So, I have created these simple variants. They allow Fighting Kings to bravely enter battle from square 1 (actually, from square 2), from the very start of the game with no fear of check or checkmate; at least, not to them.

LINK to "Fighting Kings" Preset: /play/pbm/play.php?game%3DFighting+Kings%26settings%3DJPG-fk

LINK to "Fighting and Throne Kings" Preset: /play/pbm/play.php?game%3DFighting+Kings+and+Throne+Kings%26settings%3DJPG-fkTK


As in Fide Chess; except...
a) put Fighting Kings at E2 and E7.
b) add a normal pawn to e3 and e6
c) ** put a pawn of different appearance at E1 and E8. These are Royal Pawns which can be checked and checkmated.

** For Fighting Kings and Throne Kings a Royal Pawn is not used. Instead, the normal Fide King is used and you will need a different looking King to represent the Fighting King.


As in Fide Chess. Except Royal Pawns** on E1 and E8 are now what need to be protected (yours) and checkmated (your opponent's). And the Kings are "Fighting Kings" that have no fear of check or checkmate.

** In the "Throne" version the standard fide King remains and the Royal Pawn is not used.


As in Fide Chess except:

1. The "Royal Pawns" (on E1 and E8) an be checked and checkmated.
2. The Royal Pawns can castle (as Kings do in Fide Chess).
3. Royal Pawns can only move one space while on their first rank.
4. Royal Pawns can move 1 or 2 spaces while on their second rank.
5. You cannot move a Royal Pawn such that it can be captured, this includes being captured by Pawn En Passant.
6. Royal Pawns cannot promote. When they reach the last rank they become imobile and are quite vulnerable.
7. The Pawns on e3 and e6 have no initial 2-move step.
8. The Kings are fighting Kings. Checks and checkmates do not apply to them. If captured, the game continues just as if you had lost a Knight, Bishop, etc.


Due to the very limited mobility of the Royal Pawn, checkmates are easier to deliver and thus more difficult to escape.

A significant variation of this game is "Fighting Kings and Throne Kings." That setup is achieved by swapping out the Royal Pawn with a traditional King. No special rules are needed, just the setup as in this game, but with the true Kings at E1 and E8.

Because games can be rated there is a separate preset for each game.

Other notes to be added depending on questions received.

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 Gary K. Gifford.

Last revised by H. G. Muller.

Web page created: 2006-10-19. Web page last updated: 2023-09-18