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

Heavy Gravity Chess

Heavy Gravity Chess popped into my head while I was staring at a vacant chess board. The chessmen are under the influence of heavy gravity... Queens, Bishops, and Rooks can only move up to four spaces per turn. Due to the Heavy Gravity, King's can only move as would an Old Monkey (see rules). Pawns have no initial two-step move.

See notes 1.b and 1.c for Charles Gilman, Joe Joyce, and Jeremy Good's contribution to this game.

The morning after creating the game (8 March 2007) I was informed that Ralph Betza had previously created a similar game [actually 2]. See Notes 3.a and 3.b.

preset location for Heavy Gravity Chess: Heavy Gravity Chess


As in Fide chess; but an Old Monkey replaces the King.


As in Fide Chess* but with move limitations due to heavy gravity.

*We use an Old Monkey to represent the King.


No Castling. No Pawn en passant.

Knights - as in chess, but, cannot jump. Thus, 1 orthoganal move followed by one diagonally move. So Knights can't move if a pawn or piece is orthagonally adjacent (as with Horses in Chinese Chess).

Pawns - As in chess. But no initial two-step. No pawn en passant. Promote, as in Fide chess - But only to Heavy Gravity pieces.

Kings - Move as an Old Monkey - Like an Upside Down "Shogi Silver General." Thus, they can move 1 space diagonal, or one space backward. There is no castling.

Queens, Bishops, Rooks - As in chess... but can never move more than 4 spaces per turn.

Win as in chess... by checkmating your opponent or forcing him [or her] to resign. Draws are possible.


(1.a) The pre-set uses a non-standard piece set to remind players of the limited movements. A special thanks to Jeremy Good who took time to make new "heavy" pieces to be used for this game - pieces that remind the players and observers that "This is not Fide Chess." Thanks, Jeremy.

(1.b) (March 14, 2007) A special thanks to Charles Gilman for suggesting that my original color-bound Ferz was not the best choice for the limited King.

(1.c) (March 14). As a result of Charles Gilman's comment (1.b) and a follow-up discussion with Jeremy Good and Joe Joyce, the King was ultimately replaced by an Old Monkey.

(2) Take note that Kings can be in-line with enemy Queens, Bishops, and/or Rooks, providing that they are at least 5 spaces distant, and still not be in check because those distant pieces would be out of checking range.

(3.a) On 8 March, 2007, Jeremy Good, CV editor, player, game inventor, and friend informed me that Heavy Gravity Chess is similar to Ralph Betza's "Half Chess" (invented March of 2001]. That game is similar to Mr. Betza's "Halfling Chess." I was aware of neither until this morning (March 8). You can read about both Betza games eleswhere in the CV pages. I just looked them up and saw that Ralph Betza kept the Knight move unchanged for his "Hafling Chess;" but in "Half Chess" replaced it with a "Crab of DemiChess."

(3.b) Aside from different Knights [as used in Betza's game and mine - I use a Chinese non-jumping Knight], Pawns and Kings are different. Ralph's King and Pawns, as he stated, "have their fighting power doubled, as compared to FIDE Chess." In Heavy Gravity Chess, to be consistent with the concept of heavy gravity affecting all pieces, the King and Pawns have become weaker than their FIDE counter parts.

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By Gary K. Gifford.

Last revised by H. G. Muller.

Web page created: 2007-03-07. Web page last updated: 2023-09-21