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This page is written by the game's inventor, Dave Leigh.

Jedi Chess

While driving home with my kids one day, we thought it would be fun to play "Jedi Chess." Since I don't like to duplicate effort, I first Googled the web to see what others had done with regard to rules. What I found was horribly disappointing.

I found that a little hard to believe... here it is, 30 years since filming began on Star Wars, and there's not a single "Jedi Chess" game out there? There's no "Sith Chess" either, and the only "Star Wars Chess" was a knock-off of battle chess that played under standard rules. Obviously this had to be rectified immediately! So, after 30 years of waiting in darkness, here it is! (cue the appropriate fanfare, preferably written by Johnny Williams).

In practice, this game is nothing revolutionary... just a fun modification of Maharajah and the Sepoys. In Maharajah and the Sepoys, the Maharajah can always be beaten. Jedi Chess seems to be a bit more balanced in that regard. At least, I seem to have the same amount of difficulty winning with either side.


White plays a standard Chess army, set up in the normal fashion. In the standard game, Black plays an only Amazon and a Queen, which start on the normal squares for the King and Queen, respectively.


Except for their names, the white pieces are as in standard Chess. But it helps the "flavor" of the game to refer to them here by names inspired by Star Wars: Episode 2.  Thus, the Jedi (White) consist of  Clone Troopers (Pawns); the Padawan (Rook), the Jedi Knight (Knight), The Jedi Adept (Bishop), the Jedi Master (Queen), and the Jedi Grand Master (King).

The Sith (Black) consists of the Sith Master (An Amazon, or Queen+Knight) and the Sith Apprentice (Queen)


1. The Jedi move first. The Jedi are constrained by all the rules of standard Chess with regard to movement, capture, and castling, except...
2. The en passant rule does not apply, as there are no Sith pawns.
3. The goal for the Sith is to checkmate the Jedi Grand Master.
4. The goal for the Jedi is to eliminate checkmate the Sith Master.
5. It is legal for one Sith piece to eliminate the other. For example, a Sith Master in danger of checkmate might escape by capturing his own Apprentice.

Variant #1
("Rebel Chess"): The Sith are powerful with the Dark Side of the force. To balance the game, you may choose to play a weaker Sith Master that combines the moves of a Chess King + Knight (rather than the Queen + Knight).
Variant #2: Same as the standard rules, but if there is no checkmate. The Jedi must capture both Sith to win. If the Sith Master is captured, the Apprentice becomes the Master. I only recommend this variant as a handicap for a weak Sith player playing against an experienced Jedi opponent.


If you're playing the Jedi, sacrifice to eliminate the Apprentice as early as possible. Then play carefully to eliminate the Sith Master.  

Sith play is pretty straightforward... break the Jedi ranks and go "postal."  If you're playing Variant #2, then you may as well hold back the Apprentice, since the Sith Master is devastating, and your Apprentice will be promoted if the Master's captured.

If you have Zillions of Games installed on your computer, you can play this game. Download file: This file does not include Variant #2.

You can also play this game by email.

Written by Dave Leigh. HTML and setup image by Tony Quintanilla. Setup image created using Game Courier.

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 Dave Leigh.
Web page created: 2006-11-14. Web page last updated: 2006-11-14