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The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Abdul-Rahman Sibahi.

Madness of Kings Chess

In the Ordinary chess game, the kings are completely sane, self-aware, and responsible for their actions (not to mention the other pieces' actions.)

What if the kings had a touch of insanity: that, unpredictably, they move from wherever they are and capture their own queens ? Not only the players have to watch for their opponents, they also have to watch for their kings.


Any setup of any game featuring the ordinary chessmen is fine, whether it was the original, the Fischer Random, the Fortress (with the king on the corner.) Even the setups for 10x10 or 6x6 variants are fine.

My preference is to use the Ordinary 16 pieces on the Ordinary 8x8 squares, using a starting setup different from the original; because, with the king on e1 he is nearer to the center and so he is more dangerous.

The Starting setup I prefer is that of the setup of Diamond Chess by A. K. Porterfield Rynd:

| k | r | b | p |   |   |   |   |
| r | q | n | p |   |   |   |   |
| n | b | p | p |   |   |   |   |
| p | p | p | p |   |   |   |   |
|   |   |   |   | P | P | P | P |
|   |   |   |   | P | P | B | N |
|   |   |   |   | P | N | Q | R |
|   |   |   |   | P | B | R | K |


Another possible starting setup is that of Legan's chess, with or without the stupid two pawns in the center:

| k | n | b | r | p |   |   |   |
| b | q | p | p |   |   |   |   |
| n | p | p |   |   |   |   |   |
| r | p |   | p |   |   |   | P |
| p |   |   |   | P |   | P | R |
|   |   |   |   |   | P | B | N |
|   |   |   |   | P | N | Q | B |
|   |   |   | P | R | B | N | K |


needless to say, the pawns move and promote as they do in these two games.


The only unorthodox piece in this game is the king himself. In addition to his ability to move like a sane, slif-aware king ont step in any direction, he is movable BY THE OPPONENT as well.

However, the opponent's control of the king is more resricted than the owner's. He may only move the king to the second square orthogoanlly (like a dabbabah) or diagonally (like an alfil). The king may NOT jump over pieces. A king on a1, a piece on b2, and the king can't move to c3.

In short words, the king (when being insane) may move as a lame alibaba.


When the king is moved by his owner (being sane) :

1. The standard rules of chess apply. The king may move to any adjacent square. He may not move in check. He may not capture friendly pieces. He may capture hostile pieces.
2. There is no castling.

When the king is moved by the opponent (being insane) :

1. The king moves to the second square on the same rank, file or diagonal. He may not jump over intervening pieces.
2. The king may capture friendly pieces (pieces of the same color), but NOT hostile pieces.
3. The king may place himself in check, but NOT checkmate.
4. Kings may never be on adjacent squares.

Other than that, and the pawn's diagonal movement, the standard rules of chess apply.


As mentioned, players may choose any opening setup in any chess variant (with the standard chess king,) to apply the rules to; even 'Alice Raumschach', for an extreme example, provided the King moves to the second square also triagonally.

The power of lame Alibaba is also optional. It might the power of Ferzes, or (3,0) leapers, or Frogs. As a nice alternative, the chinese Mao sounds.. er.. nice.

It is highly unplaytested. But opens the door for highly interesting tactical games.

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 Abdul-Rahman Sibahi.
Web page created: 2007-01-30. Web page last updated: 2007-01-30