The Chess Variant Pages

Check out Marseillais Chess, our featured variant for February, 2024.

This page is written by the game's inventor, Adrian Alvarez de la Campa.

Retreating Chess

In this variant, pieces must retreat back one square after their normal move. This simple rule changes gameplay considerably. For example, a Bishop changes its square color whenever it can move and retreat. Another consequence is that Pawns now tend to defend each other side by side instead of in the usual diagonal structure.


As in orthodox chess.


The only piece that is revamped for this game is the Pawn. It still captures one square diagonally forward, but now leaps two squares forward instead of its normal forward movement.


Follow all normal chess rules and the following additions.

1. After its normal move, a piece must "retreat" if possible: it must move one square south (towards its owner). A piece retreats only if this square is empty.

2. The "normal" part of a move must be legal. This means that a King cannot move into check on the first part of its move.

3. Pieces have a special way of moving to the final rank. They can move as if there was a ninth rank and could then retreat back to the eight rank. For example, a white Knight at f7 could move to e8.


For an example of gameplay, see this game log

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 Adrian Alvarez de la Campa.
Web page created: 2006-10-25. Web page last updated: 2013-07-22