Check out Chess with Different Armies, our featured variant for July, 2024.

This page is written by the game's inventor, Ed Pegg Jr..

Letter Chess

Ed Pegg Jr. writes on his website,
I've been reading through my copy of Encyclopedia of Chess Variants by D. B. Pritchard. This is an excellent book, I recommend it highly. I came up with a new concept that might make an interesting game. Part of the problem with new pieces is remembering how they all move. In Letter Chess, each piece can be considered at the center of a 5x5 square. The piece can move from the central square to any of the indicated black squares. These were the letters that looked the best, to my eyes. Shiatzu is a form of massage, by the way.


The game is played by two players on a board of 7 by 7 squares. Rules are as in orthodox chess, except that pieces move as indicated by their diagram. E.g., the letter T piece can move either one or two squares vertically or make a knight jump in the narrow forwards directions or jump two squares diagonally forwards.

The piece with the letter A is considered to take the role of king (I assume), i.e., mating that piece is purpose of the game. Stalemate rules are as in orthodox chess; there is no castling or en passant capture.



The setup as given by Ed Pegg Jr. is of course not the only possible to make with these kind of `Letter Pieces'; different setups are possible, and perhaps some readers can think up some nice ones? E.g., are there fair setups where players have different armies but the two words also mean something opposite? (Would Shogi against Chess be a fair game in this setting?)
Written by Hans Bodlaender, based on webpage of Ed Pegg Jr. (Images and quote used with permission. Images by Ed Pegg Jr.) These kind of diagrams already appear in the book Meta Chess by John William Brown.
WWW page created: September 29, 1999.