The Chess Variant Pages

Check out Cylindrical Chess, our featured variant for March, 2023.

This page is written by the game's inventor, Sergey Sirotkin.

Snake Chess

By Sergey Sirotkin


Snake Chess is a variant of orthodox chess played on a cylindrical board of twelve ranks by two files, with 10 pieces on a side.

Board and Setup

The Snake Chess board is a cylinder, with the A file effectively sandwiched on both sides by the B file, and visa versa.

Snake Chess initial setup.
Because the board is actually a cylinder, Knights attack the space immeadiately in front of and behind them as their wide jumps wrap around.

Additionally, Queens and Bishops make zig-zag up and down the board as their diagonal movements also wrap around.
This gives them effectively the movement pattern of a Crooked Bishop.


The game is conducted by rules of International Chess with the following changes:

The game is won by checkmating or stalemating your opponent.


A game with some similarity to Snake Chess is Narrow Chess, which is played on a 20 by 2 board.

Zillions of Games

There is an implementation of Snake Chess for Zillions of games. You can download it here:

Written by Sergey Sirotkin. HTML Conversion by Peter Aronson.
WWW page created: June 16th, 2001.