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The Chess Variant Pages

Pole Chess

This is a rules file for Zillions of Games, a Windows program that will let you play any puzzle or strategy board game you can feed it the rules to. With Zillions-of-Games installed, this rules file will let you play this game against your computer.

Pole Chess is F.I.D.E. chess with a piece added for either side: the Poles. It was first described by writer Piers Anthony in his science-fiction / fantasy book "Robot Adept" (1988). The book describes a match between two players, one in the scientific world of Proton, the other in the magical world of Phaze.



The Poles start the game off the board to either side. They can be "invoked" anytime after the first piece is lost on either side. It can go to any unoccupied square on the board in one move. It can neither take nor be taken (except for the mysterious "Pole-capturing" rule); it can only block. A pawn cannot promote to a Pole.


The game is won by checkmating your opponent's King or by your opponent resigning. The rules for drawing a game are as for F.I.D.E. Chess. Apart from rules involving the Poles, the rules and movement of pieces are unchanged. Piers Anthony's book said "The pole could neither take nor be taken, except in one very special circumstance." This special circumstance was not described further in his book, he apparently never worked it out. This has led to speculation about the mysterious "Pole-capturing" rule.


This Zillions rules-file opens with a default version with no "pole-capturing" rule. There are also nine variants each with a different "pole-capturing" rule: these represent my speculation as to what the rule might have been in the fictional world of Phaze / Proton.

Download Instructions

Instructions on downloading this Zillions file:

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.

Author: Malcolm Webb. Inventor: Piers Anthony and Malcolm Webb.
Web page created: 2017-06-04. Web page last updated: 2017-06-04