The game of chess is said to be a game of infinite possibilities. Thousands of possible moves can be played by both players standing opposite the board of 64 squares.
Indeed after a simple e4 e5 opening sequence, the game can morph into a wild attacking game, a slow positional one, a famous dull line that leads to a quick draw and many more patterns.
However, due to the adventurous nature of humans, even this promise of infinite possibilities may become boring. Also, it is a well-known fact that variety is the spice of life. This saying is not lost on the game of chess either.
This article will bring you the top 10 chess variants you can use to spice up your chess games.
The 3-check is a fun variant that creates mayhem on the chessboard. For one thing, you can only win 3-check by checking your opponent’s king three times. All other chess rules go out the window. Since the game aims to check the opponent’s king thrice, the material advantage doesn’t matter; sacrifices are justified if you deliver the check three times.
Owing to its wild and fun nature, 3-check makes its way into our list of top 10 chess variants.
9. Suicide Chess
If you’re tired of losing games, this variant is for you. To win suicide chess, you have to DIE. In other words, the player that has all his pieces captured is the one that wins the game. Consequently, every piece must be taken off the board, and the king is not an exception. Interesting, right?!
8. Extinction Chess
This chess variant is unique because to win is to defend. To win a game in Extinction Chess, a player must capture all of any of the opponent’s pieces. For example, all of the opponent’s pawns or bishops, while guarding his own.
Extinction Chess promises a fun and challenging experience of chess.
7. Crazy House
As you may have guessed by the name, this variant is the craziest of the top 10 chess variants. In crazyhouse, a player can bring back pieces he captured beforehand and place them on any free squares except pawns on the last rank. Talk about Walking Dead!
6. Kung-fu Chess
You snooze, you lose!
Crazyhouse may be the craziest of the top 10 chess variants, but Kung-fu chess is absolute chaos. In this variant, there are no turns. That’s right; you don’t have to wait for your opponent to make the next move! Sounds surreal, right? But this is what Kung-fu chess is all about!.
5. No-castling Chess
No-castling is a variant whereby castling is disallowed.
4. King Of The Hill
The highlighted squares are the winning squares in the King of the Hill variant
This variant is the most exciting of the top 10 chess variants. It completely disregards the number one chess rule, which is king protection.
In King of the Hill, the only way to win is to get your king to the centre of the board on the d4,d5,e4 or e5 squares while preventing your opponent from doing the same.
3. Atomic Chess
If you like explosions and fireworks, then this variant is for you. In Atomic Chess, a capture on any square results in an “atomic explosion”, which kills all pieces in the eight surrounding squares except pawns. Atomic Chess promises a lot of excitement and fun.
2. Progressive Chess
Looking for a way to challenge your visualization, then this one is for you. Progressive chess is the most technical among the top 10 chess variants. Although chess is a turn-based game, meaning every player takes turns playing their moves, this variant comes with a little tweak.
In Progressive Chess, this taking of turns is completely changed. Instead of getting one move per turn, players get more and more moves as the game goes on. So if white makes one move on move 1, black gets two moves on move 2. It creates a knife-edged position as, although it is easy to attack your opponent, defending is a nightmare.
1. The Fischer Random (Chess 960)
Fischer Random (Chess 960) set-up
The Fischer Random that is also called Chess 960, is a chess variant created by the legend himself, Robert James Fischer, popularly known as Bobby Fischer.
Bobby felt like the opening was becoming a battle of memorization of lines rather than that of skill and creativity. As such, he created the Fischer Random, which is a chess variant in which all the pieces except the pawns are shuffled up. The Fischer Random is now played at the highest level by grandmasters, and it has its world championship. Chess Grandmaster Wesley So is currently the Fischer Random world champion as he won the championship in 2019.
And there you have it, the top 10 chess variants. Let us know which one you liked the most.