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  • While posting this question, I stumbled on this list of variants from Wikipedia, which I must admit is totally awesome.

  • I know a few online servers allow a few variants, but am not aware of places where many variants players would gather, which would they be ?

  • Are there famous clubs for on the board variants play ?

  • Collections of fairy chess problems ?

  • This list of fairy pieces is not at all bad, but could use a few more easy-to-understand diagrams, and some art for representations.

  • I guess there's enough to say on this topic for books to be published on the subject ?

share|improve this question
from your wikipedia fairy chess link, I went to nightrider, then to external links and found these problems, maybe the site have more puzzles using other pieces – ajax333221 Nov 18 '12 at 3:10
Since this is essentially a list question, where no single answer is likely to be complete, it should be Community Wiki. – David Richerby Jan 4 '15 at 12:37
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Unfortunately I don't know of a chess server where they play chess variants, (see update below) but I have a few other resources.

The program Winboard has several variants, including Shogi, Xiangqi, Shatranj and Atomic.

I also found a very cool blog, the guy there goes over a lot of chess and checker variants. Its pretty cool!
Here is a article he has about Fairy Chess.

There are also several books written on the subject including:

And the Encyclopedia of Chess Variants

In my ramblings I ran accross this page, indicating that the ICC allows chess variants.

ICC offers a number of chess variants.

I also found a book on Fairy Chess. Unfortunately it appears to be out of print.

share|improve this answer
Actually, I'd go for Xboard, running on debian myself, but that's good to know, thanks. However, that seems to be merely support for variants, but as is, nothing powers the moves. Not that I'd like to play computers, but what engines would be available for such variants ? (without them, Xboard is really just a digital plank, isn't it ?) Nice books, +1. – Nikana Reklawyks Dec 15 '12 at 5:06
I'm not sure I exactly understand, but Xboard/Winboard does need an engine for you to play against (if thats what you want). The variants I mentioned come with Winboard but not Xboard.. it should work in WINE though. You don't need an engine to connect to a server. – Seth Dec 15 '12 at 16:15
I'm somehow reluctant to run with Wine a windows port of an X window-system GUI :D ❚ Yes, right now this lacks a server (or an engine, but rather a server) that plays variants. – Nikana Reklawyks Dec 15 '12 at 16:46
Yeah, i'm afraid the variant engines are only in Winboard. – Seth Dec 15 '12 at 17:43
The Fairy Chess book may be out of print, but used copies can be had for $8. – Tony Ennis Dec 17 '12 at 5:52

I love playing chess variants. For playing live games, FICS supports the major chess variants: Suicide, Atomic, Losers, Crazyhouse and Upside-Down.

For playing correspondence games, I use both Scheming Mind and BrainKing. They each have the normal variants (above), as well as a few unique ones. The ones unique to Scheming Mind include Benedict Chess and Chicken Chess. The ones unique to BrainKing include Ice Age Chess and Cheshire Cat Chess.

These sites are free, for a limited number of games. There are ladders and tournaments, so you can play against other people who enjoy the same variants. You can find me there under my real name (I do not use a handle).

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I am surprised that no one yet mentioned --- the most comprehensive web site on Chess variants I am aware of. They also support a play-by-mail server for many Chess variants.

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While interesting, I consider what's on this site other games than chess, not variants of it. They're related to chess, and I describe them as e.g. chinese chess, but they are not what the question was after. – Nikana Reklawyks Sep 23 '14 at 8:11
@NikanaReklawyks While I agree that this answer doesn't address the questions specifically asked within the original post, it's definitely a chess variant resource (positing, for the moment, that the games listed at qualify as variants of chess). – Charles Rockafellor Jun 22 at 16:02

You can play correspondence chess variants on the interactive chessboard by generating links to click which encode the board position and all the mvoes made.

For example a short game on an 8x5 board.

animated diagram

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This is nice for board size, even though it doesn't support other pieces than the original chess ones. Could it handle atomic ? (i.e. removing e.g. 4 pieces at move 32) – Nikana Reklawyks Jul 28 '14 at 18:39
It accepts only legal chess moves so no animation can be made of atomic. – user3456 Jul 29 '14 at 4:05
that board is 8x5 – hkBst Feb 15 at 10:56

As I have seen it, FICS seems to be the best place for variants. But number of people playing all variants vary. The following are supported on FICS-

Wild 0 through Wild 8(a)
share|improve this answer
What are the rules of Wild 0 to 8 ? – Nikana Reklawyks Jul 28 '14 at 18:33
Well its all kind of wild things. Like for example one of the wild's: Wild3: (Description taken from FICS): "In this variant the set of pieces is randomly chosen (subject to the constraint that there is one king of each color). It is quite possible to get more than the normal number of a given piece, such as three rooks or two queens. The pieces are placed on the first rank behind the pawns, the position of Black's pieces mirrors White's placement, and castling is not allowed." – Keshav Jul 29 '14 at 11:26

Try Connect Score. The game combines Chess with Dots and Boxes. The game can be viewed at:

Rick Nordal

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oh, this looks fun and complicated – Nikana Reklawyks Jan 3 '15 at 5:35

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