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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 ?

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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

4 Answers 4

up vote 7 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

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

ICC offers a number of chess variants.

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

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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
1  
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
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Yeah, i'm afraid the variant engines are only in Winboard. –  Seth Dec 15 '12 at 17:43
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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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You can play correspondence chess variants on the Apronus.com interactive chessboard by generating links to click which encode the board position and all the mvoes made.

For example a short game on an 8x6 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 at 18:39
    
It accepts only legal chess moves so no animation can be made of atomic. –  user3456 Jul 29 at 4:05

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-

Chess
BugHouse
CrazyHouse
Suicide
Atomic
FischerRandom
Losers
Wild 0 through Wild 8(a)
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What are the rules of Wild 0 to 8 ? –  Nikana Reklawyks Jul 28 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 at 11:26

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