I have recently discovered Horde Chess on lichess.org and was wondering if there is somewhere a online guide on some openings or on some general tactic?

I'm really a beginner in general chess itself also, but this seems like its simpler and more fun.

  • There is an introductory youtube video about strategy with analysed games: youtu.be/SpzGRokyyns – user24944 Oct 10 '20 at 5:31
  • This question requests online links for information thereby soliciting link only answers. It needs to be a more general request for information. – Brian Towers Oct 10 '20 at 9:28

It's been a while since that question was asked, but now there is the new Horde Chess Blog (Full disclosure: I wrote it), which has both opening and general tactics guides, with reviews of example games.

More content is expected to be added with time, but so far, it has general tactic guidelines.

The guideline for Black (the pieces) are:

Attack from behind. In that method, the queen sneaks into the first ranks and then tackle the pawns from there. This incursion typically involves breaking the pawn wall in one of the marginal columns (a or h), since the pawns there are protected only by one pawn. (the intrusion tactic)

Or the alternative blockade tactic

First, black positions his pawns and pieces in a way that prevents any white pawn advancement. Then, he moves one of his pieces back and forth, forcing white to eventually make advancement and lose pawns.

For White (the pawns), there is the Phalanx tactic:

Just advance all of your pawns until you get to promote one of them to a queen. Once you have a queen, in most cases winning is straightforward [...] with enough patience, caution, and a little bit of luck this method will work flawlessly.

In addition, there is a post on common Horde Chess openings.

Hope this helps the OP or whoever watches this question now.


TL;DR: White should target the rook files and get to the back rank. Black should keep the pawns together an promote.

I found this guide on the lichess forum, found after Googling "Horde Chess Strategy". Tips for white are:

[Winning with white] is most easily achieved by getting to the back of the horde. The weakest files are the a, and h file, as those pawns are only defended once. The easiest way to immediately create pressure on either of those files is 1. a4 (or h4). This forces the b5 (or g5) pawn to choose between capturing or being captured, and thus opening up the file for the rooks.

Tips for black are:

The goal for black is to checkmate. This is most easily achieved after promotion (by which time white will probably resign after all of their sacrifices). As aforementioned, black's weakest files are the a, and h files. Black must guard these files and the backrank. Black must remember that the power is in the horde, and therefore must not spreadout his pawns in an easily permeable, checker like structure. Accept or reject sacrifices as the position calls for. Black must also keep in mind that should white get to the back of the horde, it's not always the end of the game. It takes valuable time for white to capture all of the pawns rank by rank -- time black could be using to promote pawns. And if all else fails, it's often quite possible for black to play for a draw -- stalemate -- when black has no legal moves.

  • 1
    The Lichess profile of the quoted player,who you linked in this answer, says played only 3 (!) horde games, so it doesn't even have a rating yet, let alone high rating. So, this is coming from someone who doesn't play this game at all, and his chess ratings are really low also. – Santropedro May 13 '18 at 3:43
  • 1. a4 does not force the b5 pawn to choose between capturing or being captured: black can also respond with ...b4 (push past it). But that does then hinder the advance of the b6 pawn. – Silas S. Brown Dec 5 '18 at 12:06

It's not chess, however. So that is the major drawback.

Only advice to give is to just play, and forget about approaching it with the same ideas as in standard chess. It won't last long.

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