I'm wondering about a chess variant I thought of: it's just like chess except that a player may, in lieu of (or as) a move, remove any of his own pieces (except the King) from the board. (This is illegal if his turn would end with him in check.)

  • Is this a known (I mean, known previous to this posting) variant? Citation, please.
  • What are pros and cons of playing this way?
  • Similar non-duplicate: chess.stackexchange.com/questions/1515/…
    – msh210
    Commented Jun 5, 2013 at 8:41
  • 1
    To partially answer the "cons" part - a comment about chess variants in general: while they are often fun to play (and may even have cross-training benefits), "tiny" rule changes can invalidate basically the entire body of knowledge behind chess. I particularly enjoy playing a game that has several hundred years of serious thinking behind it, as well as having an incredibly high standard of opponents to play against. It makes the experience very rewarding. You lose this with variants, you're back to playing 1200-level opponents all of a sudden.
    – Daniel B
    Commented Jun 5, 2013 at 11:12
  • 2
    well, maybe not every player will be 1200-level :) variations with very small rule changes usually leave unaltered the basic strategy (importance of the center, King safety, etc.). Those who know and "feel" this "basics" will often gain advantages on those who doesn't. I believe that a GM would beat me at every chess-variant, even if he/she didn't know that variant before. Of course the main point ot your answer is still true: when you play a variant you have a limited field of possible opponents. Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 7:07
  • as I am child, there are joke of this removal pieces, try to removed 2 pawns in front of king and queen in white side then removes 2 pawns in front of king and bishop beside king in black side. You'll will get 100% win for white side for white moves first in QE1-H5+ MATE Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 3:57

1 Answer 1


I didn't ever heard of a similar variant before.

It's interesting: pieces that move along "lines" (Queens, Rooks and Bishops) can become very powerful, since a player can remove his own Pawns to increase the range of his pieces. Imagine a battery of two Rooks and the pair of Bishops looking towards a castled King: they could really be a powerhouse, since the attacking player can volountarly "open lines" himself.

On the other hand, all the other pieces are a little bit of crap: who cares about the "jumping ability" of the Knight when anyone can open a blocked position by sacrificing a Pawn? And the King will find himself in trouble, when defending: no more "blocking behind the enemy Pawn", since the "enemy Pawn" can easily disappear the next move.

I think that this variant would lead to open and very aggressive games: both players can sacrifice material at will in order to open lines.

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