Why you should play chess variants
There are over 1,600 chess variants tracked in the second edition of The Classified Encyclopedia of Chess Variants by D.B.Pritchard.
This book, which is the most comprehensive chess variants resource ever published, is quite hard to find, but the author’s daughter agreed to share the text as pdf – a strongly recommended reading for chess lovers!
The world of chess variants is wonderful and fascinating. The variants in this book date from ancient times to the present day, and are collected from all over the world, with many regional variants. For example, Burmese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai chess variants are covered.
Some chess variants use an ordinary board and men; some use larger or smaller boards with additional pieces; some use hexagonal boards, circular boards, cylindrical and spherical boards, and boards of other shapes; some use boards in three and even more dimensions; some make use of cards or dice; some are for partnership and team play, or for several players each playing for himself etc.
In this section of Chess & Fun I explain a few popular and easy variants which can be played by beginners too, on a standard chessboard with standard sets.
All of these variants are really fun to play, and they help you develop specific chess skills which come useful when playing a standard chess game.
“Chess is but an imperfect variant of a game that was itself a variant of a germinal game whose origins lie somewhere in the darkness of time”