How do I play chess variants?

There's much more to play on Chess.com than just... chess! 

Fun chess variants can be a great way to mix things up and apply your chess skills in different and exciting ways.

Where can you play variant chess games?

1) Hover over 'Play' on the left hand menu, then click on 'Variants' 

From here you will be able to scroll through the list of all the available variants to play:

After you've clicked on a variant, you can create your a challenge by clicking 'play', accept one of the open challenges in the Lobby, watch games, or click on the '?' icon to see more info about the variant:

Types of variants

Bughouse

Bughouse is a variant of chess played by four players on two chessboards. Captured pieces may then be placed on an empty square by the partner on their turn. Click here for more details and the full rules, and Click here for Tips for Beginners

Crazyhouse

Crazyhouse is a variant which follows most of the normal rules of chess, except that captured pieces can be reintroduced to the board on your turn. The pieces move the same way that they do in traditional chess. Click here for more details and the full rules.

3-Check

3-Check is a simple variant with one clear task in mind: Check the king as many times as you can! Normal rules apply, but you can also win (or lose!) a game by checking (or getting checked) 3 times in total. Click here for more details and the full rules.

King of the Hill

King of the Hill or "KOTH" is an exciting variant in which the goal is to get your king to the center of the board or "top of the hill.'' Click here for more details and the full rules.

Chess960 (Fischer Random)

Chess960, or Fischer Random, is a variant invented by the late World Champion Bobby Fischer. The rules of the game are the same as standard chess, but in an effort to reduce the impact of opening theory, the pieces have been randomly shuffled on each player's back rank. Click here for more details and the full rules.

Fog of War

In this variant, squares that your pieces can't move to are covered in 'fog.' You won't know where your opponent's pieces are unless your pieces can 'see' them! Click here for more details and the full rules.

Chaturanga

An ancient form of chess with no castling and different queen and bishop movements. Click here for more details and the full rules.

Blindfold chess

Play chess without seeing any of the pieces! Click here for more details and the full rules.

Sideways Pawns

Like standard chess, except pawns can also move 1 square sideways! Click here for more details and the full rules.

Torpedo

Send your pawns flying! Pawns can always move 1 or 2 squares forward in this variant. Click here for more details and the full rules.

No Castling

Standard chess with no castling allowed! Click here for more details and the full rules.

Automate

Choose the best setup for your pieces, and let the computer fight it out! Click here for more details and the full rules. 

Giveaway Chess

Be the first to lose all your pieces, and win! Click here for more details and the full rules.

Horde

Black has the normal setup, white has an army of 36 pawns! Can you defeat or lead the horde to victory? Click here for more details and the full rules.

Capture anything chess

Capture your own pieces for strategic advantage or to escape otherwise lost positions! Click here for more details and the full rules.

Atomic chess

Captured pieces explode! Destroy the king in an explosion to win! Click here for more details and the full rules.

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