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SICO Chess Variations

This page lists all of the variations that SICO currently supports. These variations are simply different starting positions. But to spice things up, some of these involve new pieces (aka "faeries"), which you can read about on the rules page once it is completed!

If you have comments or suggestions for new variations, please leave a message on our message board!
#0: vanilla


The standard board setup. (But with usual SICO house rules!)

#1: no queens


The standard board setup, but each player is missing his queen. Promotion to queen is not allowed.

#2: extra bishops


Rooks are replaced with bishops. A long castle can actually change one bishop's color...

#3: extra queens


One of each player's rooks is replaced with an extra queen.

#4: all knights


All the pieces are knights.

#5: kings in the corner


Kings start swapped with rooks in opposite corners.

#6: pass the pawns


All pieces are gone, with rooks replaced with pawns. This variation requires some patience...

#7: close quarters


Like the standard setup, except that everything is moved towards the center of the board. Big advantage to white, like most of these crazy games.

#8: vampires


All pawns are replaced with vampires. When a vampire takes an opponent's piece, it becomes that kind of piece.

#9: more kirby


Each side has four pawns replaced with kirbies. Kirbies move like kings but can't be involved in captures.

#10: kirby blocks


Each side has four pawns replaced with kirbies of the opponent's color. Kirbies move like kings but can't be involved in captures.

#11: diagonalia


The board is arranged along a diagonal. Huge advantage to white in this one.

#12: duelling kings


Kings begin in the center of the board, unprotected.

#13: center wall


There is a wall in the center of the board. Wall pieces cannot move or be captured.

#14: barricades


Each side has walls instead of some of its pawns. These walls cannot move or be captured.

#15: bounceshops


Standard setup, but bishops can reflect off walls in this variation.

#16: all queens


All pieces are queens. Lots of action!

#17: wild 5


Also known as upside-down chess. The sides of the board are flipped, leaving your pawns all one move from promotion! The only legal starting moves are knight moves, and be careful for quick mates since your pawns don't protect the center squares as usual.

#18: N-B-R


The pieces are arranged knight-bishop-rook instead of the more familiar rook-knight-bishop.

#19: separate


Queens start separated from the pack; they are behind enemy lines! Pieces are arranged such that the queen cannot be immediately captured, nor can it free itself... (Note that each side has two bishops of the same color.)

#20: 1-up


Everybody's moved one step in towards the center of the board. Not quite as extreme as 'Close Quarters', but somewhat wacky...

#21: mini


A miniature version of chess played on a 5x5 board.

#22: escape v2


The king is in enemy territory with his pawns. Can he escape?

#23: 90


The board is (sort of) rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise, so that pawns are moving 'sideways.'

#24: Oligarchy


Two kings! If either is checkmated, then the game ends. / toys / sico