1. Chess variants with different initial positions

These chess variants have different initial positions than chess. Otherwise the rules are the same, the table is the same, and the pieces are the same (but not necessarily in the same number).

Different piece order

Chess 960

Random initial position on the back rank

Mongredien Chess

Same minor pieces on the same side

Transposed pieces

Bishops and knights are swapped

Fianchetto Chess

Rooks and bishops are swapped

Reversed Royals

Black queen and king are swapped

Other symmetric

Advanced Pawn Chess

Pawns start on the third rank

Corner Rook Chess

All pieces except rooks start one step advanced

Sixteen Pawns

Twice as many pawns

Pawn Endgame

Only pawns and kings

Upside-down Chess

Reversed initial position, the pawns start one step away from promotion

Asymmetric, balanced

In these variants though the initial position is not symmetric, the chances may be more or less equal. The exact number of pieces is adjustable.

Pawns for Queen

White has no queen, but has much more pawns instead

Pawns vs Knights

White has only pawns, and Black has knights and a single pawn

Knight Army

Black has seven knights and more pawns

Queens vs Knights

Black has only queens, and White has only knights


These variants explicitly prefer one player (white) to equalize players with different skills.

Pawn Handicap

A black pawn is missing

Two Pawns Handicap

Two black pawns are missing

Knight Handicap

One of the black knights is missing

Rook Handicap

One of the black rooks is missing

Bishop-pair Handicap

Both black bishops are missing

Queen Handicap

The black queen is missing

Two Rooks Handicap

Both black rooks are missing

Queen and Rook Handicap

Black has no queen and only one rook

Queenside Handicap

All the black queenside is missing