Pychess Variants

Many chess variants are available to play here. Available games range from traditional versions of chess played around the world to modern inventions derived from western chess. Each game has something to offer, so please don't hesitate to give each game a try! You can click the links on the left to learn even more about each variant.


Each variant also has its own selection of piece sets and boards to choose from! Especially for the Asian variants that use Chinese characters, you can find internationalized pieces for those variants to use as well. To change the settings, click the gear button in the top right of the screen (next to login or your username), choose "Board Settings," and then choose the variant you would like to configure.

If you need to practice with the piece moves and rules before diving into a real game, feel free to select a casual game against the Random Mover bot in the lobby.

Chess variants using standard pieces


Chess (Western/International Chess) - Chess, unmodified, as it's played by FIDE standards

Chess 960 - Starting positions in the back row are randomized

Crazyhouse - Take captured pieces and drop them back on to the board as your own

Placement Chess - Choose where your pieces start

Crazyhouse 960 - Combines Crazyhouse and Chess 960

Atomic Chess - Pieces explode upon capture!

Atomic 960 - Atomic chess with Chess 960 rules

Southeast Asian variants


Makruk (Thai Chess) - A game closely resembling the original Chaturanga

Cambodian Chess / Ok / Ouk Chatrang - Makruk with a few additional opening abilities

Sittuyin (Burmese Chess) - Similar to Makruk, but pieces are placed at the start of the match

Makpong - Makruk variant where kings cannot move to escape out of check

Shogi variants


Shogi (Japanese Chess) - Pieces promote and can be dropped

Minishogi - Shogi on a 5x5 board

Kyoto Shogi - 5x5 Shogi where pieces flip to a different piece each move

Dobutsu - Shogi on a 3x4 board, designed to introduce children to Shogi

Gorogoro Shogi Shogi on a 5x6 board

Xiangqi variants


Xiangqi (Chinese Chess) - Open fire on your opponent in this highly aggressive ancient game

Manchu - The lone Red rook can also move as a cannon or a knight

Janggi (Korean Chess) - Similar to Xiangqi, but plays very differently. Tournament rules are used.

Minixiangqi - Xiangqi on a 7x7 board

Chess variants using fairy pieces


Capablanca Chess - Play with the hybrid pieces, archbishop (B+N) and chancellor (R+N), on a 10x8 board

S-Chess / Seirawan Chess / SHARPER Chess - Hybrid pieces, the hawk (B+N) and elephant (R+N) can enter the board after moving a back rank piece

Grand Chess - Play with the hybrid pieces, archbishop (B+N) and chancellor (R+N), on a grand 10x10 board

Shako - Introduces the cannon and elephant from Xiangqi into a 10x10 chess board

Shogun Chess - Pieces promote and can be dropped, similar to Shogi

Orda Chess - Asymmetric variant where one army has pieces that move like knights but capture differently

Synochess - Asymmetric East vs. West variant which pits the western chess army against a xiangqi and janggi-styled army

Shinobi Chess - Asymmetric variant where one army has pieces that can drop and promote, like in Shogi

Capablanca 960 - Capablanca with Chess 960 rules

Capahouse - Capablanca with Crazyhouse drop rules

Capahouse 960 - Capablanca with Crazyhouse and 960 rules

S-House - S-Chess with Crazyhouse drop rules

Grandhouse - Grand Chess with Crazyhouse drop rules

Hoppel-poppel - Knights capture as bishops, bishops capture as knights