Armageddon Chess

Armageddon ChessA game of Chess which must be won before the world disappears.

This is an intriguing little variant of mine, played exactly the same as standard classical Chess, but without squares.

What?! You ask? NO SQUARES??!! Yes, that is correct.

In fact it is easier to play than you might first imagine.

The beauty of this game is not only its entertainment value, but as we all know, it is a lot easier to just carry about some pieces in a small pouch than also a hefty wooden, or even roll up board.

How To Play

We set up the Chess set on a blank surface, say a table or the floor. We first position pieces to meet at the corner joining the horizontal and vertical. Doing this enables us to measure the dimensions of our invisible board.

Then, once we have determined our board’s length and width, we continue to arrange the pieces into their starting positions.

The only explanation needed to play this game is that of keeping track of movement. Granted, it is a bit tricky, but with a good will, one can maintain a very entertaining game.

It is easy to set up the game up at the beginning, as explained you can quite quickly (within a matter of minutes) use the pieces themselves to measure out the board, but because there is no marking, the differing sizes of the pieces can trick your eye.

So keep in mind that a Pawn only represents 80% the size of a square and all other pieces 100%. That is, unless your Pawns have the same size base as all your other pieces.

Remembering the actual boundaries of the board is quite simple. You just keep track of where each others’ King resides right from the very beginning.

So for example, if you know your King is standing on c3, then you know how many squares each way to the side of the board.

All other aids are mostly mathematical. For example, to highlight a diagonal in your mind, you simply make a mental mark of where it starts and then count that marking on the other side.

So for example, the diagonal that starts on h3 is 3 squares along from the bottom rank, and so it will arrive 3 squares along (c8) on the top rank.

There are various similar ways to remember, but this is all part of practice.

As you play through your game, you will eventually realise that because it is the pieces themselves which create the landscape of the board, that as pieces are captured the landscape begins to disappear.

This is the excitement and adventure of Armageddon Chess.

As mentioned earlier, the location of each others’ Kings serves as a solid reference point for the dimensions of the board, since the King cannot be taken.

Armageddon Chess is very challenging, but with a keen determination one can and will succeed.

If it interests, at least 85% of games are certainly playable and even winnable. This is not to say that 15% are unplayable, only that whence there is very little material remaining, such games can be somewhat frustrating.

I’ve never lost a game of Armageddon Chess, and I’ve played it for a many years. So believe me, practice makes perfect!

And so… it is up to you now to win this challenge… and quickly… before the world disappears.

Armageddon Chess © Simon Jepps

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