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Chess variant

A chess variant is any game derived from or related to chess. In practice, a specific chess variant may be similar to chess or radically different. The broad definition of chess variants is so universal, it may include nearly any abstract battle or war game played upon a board.

To experts of chess variants, chess, shogi, xiangqi and other chess-related games of great popularity are merely special cases in a theoretically unlimited universe of possible arrangements involving boards, pieces, rules, and so on. To date, several hundred chess variants have been catalogued. With the recent invention in 1998 of a computer program which enables non-experts to quickly design and playtest chess variants using an AI opponent, the total number has been increasing constantly and rapidly. This growth is likely to continue for years.

Table of contents
1 Handicap variants
2 Fantasy variants
3 Chess-related national games
4 External links

Handicap variants

Fantasy variants

Fantasy variants make significant changes to normal chess rules. Other terms for fantasy chess variants include heterodox chess and fairy chess. Some of these variants use pieces not found in orthodox chess, such as Berolina pawns (pawns which move diagonally and capture straight forward); such pieces are collectively called fairy pieces.

Chess-related national games

These games have developed independently from chess by unrelated origins. Nonetheless, they are definable as chess variants. The popularity of these chess variants is often limited to their respective places of origin.

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