Check out Chess with Different Armies, our featured variant for July, 2024.

Berolina Grid Chess

Berolina Grid Chess is one of the more popular combination games: the ideas of two chess variants are combined to make a new variant. Here, we combine Berolina Chess with Grid Chess. In this case, the result may be better than at least one of the two games combined (the pawns in this game have better mobility than in Grid chess, where they are quite restricted in possibilities); something which cannot be said for most of the possible combination games.

Berolina Grid Chess is occasionally played in AISE and in NOST.


The board is divided in 16 regions, each of two by two squares. All rules are the same as in orthodox chess, with two additional rules.
  1. When a piece moves, it must move to another region. I.e., the board with opening setup looks like this:

    A king is only checked by a piece that can move to the square where the king is standing, e.g., a king on d1 is not checked by a queen on c1.

  2. The pawns are Berolina Pawns: pawns move diagonally forward, and they take straight forward. With there first move, pawns may move two squares diagonally forward.

Written by: Hans Bodlaender, on the occasion of his short visit to Berlin in January 1997.
WWW page created: January 16, 1997.