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

This page is written by the game's inventor, Gyozo Nagy.

Jinn Chess

By Gyozo Nagy


Jinn Chess is a Chess variant where all the pieces start off the board, that is simpler to play than Unachess , and has less restrictive placement rules than Free Placement.


The rules of Jinn Chess are generally identical to those of FIDE Chess, except where noted otherwise below.

  1. Jinn Chess has two phases. The first is a placement phase (2, 3 and 4), the second is the traditional phase (5).

  2. At the start of the game, all of the pieces are off of the board.

  3. White moves first. On White's first move, they must place their King on any square on the board. Then Black must place their King on any empty square on the board.

  4. White then places a piece on any empty sqaure on the board. Then Black places a piece. This alternation continues until all pieces have been placed. White Pawns may only be placed within the A2-H4 rectangle, Black Pawns may only be placed within the A5-H7 rectangle. There are no normal moves in this phase, and pieces do not give check.

  5. Once all pieces have been placed on the board, play continues by normal FIDE Chess rules. It is White's move.

    Pawns placed on the 2nd rank have a double move, and may be captured en passant. If a King is placed on the same square it would start on in FIDE Chess and so is one of the Rooks, they may castle under the usual rules.


Black has slight advange by having the chance to make the last placement during the placement phase. White moves first in traditional phase, so they are in balace, more or less . . .

The traditional phase usually very intensive. Players have less chance to draw the game than an FIDE Chess.

Written by Gyozo Nagy.
WWW page created: January 21st, 2003.