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Replacement Chess

The origins of this popular game are unknown; it existed already in the middle of the 20th century. There are many names in use for the variant: Replacement Chess, Bughouse Chess (which causes an unfortunate confusion with the well known four-player variant Double Bughouse, which is also called Bughouce (chess)), Madhouse Chess, Repeating Chess. Putback chess is basically the same game with a few rule differences. The Italian name, used in AISE is Mange-e-Sputa.


The rules of orthodox chess are followed, but with the following additional rules.

Each piece that is taken from the opponent is placed back on an empty square by the player that made the capture, such that

  1. Bishops are placed on a square of the same color the bishop was on when it was captured. This rule makes sure that the bishops of a player always stay on squares of different colors.
  2. Pawns are not placed on the first or last row.
Pawns that are placed on the second row regain the ability to make a double step with their first movement.

Of course, one may not place a piece where it checks ones king. One may resolve a check by taking a piece of the opponent and placing it between the checking piece (queen, rook, or bishop) and ones king.

Note that when white captures a black piece, white decides where the black piece is put back.

A variant: Putback chess

A variant of Replacement Chess, called Putback chess, was placed in Cincinnatti in the 1960s.

Again, pieces taken from the opponent must be placed back on the board, but there are now no restrictions on where bishops and pawns may be placed. When a player puts a captured pawn on its promotion row, then the player that owns the pawn decides to what piece it promotes. Pawns on the first row can make a double, and even a triple step forward, hence, a pawn on d1 can move to d2, d3, and d4, and take on c2 and e2. On all squares passed by such a double or triple step, the pawn can be taken en passant, so after d1-d4, the white pawn can be taken en passant on d2 or d3.

Written by Hans Bodlaender, based on information from Issue 10 of World Game Review, Neue Chess and The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants.
WWW page created: August 18, 1997.