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Tandem Chess. 4 player variant where pieces taken from your opponent are given to your partner. (8x8x2, Cells: 128) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2019-10-23 UTC

Oddly the wikipedia entry for Bughouse Chess (which is given there as synonymous to Tandem Chess or Siamese Chess, unlike in CVP's entry for Bughouse plus Tandem Chess [which notes some differences in rules between the two variants]) does not appear to discuss drops of captured rooks at all, unless I missed it:

H. G. Muller wrote on 2019-10-22 UTC

I am a bit worried about this paragraph that states a dropped Rook is considered virgin (and thus fit for castling). As far as I know there doesn't exist any on-line server that uses this rule, or any engine that plays by this rule. It is also a very weird rule: when you move a Rook you lose castling rights, and moving it back to a corner normally doesn't restore them. And a drop move is a move like any other.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2019-06-10 UTC

Bughouse tournaments seem to be happening all the time now, at least in North America (especially at scholastic level) - anyone who might want to organize chess variant(s) events over-the-board could start with having bughouse games/events; here's a link that shows what happened when I Googled 2019 Bughouse tournaments USA:

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2016-09-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Bughouse is an excellent 4 player variant that can be played with a different number of players, or (as a Bughouse variant) even a greater number of boards & sets than just two, if desired. Fwiw, I've seen on internet chat sites talk that Bughouse is hard for engines, as there are two boards & sets + drops, multiplying the possibilites compared to standard chess. If ever one of the two boards has a player sitting (refusing to move), however, the computer may then have an advantage if playing against a human on the remaining board (provided that person doesn't already have a big advantage).

From the wiki entry on Bughouse: "A valuation system, first suggested by FICS-player Gnejs, often applied to bughouse is pawn=1, bishop=knight=rook=2 and queen=4."

(zzo38) A. Black wrote on 2011-04-09 UTC
The one with 'Bughouse per e-mail' should instead be called 'Synchronous Bughouse', since this is game that can also be played without mail or email, but is also the way to play the Synchronous Bughouse game over the slow communication channel by two players only.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2011-01-20 UTC
Since I have experience programming both double move variants and Crazyhouse type games, I may be the only one who knows just what to do. I'll get around to it after I finish some other games.

Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2011-01-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Any volunteers to create Game Courier preset for 2-player bughouse, like described in 'Bughouse per e-mail' section? Looks like a fun game!

Daniil Frolov wrote on 2010-08-01 UTC
Here are some Bughouse variants by me:
1. Some possible turn variants (they can be played by 4 or 2 players, and it's possible to play these with GC):
a. In each turn, player must move one piece on both boards (in any order), possible to make one or two drops.
b. Player must chose one of boards to move or drop piece on it.
c. Turn order: p1 moves/drops on b1, p2 moves/drops on b1, p2 moves/drops on b2, p1 moves/drops on b2, p1 moves/drops on b1...
Turn variants, of course, have no advantage that original bughouse have: it can be solved. But even normal chess was not solved yet, and these will not be solved soon (if someone will try to solve them, of course).
2. Kings can be captured and dropped (it's still not allowed to castle trough check). Team loses when it have no kings (when it have king(s) in reserve only it also loses).
3. You gives captured pieces to opponent's teammate! In this game, there is no material advantage. Perhaps, it's better (for balance) to move black on one of boards first.
4. This variant was probably already invented before me as one of these many regional variants: pieces can be dropped only to starting squares of pieces of same kind.
5. Bughouse, combined with it's own 2-players variant Crazyhouse: after each capture, player must chose to give captured piece to teammate or leave for himself (probably, it's better to play it with shogi-like set).
6. And most unusual variant: Bughouse, combined with Alice chess! When piece moves, it appears on another board without changing sides (see Alice chess rules for details)! Of course, it's better to play this according to one of turn variants above, but it's possible to play with normal bughouse rules to: piece appears when move on corresponding board is finished, if square is occuppied, piece on that square gets captured (it's possible to capture king, and it's team loses).

In Russia this variant is commonly known as Swedish chess (i don't know why, maybe, it was brought to USSR by Swedish players). Naming is, of course, not important, with one expection: i don't like name 'Siamese chess'! Siamese chess is Makruk (Makruk, of course, also can be played in Bughouse style, as almost any other chess or checkers-like game)!

And who is inventor of Bughouse? Looks like, it's inventor is unknown. Interesting, did he knew about shogi when invented this?

t_newt wrote on 2009-04-11 UTC
In my high school chess club back in the 1970s we used to play this with
multiples of 4 players--up to 16 players. You pass pieces to your right and
the player on the right end throws them to the player on the left end.

It's a great game for a whole chess team to play one fast exciting game.

Aramen & SKAcz wrote on 2008-11-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Dont miss BICS where You can play bughouse chess and crazyhouse also as fiser random. See free Bughouse chess internet server project

Georg v. Zimmermann wrote on 2006-12-27 UTCAverage ★★★
The 'Bughouse Chess' book is now in print and copies can be ordered via and bookstores. For more details see !

This site unfortunately is getting out of date, it for example still links to my old page which doesn't exist anymore for years now. I have mailed months ago about this.

Georg v. Zimmermann wrote on 2006-11-11 UTCGood ★★★★
The Bughouse Book ( can be preordered untill December 8th 2006. On that page you can also download a 40+ pages preview of the book.

Spargelstecher wrote on 2006-08-28 UTCGood ★★★★
There are many regional rules in this game. In our part of Germany and in Poland there is an interesting rule considering pawn promotion (called 'Grabschen', roughly translated taking away: If a pawn reaches the last line, the enemy team gets it, but the player owning the pawn promotes it by taking a figure of the partners enemy board. This leads to many tactical possibilties, like taking an checkmating figure (or the one that covers it) away. Besides that, we play our 'Tandem' without checkmating by dropping a figure, but with checking, and the first win ends the round.

SKAcz wrote on 2006-04-11 UTCGood ★★★★
DoubleChessBoard multiplayer software alows You training blitz and bughouse chess with/against 1 - 4 winboard engines on single PC or with friends using network game. Support also bronstein time control and alternative starting positions. I hope You will enjoy also true realtime decision now :) Freeware download of this chess mini server :

me wrote on 2005-06-16 UTCGood ★★★★
we play htis game at lunch at my school every day. during exam week when we had a 2 hour lunch break we got 9 boards going at once. i t was crazy. the boards in the middle had more pieces available to drop than could fit on the board!! also, our rules of ending are different. you play to when the king is taken. then if your king is taken in bughouse our partner has 3 moves to mate his oponent to make it a draw not a loss. and in 3, 5, 7, 9 board etc game, when a king is captured i is passed to the middle so that if one of your partners gets maited, he can use the turn that he owuld normally have right before being taken to dtop another kind somewhere else. (those king dropping rulaes are very lax as someone once dropped their extra king to mate their opponent!!)

Envite wrote on 2005-04-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
About pawn dropping: we have the rule that a pawn CAN drop in the first rank if agreed at start, and the fixed rule that a pawn can NOT drop on the 6th, 7th or 8th ranks. And only 'original' pawns have the 2-ranks starting movement. <p>Besides that, we also used to play four or six boards in a row. White pieces are always at the left, and pieces always move rightwards. Pieces from the last-right board used to be thrown to the first board causing curious jokes, for example about Queens' underwear while it's flying. <p>About kings, we used to end all boards when first king is checkmated.

Tim wrote on 2005-01-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I've played a bughouse-type game with 3 boards. The students who started playing it in the lobby of my dorm started out with about 4 or 5 people playing bughouse. This attracted attention and drew more people from the dorm in the next few days. Once there were at least 6 people, another board was brought out and they started playing 'crackhouse' (it was addicting like crack). The central board was the board for the more advanced player, and winning on this board would win the game for that team. The other way a team could win is if the 2 side boards are won for a certain team. The time limits were different for the central board than they were for the side boards. The central board was given less time, I think. But this would mean that timers were unnecessary for the side boards. I don't remember exactly how timing worked. Captured pieces from the sides moved towards the center, and captured pieces from the center went to either side depending on which player the central player decided needed the piece more. Kings were capturable (a captured king on the central board would end the game), and when a captured side king moved to the central board, the king in hand could negate a piece in hand from the opponent in the central board. Both pieces were removed from the game. This rule could be changed to something like 'king in hand can remove an opponent's piece on the board (except king), but not while in check'. The king in hand rules were not set in stone. It got pretty crazy. I played this game instead of studying for finals last year. Looking back, that was a bad decision. <p>I have to credit Nick for this game. He said that he and some friends invented it. If only I could remember his last name...

Fabrice Liardet wrote on 2005-01-10 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Bughouse has many regional rules, but most of the rules given on this page
do correspond to the international and widely accepted ones. For
tournaments you need to be a little more precise about the handling of
some potential problems, but here I would just add that :
- I never heard about 'serious' bughouse played without a clock
or at a time control exceeding 5 minutes per player and per move.
- Verbal communication between partners is always unrestricted, and is
absolute spirit of the game. So you can advice (or flame) your partner.
And I advice everybody to keep an eye on the publishing of Georg's book,
which will probably be the definite saying about bughouse !

Georg v. Zimmermann wrote on 2004-12-09 UTCGood ★★★★
<p>Please take a look at <a href=''></a> <p>Imagine Anand,Leko, Kramnik and many of the other top chess players collaborating on one book ! Well that is what we did for bughouse chess - with many of the top internet (and European and US-gatherings) players contributing to create the first true bughouse book. <p>Coming 2005 ...

Mark Thompson wrote on 2004-09-04 UTC
I've been thinking of a variant expanding on the Bughouse concept that I
call Team Chess (or Team Shogi). I'm envisioning six players on a team,
and games taking place between two opposing teams. Two team members play a
small variant, two play usual chess, and one plays a large variant; the
sixth team member is the captain. All three chess variants being played
should use similar armies and rules, so that it won't cause confusion if
a piece gets transferred to another board -- perhaps Quickchess, usual
chess, and Grand Chess. The winner of the large variant game determines
the winning team. When a piece is captured, the capturing team's captain
takes it in hand (it changes color) and delivers it to one of his team's
five players (captain's choice) to drop at will. The captain can watch
all five of the games, but no other communication takes place between the
team members once play has begun. 

I haven't decided what should happen when one of the smaller games ends;
should the captain receive all the pieces of the conquered army? None of
them? Perhaps just a Prince (non-royal King)?

Anonymous wrote on 2003-11-29 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Chris Barnett wrote on 2003-10-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The way I play it, the player gets 1 minute for each move, if s/he exceeds that time limit, the opponet removes a pawn (or lowest value piece possible) and gives it to his partner. The player has now forfitted his move.

Javier wrote on 2003-09-05 UTC
Click 'view all comments' at the bottom of this page to see a selection of more current and comprehensive links for bughouse pages on the net.

Anonymous wrote on 2003-08-13 UTCGood ★★★★

Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2003-04-24 UTC
3 first links at the top-right of this page (after 'See also:') are
broken. The fourth one is very good, but still need to be updated to point
directly to

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