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This page is written by the game's inventor, Steven Streetman.

Bughouse Spartan Chess

Long ago, when I was in college, there was frequently a game of Bug House Chess going on at the chess club. There was a lot of laughing, yelling, hooting, pounding the table and players screaming things like “Get me a Knight” or “Get me a pawn now!” This variant was much loved and played recreationally, not seriously.

Bughouse Chess is pretty crazy and this is an attempt to make it even crazier by having Spartan Chess played on one of the two boards.


Two chess boards are set up.
The first board is set up as in Spartan Chess.
The second board is set up as in orthodox chess.
Thus, there are 3 Orthodox and 1 Spartan side between the 2 boards as shown:

Team B
Player 3

  Team B
Player 4


Team A
Player 1
First Board
Team A
Player 2
Second Board

Spartan Setup
Kings c8, f8; General b8; Warlord g8;
Captains d8, e8; Lieutenants a8, h8;
hoplites a7, b7, c7, d7, e7, f7, g7, h7.


All orthodox pieces move as those in orthodox chess.
All Spartan pieces move as described in the: Spartan Chess Rules

Here is a synopsis of how Spartan Chess pieces move.


All Bughouse Chess Rules apply except as modified by the following.

Spartan pieces behave as described in the Spartan Chess Rules

A synopsis of the rules of Spartan Chess follows:
  • Check Immunity - When the Spartan has two Kings in play a Spartan King is immune from check.
  • Duple-Check – If both Spartan Kings are placed under simultaneous attack this is duple-check. The Spartan loses if on his move he is unable to escape duple-check.
  • Promotion – A hoplite may promote to any Spartan piece.
  • Capturing en Passant - None in Spartan Chess.
  • Castling – Spartan Kings may not “castle”.
Piece Distinctiveness
Pieces captured, passed and dropped retain their distinctive movement abilities. Spartan pieces always move like Spartan pieces and orthodox pieces like orthodox pieces.

For example, when a Spartan hoplite is dropped on the board it moves like a hoplite no matter what board it is on. Thus it is possible and likely that there will be Spartan moving and orthodox moving pieces, as the game progresses, on each Black side.

Spartan King
A Spartan King when captured and passed becomes a hoplite.

Capturing en passant
Pawns may capture pawns en passant on the Spartan board.

In Spartan Chess there is no capturing en passent. This is because Spartan pawns don’t capture in a fashion to capture en passant and Spartan pawns, when moving 2 squares on their first move, jump over any potential capture square.


Spartan Bughouse Chess is best played with two different and distinct chess sets so that Spartan pieces can be differentiated more easily from orthodox pieces.

In the event that your sets are identical place a token, such as a checker, under a chess piece passed and dropped where there might be any doubt.

Bughouse Spartan Chess is very new. Any comments or suggestions are most welcome.

You may visit the Spartan Chess website here:

Play and enjoy!

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By Steven Streetman.
Web page created: 2010-11-10. Web page last updated: 2010-11-10