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Spell Chess

Spell Chess belongs in the family of refusal variants (such as Refusal Chess, Duck Chess), where next to moving one of your pieces you can forbid some of the opponent's replies. It is dressed up with some other frills as well, though.

Where in Refusal Chess you can forbid a single move of the opponent, and in Duck Chess can prevent several moves by blocking those with a neutral, teleporting piece (the Duck), Spell Chess bans moves by 'freezing' all opponent pieces in a 3x3 area of choice, meaning that none of those can move. This can have a far larger impact on the opponent's available moves, but unlike in the other mentioned variants it cannot be done on every turn. Each player has a finite supply of freeze spells, which will run out. In addition there is a rule that you cannot cast a new freeze spell too quickly after another.


The setup is identical to that of orthodox Chess.


FIDE rules apply, except for the following:

Each player starts with a supply of five freeze spells and two jump spells, and as long as this has not run out he can cast one spell in combination with his move, which deducts it from his supply. After you casted a spell, you cannot cast that same type of spell in the following two turns.

A jump spell can give the player who casts it extra moves in the turn where it was cast: it allows a sliding piece to jump over a single obstacle (be it friend or foe), turning it into the corresponding hopper. This is usually described as the spell being cast on the square where the piece that is jumped over stands, to make this piece 'transparent'.

A freeze spell is cast on a 3x3 area, to ban moves of the opponent in turn that immediately follows its casting. None of the pieces in the affected area will then be allowed to move.

The effect of all spells only lasts for one turn.


After all spells have been used up, the game becomes indistinguishable from orthodox Chess.

This variant can be played on

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Author: H. G. Muller.

Last revised by Ben Reiniger.

Web page created: 2023-09-12. Web page last updated: 2023-12-13