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

This page is written by the game's inventor, Tomasz Sobczyk.

Tax Chess

It is not unreasonable to think that king's movement ability in chess is the source of drawishness of the game. What if the king had reduced mobility? Too simple. What if the king had mobility defined by the state of the board? Hmm...

In this variant the allowed set of moves a king can make is defined by the placement of the player's pawns! Less pawns, less taxes, less king power!



"Towards lower file" (in other words towards A file) means left for white (looking on the board as the white player would), right for black (looking on the board as the black player would).

"Towards higher file" (in other words towards H file) means right for white, left for black.

The list of available squares for a king of color S is determined as follows:

There is a pattern to these king moves. To see it, imagine pawns being wrapped around king's starting position, with the A file pawn directly behind it.

When a king slides more than one square, it cannot pass through a square attacked by any piece of the opposite color, just as it cannot pass an attacked square when castling.

Note, only each king&aposls own pawns determine his available moves, so the white king's available moves may differ from black's. The black king's moves are mirrored with respect to white (not rotated) due to forward direction being mirrored.

All other pieces move as in orthodox Chess.


All other rules are the same as in chess. All emergent behaviour such as a king potentially attacking an enemy king is consistent with other chess rules. For example, it's forbidden to make a pawn move that would cause our king to be attacked. It is also possible that the king can deliver checkmate because it may not be attacked back by the enemy king.

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By Tomasz Sobczyk.

Last revised by Greg Strong.

Web page created: 2020-09-08. Web page last updated: 2020-10-30