Notes and papers on chess variants (John)

Some of the material on this page was created on a machine which did not have a PDF capability, and the transfer was not without its difficulties. In case any of these difficulties has not been successfully overcome, copies scanned from the original masters are offered as well as the newly created PDF files. Our thanks to Mike Shaw and The Cabinet Office ( for the scanning, and to Ian Watson ( for arranging for it to be done.

Losing Chess : 1 e3 is a win for White (reporting work by Mark Watkins, October 2016)
A summary of Losing Chess openings knowledge as at 10 October 2016

The Classified Encyclopedia of Chess Variants (D. B. Pritchard, 2007, with a supplementary paper Towards ECV3)
Variant Chess magazine (ISSN 0958-8248, 1990-2010)
The Variant Proof Games collection of Peter Fayers (updated June 2015)
The Pritchard archive (June 2012)

Adam Sobey 1925-2015 (July 2015, footnote added April 2016)

Progressive Chess : How often does the "Italian rule" make a difference? (August 2011)
Notes on Cambodian Chess, on Gala, and on Nam Dinh Chess (November 2012 / February 2013)
Four recent problems exploiting fuddled men (May 2015)

Losing Chess : 1 a3 e6 is a win for Black (reporting work by Klaas Steenhuis, October 2015)
A first survey of Losing Chess endgame material published up to the end of 1999 (October 2000) and the same scanned
Three-man pawnless endings in Losing Chess (July 1998 / February 1999) and the same scanned

The contributions of Marc Bourzutschky to chess endgame knowledge (January 2015)
An apparently complete verdict on the ending with king and triplet leaper against king (December 2014, replacing "A note on the triplet leaper 2,3/2,4/2,5" posted August 2012)
Yet more on two queens against two moves (reporting work by Noam Elkies, September 2102)

51 Flights of Chess Fancy (chapters 4-7)

Each item in PDF format opens in a new window.

For Losing Chess, Fabrice Liardet's French-language site is an excellent source of material. The British Chess Variants Society has been dissolved and its site no longer exists, but the site's final contents have been recovered from the backup sticks and mounted on George Jelliss's "Mayhematics" site; furthermore, at the time of writing (May 2013) most if not all of these contents can be recovered from the "Wayback" site (type in "" in response to the "http://" prompt, and click on "Take Me Back" and then on the most recent date highlighted on the calendar displayed).