Saturday, May 23, 2015

Wickedly Fun Chess Variant: Fairies vs. Demons Chess

Fairies vs. Demons Chess

The Board


Eliminate or trap enemy Queen and King. For instance, you may eliminate the Queen and Trap the King or vice-versa. Or you can eliminate both. Or you can trap both. Trapping means a least one enemy piece is blocking a move and no immediate move is available.

The Moves

Gnome/Imp: These witless distracted pieces move any direction but forward (they way you want them to move). But they are experts at laying traps, so don’t get behind them or you may find a nasty surprise. They can only move backwards when springing traps to eliminate a piece. When a Gnome or Imp reaches the other side it may be exchanged for any captured piece.
Pegasus/Dragon:  You have one for each color of square so be careful not to lose one. These fly and attack 2 spaces forward backward or sideways. They can also fly to any space that is diagonally past a square it can attack. Remember: short jumps (2 squares) can be an attack. The long diagonal jump is not an attack.
Giant/Troll: These lumbering oafs aren’t too swift, but they can stomp anything that gets close. Move or attack and occupy 1 square in any direction (like the King in regular chess).
King/Queen: Move diagonally 1 square, or zigzag 2. The king automatically freezes enemy players 1 diagonal away. The queen unfreezes any of her own pieces 1 square away. The kings and queens are immune to each other’s powers. Queens and Kings stay on one color.

Fairy/Banshee: Move one square or teleport through players three squares in a direct line forward, backward and sideways. When it doesn’t move, it may zap an enemy 1 to the front, back or side.
Game notes and tips:
  • Use Imps and Gnomes in front to protect the pieces behind them from capture, especially the Fairy/Banshee who is powerful but vulnerable.
  • Use Pegasus/Dragon long jump to travel a long distance and fork enemy pieces on the same color. It can also hide (protected) behind an advancing piece, like a Gnome/Imp, to prevent a Fairy/Banshee from getting in front to zap the piece.
  • Free spaces around your king so it can zigzag over to freeze enemies that get close. Then use a nearby Giant/Troll or Imp/Gnome backward attack to eliminate them while they are frozen.
  • Gnomes/Imps that reach the end of the board promote, just like regular chess
  • Fairies/Banshee and Pegasus/Dragon pieces can move through/over other pieces.
  • Be careful not to trade away a king or queen early in the game. Your opponent will be able to make a lot of sacrifices to eliminate or trap the remaining royal piece.
  • Tides turn quickly in this game. A strong advantage can disappear quickly. Think like your enemy.
  • If the last movable King/Queen is trapped by at least one enemy piece, like a Gnome or Imp (and usually some of their own pieces) then the game is over. It doesn’t matter if the trapped player has a move that eliminates the attacking piece, such as attacking the Gnome or Imp. It isn’t like checkmate in regular chess where you can eliminate the attacking piece.
Questions? Email me at

Thanks to my son Bryce Allen who help design the game--and no thanks for always beating me!






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