No Castle

This is a shuffle variant of normal Chess, which in general destroys the possibility to castle, as the King and Rooks are also shuffled. For uniformity, castling is therefore always forbidden.

Initial setup

There is no fixed setup; the back-rank pieces are randomly shuffled with certain restrictions. Black's setup is the mirror image of white's, though.

Both sides have:

1 King
1 Queen
2 Rooks
2 Bishops
2 Knights
a2-j2, a7-j7: Pawns

The Bishops will start on opposite colors.

Moves at a Glance

Click on a piece below to see its moves

Sliding capture or non-capture,
can be blocked on any square along the ray
Unblockable leap (capture or non-capture)
Non-capture only
Capture only


Piece ID value Moves (Betza notation) Remarks
King K - K Can castle with Rook, moving 2 steps towards it
Queen Q 9.5 RB or Q
Rook R 5 R
Bishop B 3.25 B Color-bound
Knight N 3.25 N
Pawn P 1 mfWcfF Promotes to Q, R, B, or N on reaching last rank

Pawn peculiarities

General rules

Differences with FIDE

The Back-rank pieces are randomly shuffled on the back rank in the opening setup. There is no castling.

Strategy issues

It is not possible to force checkmate on a bare King with just a single Bishop or Knight (in addition to your own King). Two Knights cannot do that either.

Bishops are confined to squares of a single color. Having Bishops on both colors compensates this weakness, and is worth an extra 0.5 on top of their added value.