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Some chess variants are really helpful in teaching chess to beginners. Here is an example variant. This one is similar to knight chase. Both players have only a knight. White has a knight at a8 and black has one at h1. White starts first and then players make alternate moves. A player moves his knight and marks the square previously occupied by his knight. Marked squares are no longer available to any player. The player who cannot move his knight at his turn loses. This game is useful to teach the movement of knight to beginners in a fun way.

Are there any other chess variants that are actually helpful in teaching chess and fun to play at the same time? (I am not much interested in bringing in new pieces or new rules, focus is more on teaching chess rules the fun way). Thanks

closed as too broad by Toon Krijthe, Becuzz, Joe W, Benjamin Cosman, Nij Oct 12 '17 at 9:49

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    In my experience, all such variations merely serve to confuse a beginner. Just play it properly. – Chenmunka Oct 11 '17 at 7:49
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Dice Chess

Roll a die before making a move. The number tells you which type of piece you have to move:

  1. Pawn
  2. Knight
  3. Bishop
  4. Rook
  5. Queen
  6. King

If no piece of that type can move, then roll again.

Playing this way means a beginner only has to look for the best move for a few pieces on each turn, not for all the pieces, which takes less time and effort. This way a player can get through a few games without being stressed out and without viewing the game as frustrating.

Once a player begins to hope they roll a given number, the die should be abandoned and the game played normally.

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Pushing the pawn

White has a king with its pawn, black only has a king (all at their usual starting locations). White wins if the pawn savely (so either protected by its king or the black king more than one square away) moves to the last row, black wins if he survives 40 rounds (each player has 40 moves).

Teaches opposition


Checkmate for two

White has a king and first a queen, next a rook, then two bishops, then two knights (no forced checkmate possible), then a bishop and a knight. Black has only the king and white wins if he ckeckmates black, black if he survives 40 rounds.

Teaches checkmate options for different pieces.

  • Note that two Knights can't force checkmate. – eyeballfrog Oct 11 '17 at 19:07
  • I thought this would be clear for someone trying to teach chess, but you're totally right and I should've stated that. I edited the answer. – Andreas Hüttig Oct 12 '17 at 21:56

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