Apocalypse (chess variant)

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Apocalypse gameboard and starting setup

Apocalypse is a chess variant invented by C. S. Elliott in 1976.[1][2] The players each start with two horsemen and five footmen on a 5×5 board. The two sides make their moves simultaneously.

The game was featured in Issue 53 of Games & Puzzles magazine.

Game rules[edit]

The starting setup is as shown. Horsemen and footmen move and capture the same as knights and pawns in chess, except footmen do not have a double-step option on their first move. For each turn, each player secretly writes down their move, then the players simultaneously declare them. The following rules apply:

  • If they moved to the same square, a horseman captures a footman. Same-type pieces are both removed from the board.
  • If a capture was declared using a footman, but the piece to be captured moved from its square, the footman move still stands. (The move converts to a diagonal step instead of a capture.)
  • If a declared move is illegal, the player incurs a penalty point.

A footman promotes to horseman when reaching the last rank, but only when the player has fewer than two horsemen. Otherwise the player must redeploy the footman to any vacant square.[3]

End of game[edit]

A player wins by being first to eliminate all of the opponent's footmen. Accumulating two penalty points forfeits the game. A stalemate is a draw.


  1. ^ Pritchard (1994), p. 9
  2. ^ Pritchard (2007), p. 181
  3. ^ "Apocalypse". The World of Abstract Games • João Pedro Neto.


External links[edit]