Cubic chess

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Cubic chess
A cubic chess game in progress
DesignersVladimír Pribylinec
Years activeCurrent rules since 2008
Setup time< 1 min.
Playing timeCasual games usually 10–60 mins.
SkillsStrategy, tactics

Cubic chess is a chess variant invented by Vladimír Pribylinec beginning with an early version (named Echos) in 1977.[1][2][3] The game substitutes cubes for the chess pieces, where four of the faces of each cube display a different chess piece (pawn, knight, bishop and rook), the two other faces are blank and are orientated to the players. This provides an efficient means (rotating the cube on a square) to change a piece's type. Kings and queens have unique cubes containing only their symbol, effectively behaving as normal.

The game begins like standard chess, with a normal 8×8 chessboard, and cubes rotated so that uppermost faces reflect the standard chess starting position.

Game rules[edit]

Cubic chess follows the normal rules of chess (including castling, check, checkmate, etc.), but with the following special differences:

  • Non-pawn pieces that become captured, are retained by the capturer—unrotated—into off-board "stock".
  • For their turn, a player may either:
    • make a normal chess move using one of the pieces already on the board; or
    • rotate any pawn such that uppermost on the player's cube is any piece type contained in the player's "stock". A corresponding piece in the stock is immediately removed from the game.

Sample game[edit]

Note on notation: When a pawn is rotated to display a new piece type, the new piece is written in parentheses, for example: 6...h7(B).

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 d5 4.e5 Bg4 5.d4 Nc6 6.Bb5 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 a7(N) 8.Bxc6 Nxc6 9.c3 d5(B) 10.Qf2 Rxa2 11.Rxa2 Bxa2 12.Nd2 h7(R) 13.h3 Be7 14.0-0 f3 15.Qxf3 Bd5 16.Ne4 Rh4 17.Nd6+ Bxd6 18.Qxd5 Nf6 19.Qf3 Bxe5 20.Re1 Nxd4 21.Rxe5 Kf8 22.cxd4 f7(N) 23.Be3 Nxe5 24.dxe5 b7(R) 25.exf6 gxf6 26.Bf2 Ra4 27.g2(R) Ra1+ 28.Kh2 Rxb2 29.Qg4 Qd6+ 30.Bg3 Rxg2 31.Kxg2 Qd2+ 32.Kf3 Ra3+ 33.Ke4 Ra4+ 34.Kf5 Qd5+ 35.Kxf6 Rxg4 36.hxg4 Rh6++

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pritchard (1994), p. 78
  2. ^ Pritchard (2007), pp. 162–63
  3. ^ Beasley (2005), p. 59


  • Beasley, John (May 2005). "Cubic Developments". Variant Chess. British Chess Variants Society. 7 (48). ISSN 0958-8248.
  • Pritchard, D. B. (1994). "Cubic Chess (II)". The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants. Games & Puzzles Publications. ISBN 0-9524142-0-1.
  • Pritchard, D. B. (2007). "Cubic Chess [Pribylinec]". In Beasley, John (ed.). The Classified Encyclopedia of Chess Variants. John Beasley. ISBN 978-0-9555168-0-1.