Wolf Chess

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The wolf, fox, and elephant represent formidable compound pieces in Wolf Chess.

Wolf Chess is a chess variant invented by Dr. Arno von Wilpert in 1943.[1][2] It is played on a 10×8 chessboard and employs several fairy pieces including wolf and fox – compound pieces popular in variants and known by different names.

Wolf Chess correspondence matches and tournaments have been held, one of which (Paris vs. Augsburg, September 1960) is claimed to be the first international over-the-board match for a chess variant.[3]

Game rules[edit]

Wolf Chess gameboard and starting position. For this diagram: nightriders are represented by inverted knights; sergeants are represented by inverted pawns. Wolves start on squares g1/b10; foxes start on f1/c10.

As in standard chess, White moves first and the winning objective is checkmate. The king, queen, rook, bishops, and pawns move and capture the same as they do in chess. In addition there are some special rules.

Special rules[edit]

  • The wolf moves and captures as a chess rook and a chess knight.
  • The fox moves and captures as a chess bishop and a chess knight.
  • The nightrider moves and captures as a chess knight extended to make any number of steps in the same direction in a straight line.
  • A sergeant moves and captures one step straight or diagonally forward. A sergeant has the option, like a chess pawn, to move a double-step straight forward on its first move.
  • A pawn (but not a sergeant) may capture an enemy pawn or sergeant en passant.
  • Pawns and sergeants promote on the last rank to: queen, wolf, fox, rook, bishop, or nightrider, and perhaps also to knight.[a] Pawns (but not sergeants) have an additional option of promoting to elephant. The elephant piece is not present in the starting setup; it moves and captures as a chess queen and a chess knight, or perhaps a queen and a nightrider.[b]
  • There is no castling in Wolf Chess.


  1. ^ Pritchard does not mention promoting to knight, but Bodlaender does.
  2. ^ Bodlaender defines the Wolf Chess elephant as Q+nightrider; Pritchard defines as Q+N.


  1. ^ Pritchard (1994), pp. 342–43
  2. ^ Pritchard (2007), p. 140
  3. ^ Pritchard (1994), p. 343


External links[edit]