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Atomic Chess Rules


The atomic chess rules are deduced by a collection of statements from friends of this game. The general ruleset follows:

  1. The normal chess rules are valid, with the following extensions.
  2. Whenever a piece is captured, an explosion occurs on the regarding field. The explosion destroys
    1. the capturing piece
    2. the captured piece
    3. all pieces on the immediate horizontal, vertical and diagonal neighbour fields, except pawns. Destroyed pieces are removed from the board.
  3. A game is won by checkmate or causig explosion of the opponents king by an indirect hit (see rule #2). In most cases the server will recognize a direct atomic-checkmate before the king is actually captured.
  4. Moves causing own king's explosion are not allowed.


Rule #2 and #4 imply that the King may never capture a hostile piece, avoiding his own oxplosion.

Rule #4 leads to the weird possibility that a king moving into reach of opponents king cannot be captured directly, since the opponents king would be destroyed. Still the game can be won by an indirect hit, capturing an opponents piece near his king and away from the other.

Some interfaces do not let you indirect capture a pice when in check, because they do not know about the atomic ruleset. In this case, you have to type the move in the GICS window. A patch for xboard is available on our Web page

Play it: match player_name time inc atomic
Hint: Watch the Knights!

Takebacks are not allowed in this mode!

BUGS examine-backwards does not work for atomic. (Captured pieces are not redrawn).

Rules collected and described by Klaus Knopper, Atomic chess implemented by connex 27.11.1995

See also: wild suicide

next up previous contents
Next: behavior Up: Informational Files Previous: atmosphere

Klaus Knopper <>