Chess Variants/Beirut Chess

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a b c d e f g h
8a8 black rookb8 black knightc8 black bishopd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black bishopg8 black knighth8 black rook8
7a7 black kingb7 black pawnc7 black pawnd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black pawng7 black pawnh7 black pawn7
6a6 black pawnb6 black kingc6 black pawnd6 crosse6 crossf6 crossg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 crosse5 white knightf5 crossg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black queene4 white pawnf4 crossg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 black kingg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 white pawnb2 white pawnc2 white pawnd2 white pawne2 black kingf2 white pawng2 white pawnh2 white pawn2
1a1 white rookb1 white knightc1 white bishopd1 white queene1 white kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 white rook1
a b c d e f g h
In a normal chess game, after 5. Nxe5 in the Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation, Black equalises with 5... Qd4. However in this Beirut chess game White designated the e5-knight as the bomb carrier, and so they can play 6.Boom!, destroying the black queen and giving White the advantage. The explosion would affect all of the squares around the knight, including the squares marked with crosses.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Beirut Chess is a variant that involves explosions, similar to atomic chess. However unlike atomic chess you are allowed to control when an explosion occurs.

History[edit | edit source]

Beirut chess was created by Jim Winslow in 1992 and named after Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, where numerous suicide bombings have taken place.

Rules[edit | edit source]

Before a game of Beirut chess begins, each player secretly designates one of their pieces (other than their king) as their bomb carrier. The most common way to mark this designation is to place a red dot on the underside of the selected piece.

Any any point in the game, if a player's bomb carrier piece is still on the board, then instead of making a move that player may say "Boom!" and overturn their bomb carrier piece to reveal the red dot. Then, any piece inside of a three-by-three radius of squares centered on the bomb carrier's square (including the bomb carrier itself) are removed from the board. Unlike atomic chess, pawns are destroyed in the explosion.

If a piece is captured, it cannot be inspected to see if it was a bomb carrier.

If a player manages to use their bomb carrier piece to blow up the enemy king, they automatically win the game.

Sub-variants[edit | edit source]

  • Multiple Beirut Chess: Both player agree on a specified number of pieces for each side to designate as bomb carriers before the game begins, between two and fifteen.
  • Dead Man's Switch: If a piece is captured, it is inspected. If the piece turns out to be the bomb carrier, the bomb carrier immediately explodes with the usual effects.