Chess Terms
Fog Of War Chess

Fog Of War Chess

Chess is a game where concrete calculations always are indispensable. But what happens when players must risk it all and leap into the darkness without knowing what they will meet?

Enters Fog of War, one of the most exciting chess variants developed.

What Is Fog Of War Chess?

Fog of War is a chess variant originally proposed by Jens Bæk Nielsen and Torben Osted in 1989 under the name of Dark Chess. In this variant, players can see only the squares where their pieces can legally move.

Fog of War chess.
The starting position of a Fog of War game. Players can't see all the squares of the board in this variant.

Players can't see which enemy piece captures one of their own unless at least one other piece is "looking" at the square where the capture takes place. The same is true for pawn promotions—players can only see that an opponent has promoted if they have a piece eyeing the promotion square.

A Fog of War capture.
When one of Black's pieces captures the bishop, White loses visibility of that area of the board.

Here is a video of GM Hikaru Nakamura learning how to play Fog of War chess with IM Levy Rozman.

What Are The Rules Of Fog Of War Chess?

The rules of Fog of War chess are mostly the same as standard chess. The only (and crucial) difference is the absence of checks or checkmates in this variant. The game only ends when one of the kings is captured.

This difference has a few implications. Players can move their king into an attacked square since there are no checks. Likewise, there are no stalemates—if a king can move to only attacked squares, it must do so and allow itself to be captured.

Kings can move into check during Fog of War games.
The black king moves into check, and White captures it to win the game.

How To Play Fog Of War Online

Playing Fog of War online is much easier than over the board since players need an arbiter to do it in real life. However, playing online is simple with All you have to do is visit our Variants page and select Fog of War from the game menu.

You can play Fog of War Chess on
It's easy to play Fog of War on!

You can select different time controls and even invite a specific player to battle you.


You now know what Fog of War chess is, its rules, and how you can play it online on Join the Fog of War club and click the button below to play a game of this or other exciting variants!

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