Chess Terms
Horde Chess

Horde Chess

Can you command a horde of pawns to roll over the enemy's army? Or would you rather pretend you're Rambo and use your fighting prowess to defeat your opponent even when outnumbered? Either way, Horde Chess is the right choice for you.

Here is what you need to know about Horde Chess:

What Is Horde Chess?

Horde Chess is a chess variant where Black starts with the regular chess army and White with nothing but 36 pawns. This game is a modification of another variant called Dunsany's Chess, created by Lord Dunsany in 1942.

Horde Chess.
Horde Chess is an asymmetrical variant of the game

What Are The Rules Of Horde Chess?

The most significant difference between regular and Horde Chess lies in the way the game ends. White starts exclusively with pawns, and their goal is to checkmate the black king. However, since there is no white king, Black can't deliver checkmate conventionally. Instead, Black must capture all of White's pawns (and promoted pieces) to win the game.

A black
Black wins by "checkmate" when they capture all of White's pawns.

Most of the other rules of Horde Chess are the same as those of orthodox chess. The game draws after a stalemate, both players can promote their pawns to any minor or major piece, en passant captures are still possible, and so on.

The only other difference is in the movement of the white pawns. Pawns on the first and second ranks can move two squares forward if they have room to do it. Furthermore, pawns that started on the first rank can move two squares up even on their second move.

Horde Chess pawn move.
The White pawns that started on the first rank can move two squares forward even on their second move.

How To Play Horde Chess On

Playing Horde Chess on is very easy. All you have to do is go to our Variants page and select Horde from the game menu.

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You now know what Horde Chess is, its rules, and how to play it online on Click the button below to go to our Variants page and start a Horde Chess game now!

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