Chess Terms
Racing Kings

Racing Kings

Lace up your running shoes—it's time to go on a race! If you enjoy chess and like the thrill of a race, you need to learn about Racing Kings.

Here's what you need to know about this game:

What Is Racing Kings?

Racing Kings is a chess variant where the ultimate goal of each player is to take their kings to the eighth rank. Both players see the board from the same perspective and start the game with a mirrored setup of pieces:

Racing Kings initial setup.
The initial setup for Racing Kings. White always starts on the kingside and Black on the queenside.

White always moves first, which gives them a slight advantage. To correct this, Black is the only side that can draw the game. They do it by stepping onto the eighth rank with their king immediately after White does the same.

In this variant, all the pieces move like in regular chess. However, giving checks or walking into checks is illegal.

Racing Kings.
A game of Racing Kings. Notice that the kings can never be in check.

How To Play Racing Kings Online

You can easily play Racing Kings online at To do so, head over to our Variants page, select the Other tab, and click on Racing Kings.

Racing Kings
You can find Racing Kings on our Variants page.


You now know what Racing Kings is, its rules, and how to play it online. Click the button below to play a game of this exciting variant and run with your king as fast as you can!

Play Racing Kings

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