​A brief overview of Chess 99

The rules of Chess 99 do differ from those of standard chess and the effect on the game is by no means insignificant. Here are some of the modified rules and the more relevant consequences that they have on the game.

  • The objective of the game – as it was originally – is to capture, not checkmate, the opponent’s king.

  • It is not illegal to make a move that places, or leaves, one’s king in check. (Players are fully responsible for keeping a watchful eye on their king at all times during the game.)

  • As long as each and every piece is moved according to its own rules, there will never be an illegal play. (Players will always have a move and there is no such a thing as a draw by “stalemate”.)

  • Two knights may not be able to force a checkmate but they can force a capture. (A two-knight ending, if played skillfully, is a win.)

  • Pawn promotions are limited to the two minor pieces, bishops and knights. (A single pawn ending, even one where the pawn can safely promote, is a draw.)

  • Pawns are permitted to make two-square moves all the way across the board and in return all pieces may capture them “en passant”.

  • The king may castle repeatedly, he may do so with any of his pieces, and he may even use this play to escape check.

  • Players are given 99 moves to win the game. Or it’s a draw!

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