Capture Anything Chess [Self-Capture Chess Variant]

Capture Anything Chess, also known as Self-Capture Chess or Self-Eliminator Chess, is an intriguing variation of the classic game of chess.

It introduces a unique twist: players can capture their own pieces, as well as those of their opponent.

This subtle change has a profound impact on strategy and gameplay, creating an engaging new dynamic for chess enthusiasts to explore.

Origins of Capture Anything Chess

Though the exact origins of Capture Anything Chess are hard to trace, it belongs to a broader category of chess variants that modify the traditional rules to create new challenges.

These alternatives have been explored for hundreds of years, fostering innovative thinking in the world of chess.

Rules of Capture Anything Chess

Capture Anything Chess shares the same initial board setup, piece movements, and goal of checkmating the opponent’s king with traditional chess.

The major difference lies in its unique capturing rules. Here’s how they work:

  1. Self-capture: Players can capture their own pieces during their turn. The captured piece is removed from the board.
  2. No restrictions on captures: Any piece, except the king, can be captured. A player can’t put their own king into check by self-capturing a defending piece.
  3. All other rules remain the same: All other chess rules, including en passant, castling, and pawn promotion, apply as normal.

How to play Self Eliminator Chess (Capture Chess)

Strategies for Capture Anything Chess

The allowance for self-capture dramatically alters gameplay and strategy. Here are some strategies unique to this variant:

Using Self-Capture to Clear Paths

In traditional chess, one common challenge is navigating around your own pieces.

In Capture Anything Chess, you can capture your own pieces to open up lanes of movement, offering greater mobility and attack potential.

Sacrificing Pieces for Tactical Advantage

Self-capture enables strategic sacrifices of your own pieces.

For example, a player might remove their own pawn to make room for a more powerful piece, or to escape from a dangerous position.

Adding Complexity to Opponent’s Decisions

Every move in Capture Anything Chess can pose a threat to both your own and your opponent’s pieces, which adds a layer of complexity to each decision.

Tournaments and Recognition

While Capture Anything Chess is not as recognized as traditional chess, it enjoys popularity among enthusiasts looking for a twist on the game.

Several online platforms offer the variant, and informal tournaments are held in chess clubs worldwide.

Impact on Chess Thinking

Capture Anything Chess challenges traditional chess thinking by introducing an element of controlled self-destruction.

It encourages players to reassess the value of each piece, reconsidering moves and strategies that would be counterintuitive in the conventional game.

The variant provides a platform to explore new tactics and promote creative thinking in chess.

GM Vladimir Kramnik praised it as an “improved version of regular chess.”


Capture Anything Chess, like other chess variants, showcases the game’s capacity for evolution and reinterpretation.

It offers a fresh perspective on time-tested strategies and encourages players to step outside their comfort zone.

Whether you’re a seasoned chess player or a beginner looking for a challenge, Capture Anything Chess can deepen your understanding of this classic game.

This variant reminds us that even in a game as old as chess, there are always new strategies and ideas to discover.

FAQ Section on “Capture Anything Chess” or “Self-Capture Chess”

1. What is Capture Anything Chess or Self-Capture Chess?

Capture Anything Chess, also known as Self-Capture Chess, is a chess variant where a player’s pieces can capture not only the opponent’s pieces, but also their own.

This new layer of complexity makes the game significantly different and requires fresh strategic thinking from the players.

2. How is Self-Capture Chess played?

Self-Capture Chess follows the same rules as traditional chess with one major exception: a player can capture their own pieces.

The same movement rules apply, and the objective remains the same: checkmate the opponent’s king.

3. Why would anyone want to capture their own pieces?

In regular chess, it seems counter-intuitive to capture your own pieces.

However, in Self-Capture Chess, it opens up a multitude of strategic possibilities.

For example, you might capture one of your own pieces to clear a path for another piece, make space for a critical move, or avoid a certain checkmate.

4. Can you put your own king in check in Self-Capture Chess?

No, you cannot deliberately put your own king in check (with the implication that you have to move your king to safety on the next move).

This rule remains consistent with standard chess.

If a move would put your own king in check, it is considered illegal.

5. Does en passant apply in Self-Capture Chess?

Yes, the standard en passant rule applies in Self-Capture Chess, allowing a pawn to capture an opponent’s pawn in a specific scenario.

However, there’s no self-en passant; a pawn cannot capture a friendly pawn that has just advanced two squares from its starting position.

6. What happens when a pawn reaches the other side of the board?

The pawn can be promoted to any piece, as in traditional chess.

This includes a queen, rook, bishop, or knight. Interestingly, the new piece is immediately susceptible to being captured by a friendly piece, if strategically necessary.

7. How does castling work in Self-Capture Chess?

Castling follows the same rules as in standard chess: the king and rook cannot have moved previously, the squares between the king and rook must be unoccupied, and the king cannot be in check or move through a square that is under attack.

Importantly, capturing a rook doesn’t prevent castling with another rook, if the player has chosen to capture their own rook.

8. Can a game of Self-Capture Chess end in a stalemate?

Yes, stalemate rules apply in Self-Capture Chess as in traditional chess.

If a player is not in check but has no legal move (all moves would put their own king in check), the game is declared a draw due to stalemate.

9. Does Self-Capture Chess require different strategies than traditional chess?

Absolutely. Because players can remove their own pieces, new and unique strategies become viable.

Self-capture can be used to clear lines, enable combinations, or prevent the opponent’s plans.

It requires a deep understanding of both standard chess strategy and the unique dynamics introduced by self-capture.

10. Can I play Self-Capture Chess online?

Yes, you can play Self-Capture Chess online. Several chess websites and apps allow you to play variants of chess, including Self-Capture Chess.

You might need to check the rules or settings to ensure you’re playing the correct variant.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *