Monster Chess, also known as Super King Chess, is an intriguing chess variant where the White side starts the game with significantly fewer pieces than the Black side.
The challenge for the White side is to leverage its unique ability to execute two successive moves per turn to level the playing field.
The Unique Structure of Monster Chess
In the traditional setup of Monster Chess, White begins with only a king and four pawns.
These five pieces are pitted against a full roster of Black pieces.
All standard chess rules apply in this variant, with the exception that White can execute two moves in a single turn.
Another exception allows the White king to move into check on its first move, but it must move out of check on the second.
Variations of Monster Chess
There are other variations of Monster Chess as well. For instance, White can start with either all eight pawns or just two.
The game can also be played with reversed colors, making it an equally thrilling experience.
How to play Monster Chess (Super King Chess)
The Power of Queening a Pawn in Monster Chess
The act of queening a white pawn in Monster Chess holds significant power.
Doing so often leads to White being able to declare a checkmate within a few subsequent moves.
When the board is reduced to only two kings, White can easily maneuver to force a Monster Chess checkmate.
Key Rules of Monster Chess
There are a few key rules to keep in mind while playing Monster Chess.
Each turn, White must execute two moves, either with one piece moving twice or two different pieces moving once each.
The White king can move into check but must move out of it within the same turn if possible.
In situations where the king is in check, it must be placed out of check immediately.
Checking and Checkmate in Monster Chess
In Monster Chess, a king is in check if it could be captured on the next turn.
The White King can capture the Black King due to the double move rule.
White checkmates Black when, irrespective of where Black moves, White can always capture Black’s king by making two consecutive moves.
Strategic Elements in Monster Chess
One example of strategic play in Monster Chess could involve White moving a pawn to a square that attacks the Black king.
Black cannot respond by checking the White king with the queen to avoid checkmate.
If Black were to do so, White could take the Black king with the pawn on the next move, before Black has the chance to capture the White king.
Challenging Checkmate for Black in Monster Chess
For Black, checkmating the bare White king can be quite challenging.
Typically, two queens or a queen and two rooks are needed to achieve checkmate.
In some scenarios, a game with the Black king and queen versus the bare White king can result in a loss for Black if the White king can consistently check until achieving checkmate or a fork.
However, a draw is possible if the queen is not on the edge and her king is adjacent to her, making a check on the king impossible.