L-Lists Logo L-Lists logo (words)
The collaborative list making website by
StatisticalConsultants Ltd
Search for lists:
Follow L-Lists:
Also by Statistical Consultants Ltd: Unlisted Videos - A website for unlisted YouTube videos.

List of Games Like Chess

List started by: StarTrekWarsGateOcean
List contributors: P1800R, StarTrekWarsGateOcean
Date started: 27 Dec 2012
Last updated: 07 Mar 2019
Keywords: board games, chess, checkers, xiangqi, shogi


Games similar to chess. A game should only be included in the list if it is a board game with no luck based / random draws component to it (such as dice rolling or card drawing). The list shouldn’t include games which are simply variations of chess, unless they are historically significant or commonly played variants.

Row # Title Image Description
1 Chess Chess
Chess is a two-player game played on a board consisting of 8 by 8 squares. Each player starts the game with 8 pawns, 2 bishops, 2 rooks, 2 knights, 1 king and 1 queen. You can capture your opponent’s pieces by moving one of your pieces to its position. The objective of the game is to capture your opponent’s king. Each piece has its own movement rules. If you move a pawn to the other side of the board, you can replace it with a superior piece.
2 Checkers Checkers
Checkers is played on a board consisting of 8 by 8 squares. Each player has 12 disc shaped (ordinary) pieces. The objective is to remove all of your opponent’s pieces from the board. Ordinary pieces can only be moved diagonally forwards and king pieces can be moved diagonally forwards or backwards. A king piece is created by moving an ordinary piece to the other side of the board. Each piece can move one space in a turn, unless it is jumping over an opponent’s piece. Multiple jumps can be made in a single turn. A player’s pieces are removed from the board if they are jumped over by their opponent’s pieces. Multiple jumps can be made Checkers is also known as draughts.
3 Xiangqi Xiangqi
Xiangqi originated in China. The board has a grid pattern (with horizontal, vertical and a few diagonal lines) which has a dividing space known as the ‘river’. The movement of some pieces are affected by the river. Each player’s pieces start the game on the board’s intersections and move along the lines. The pieces are typically discs with Chinese characters (coloured red for one player, and black for the other) on them. The objective is to capture your opponent’s general. The pieces include: generals, advisors, elephants, horses, chariots, cannons, and soldiers. Xiangqi is also known as Chinese chess.
4 Shogi Shogi
The modern version of Shogi was developed in the 16th century (but had evolved from older board games). The game board comprises of a nine-by-nine grid of rectangles. The pieces are wedge shaped and have kanji characters (Chinese characters used in Japanese) denoting what piece they represent. The top side of each piece is written in black, and (except for kings and gold generals) the bottom is written in red (to denote a promoted version of the character). The only thing which visually differentiates your pieces from your opponents is the direction they are pointing. Each player starts with 1 king, 1 rook, 1 bishop, 2 gold generals, 2 silver generals, 2 knights, 2 lances and 9 pawns. A player’s pieces start in the first three rows closest to them, with the third row taken up entirely by pawns, the second row having the bishop and rook (but mostly empty spaces), and the first row taken up entirely by the other pieces. Like chess, the objective is to capture your opponent’s king. Unlike chess, most pieces can be promoted (if they reach one of the furthest three rows away) and captured enemy pieces can be redeployed but on your side (instead of using your turn to move a piece). Shogi is also known as Japanese chess.
5 Go Go
Go originated in ancient China. One player places white pieces, and the other player places black pieces. The pieces are placed on the intersections on a grid (with horizontal and vertical lines). If a cluster of a player’s pieces has no ‘liberties’ (empty points) around it (due to being either surrounded or cornered by the opponent’s pieces), then that cluster of pieces is removed from the board. The objective is to gain the most territory. Go is also known as igo, baduk, paduk, and weiqi.
6 Chaturanga Chaturanga
Chaturanga was developed in India around the 6th century AD. Chaturanga is believed to have lead to the development of chess, shogi, makruk, xiangqi and janggi. The exact rules of chaturanga are unknown.
7 Bagh-Chal Bagh-Chal
Bagh-Chal is a Nepalese board game. It differs from most ‘chess like’ games, in that the two players are asymmetric. One player controls tigers, and the other player controls goats. The board has horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines, with pieces being placed at the intersections and moved along the lines. The tigers start at the four corners of the board, and the goats are gradually added to the board. The tiger player wins if they capture five goats. The goats player wins if they eventually make it impossible for the tigers to capture five goats.
8 Tamerlane Chess Tamerlane Chess
Tamerlane chess originated in Persia during the reign of Timur (1336–1405). The board consists of 11 by 10 (uncheckered) squares, with two additional squares which protrude from the side. Only Kings can occupy the protruding squares. Tamerlane chess has a wide variety of pieces including different types of pawns. Most types of pawn correspond to a higher piece, which it gets promoted to when it reaches the end of the board. The two exceptions are the pawn of kings, which gets promoted to a prince (essentially a spare king), and the pawn of pawns which doesn’t get promoted. Each player starts with the following pieces: 11 pawns (of varying types), 2 elephants, 2 camels, 2 war machines, 2 rooks, 2, knights, 2 pickets, 2 giraffes, 1 general, 1 vizir and 1 king. The objective is to eliminate your opponent’s king(s).
9 Makruk Makruk
Makruk is very similar to chess, and in Thailand is more commonly played than chess. The main differences between Makruk and chess are: the starting positions (there is an empty row between the pawns and the other pieces), how the pieces move (queens can only move one space and bishops can only move on space forward or diagonally), and the counting rules (the game must be completed within a certain number of turns if all pawns or all non-king pieces are eliminated). Makruk is also known as Thai chess.
10 Janggi Janggi
Janggi was derived from and is similar to xiangqi (including the starting position of the pieces). Unlike xiangqi, there is no ‘river’ dividing the two sides of the board. Janggi is also known as Korean chess.
11 Courier Chess Courier Chess
Courier chess is a centuries old game very similar to chess. It is played on a board 50% wider than a chess board i.e. a board consisting of 12 by 8 squares. Each player starts the game with the following pieces: 12 pawns, 2 rooks, 2 knights, 2 bischofs (also known as bishops, wise men or archers), 2 couriers (also known as läufers or runners), 1 rath (also known as a mann, counsellor or henchman), 1 schleich (also known as a sneak, smuggler, trülle or trull), 1 queen, and 1 king. Bischofs leap to two spaces diagonally. Couriers move like bishops in chess. Raths can move one space in any direction. Schleichs can move one space horizontally or vertically. Queens can move one space diagonally. Courier chess is also known as kurierspiel, courier-spiel or the courier game.
12 Chaturaji Chaturaji
Chaturaji is a game for four players, which originated in India. Each player has the following eight pieces: 4 pawns, 1 king, 1 elephant, 1 horse and 1 boat. The pawns and king move in a similar way to how they move in chess. The elephant moves like a chess rook. The horse moves like a chess knight. The boat moves like a chess bishop but with its movement restricted to two squares.
13 Hiashatar Hiashatar
Hiashatar is a medieval chess variant from Mongolia, played on a 10 by 10 square board. The pieces are the same as in chess except each player has two extra pawns and two ‘bodyguard’ (or ‘hia’) pieces. Bodyguard pieces can move up to two squares in any direction. Bodyguard pieces have an unusual special ability which restricts the movement of the nearby pieces (except knights). A moving piece must stop if it moves through one square away from the bodyguard. A piece positioned one square away from a bodyguard cannot move more than one square away in a single move. The other differences to chess are that pawns only promote to queens, and that there is no castling.
14 Oshi Oshi 
Oshi means ‘push’. It has a board which has nine-by-nine squares, and eight pieces per player. A player would have four one-storied pieces, two two-storied pieces and two three-storied pieces. The pieces can move horizontally and vertically, and can push other pieces as it moves. The objective is to push eight points worth of your opponent’s pieces off the board. The number of stories a piece has determines how many spaces it can move per turn, the maximum amount it can push, and the value to the opponent if it is pushed off the board.
15 Octi Octi
Octi is a game similar to checkers. Each player starts with 7 pods of their colour (octagon shaped pieces) and 25 prongs (which can be inserted on your pods). Each player starts the game with three of their pods at that player’s base squares. Pods can move in the direction of the prongs which are attached to them. The players take turns, and in a typical turn, a player can either move their pod or insert a prong. An opponent’s pod is captured if it is jumped. You may jump your own pods, and can stack pods (so they can move together). The objective is to capture your opponent’s base squares.
16 Dou Shou Qi Dou Shou Qi
Dou Shou Qi is played on a board of 7 by 9 squares. Each player starts the game with one of each of the following pieces (in descending order of power): elephant, lion, tiger, leopard, wolf, dog, cat, and rat. A piece can only defeated by a piece of equal or higher power, with the exception of the elephant which can be defeated by a rat (but not vice versa). Each piece has its own rules for movement. Dou Shou Qi is also known as jungle, game of fighting animals, the jungle game, jungle chess, animals chess, oriental chess and children’s chess.
17 Halma Halma
Halma (from the Greek word meaning ‘jump’) was developed in 1883 or 1884 by the American thoracic surgeon, George Howard Monks. The game is for 2 or 4. The objective is to be the first player to move their pieces to the other corner of the board (where an opponent’s pieces started the game). Each turn a player may move one of their pieces, one space unless hopping over other pieces (similar to checkers but without removing the pieces off the board, and your pieces can jump over your own pieces).
18 Stern-Halma Stern-Halma
Stern-halma was developed in Germany in 1892, as a variation of the older American game halma. It is played on a star shaped board (similar to the Star of David), with holes or indentations where the pieces are placed. The game is for 2-6 players (but not 5 players due to the asymmetry it would create). The objective is to be the first player to move their pieces to the other side of the board. Each turn a player may move one of their pieces, one space unless hopping over other pieces (similar to checkers but without removing the pieces off the board, and your pieces can jump over your own pieces). Stern-halma is also known as star halma and is commonly known as Chinese checkers (despite not being of Chinese origin).
19 Cathedral Cathedral
Cathedral was developed between 1962 and 1979 by New Zealander, Robert Moore. Each player has a set of pieces (shaped like buildings) of different sizes. One player has dark pieces, and the other has light pieces. There is also a cathedral piece which is of a shade in between and is the first piece to be placed. The players take turns placing their pieces. Encircling an opponent’s piece removes it from the board (but can be replaced). A player wins if they place all of their pieces on the board. If neither player can do this, then the player with the least amount of unplaced building area is the winner.
20 Abalone Abalone
Abalone was developed in 1987 by Laurent Lévi and Michel Lalet. It has a hexagonal shaped board, with circular spaces to place the sphere shaped pieces. One player has black spheres, and the other has white spheres. The players take turns shifting up to three of their adjacent spheres one space at a time, either broadside or in-line. The objective is to push at least six of your opponent’s spheres off the board. Spheres can only be pushed if the pushing line has more spheres than the pushed line.
21 Quoridor Quoridor
Quoridor was designed by Mirko Marchesi and published by Gigamic Games in 1997. The board comprises of 9-by-9 squares, with grooves separating the squares. Each player starts with a pawn on the board. In a player’s turn, they may move their pawn one square (horizontally or vertically) or place one wall piece (across the length of two squares). The wall pieces may be placed to hinder your opponent, but not to block them off completely. The objective is to be the first player to move their pawn across to the other side of the board.
22 Djambi Djambi Djambi is a game for four players, and was developed by Jean Anesto in 1975. Each player has the following nine pieces: 4 militants, 1 necromobile, 1 troublemaker, 1 reporter, 1 assassin, and 1 chief. The objective is to kill your opponents’ chiefs. When a piece is killed, it is turned upside down rather than removed from the board. A chief is in power if they occupy the central square.
23 Tafl Tafl Tafl are a family of ancient Germanic and Celtic strategic board games. The original rules aren't known for certain, and there are some doubts that they were games of perfect information (in that a dice may have been used). One player has a king piece and some soldiers, and starts the game in the centre of the board. The other player has a greater number of soldier pieces and starts outside of the centre, surrounding the other player's pieces. The player with the king, wins the game if their king escapes. The other player wins if they capture the king.

Related Lists


Add to this list

  • Each row in the following text fields represents one entry in the list.
  • Each list entry must have a title and/or URL. Entry descriptions and images are entirely optional.
  • The submitted link URLs would be automatically standardised. This will mean that it doesn't matter whether or not you include the https:// (or https//) at the beginning or a / at the end.
  • Don't worry if a title, URL or description takes more than one line in the input form.  Regardless of whether the input was entered manually or copied and pasted, this website can distinguish between whether the input going to a new line was due to its long length or from the use of the enter key.
  • New list entries are added to the bottom of the list. Chronologically ordered lists should be ordered from the earliest to the latest.
  • If an image is too wide or tall, it would be automatically scaled.

Not registered? Register here.

Link Titles Link URLs Link Descriptions

List Entry Image URLs

Report this list

Not registered? Register here.

Junk list Irrelevant or broken links
Spelling, grammatical or formatting errors Factual errors or opinionated descriptions
Out of date information Suggest related lists or alterations
Forbidden content/links Other


Receive Notifications

Receive notifications via email, whenever new list entries are added to this list.

Not registered? Register here.

Help - Terms of Usage - Privacy Policy - Contact
© Statistical Consultants Ltd 2012 -