Rating: 6.9 Good
Players: 2-2 players
Playing time: 60 minutes

Official Site: Knightmare Chess on Steve Jackson Games' site

Created by: Pierre Cléquin, Bruno Faidutti, Jeff Koke, Gérard Mathieu, Anthony Rezendes, Rogério Vilela

Published by: Heidelberger Spieleverlag, Hobby World, Ludodélire

Alternate Names: Tempête sur l'échiquier, Tschach, Шахматы хаоса


Knightmare Chess adds a whole new element of unpredictability to the static game of standard Chess by giving players cards that they can play before, after, or sometimes instead of their turns.

Some cards affect only a single move, while others change the entire game.

Each card is assigned a point value, so you can build custom decks based on an agreed point total or handicap the match so that the better player has fewer powerful cards. Multiple variants are included in the rules.

Integrates with: Knightmare Chess 2.

Retail Price:$16
Fairplay À la carte Winner 1995

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This is chess . . . with a difference! The goal remains the same: to checkmate the enemy king. But the moves may be a bit unusual . ..

Each player has a deck of cards, each modifying the traditional rules of the game in a different way. Every move is a surprise! In Knightmare Chess, victory is never certain until the last move.


  • 160 oversized full-color cards
  • Rulebook


You'll need a standard chessboard with its pieces set up as usual. Decide who will move first. Shuffle your own deck and draw the top five cards as your beginning "hand". You may look at these cards. …

Extra Discards

Before the cards are divided between the players, discard the top 15 to 20.

That way, a player who knows the deck cannot assume his opponent has all the cards that he himself does not!

Common Deck

Place all the cards in the middle of the table in one deck, face down. Both players draw their hand of five cards, and all replacements, from this deck. (This is how the original French Tempete sur l'Echiquier worked).

In this version, any time you do not play a card on your opponent's turn, you may discard and draw a replacement. You may still discard on your own turn as well. …

Adjacent squares: Those which touch the given square either orthogonally or diagonally. Unless a square is on an edge of the board, eight others are adjacent to it.

Castle: In Knightmare Chess, the restriction of castling through check is lifted. You may castle through, out of, or into check, as long as the king is not in check at the end of the turn. This holds true regardless of whether or not a card is played during the turn.

Lost and Dead: When a card refers to the loss or removal of a piece, treat it as captured for all purposes. Captured pieces may be returned to play by cards. But if a card specifies that a piece is dead, set it aside; nothing can return it to play. …

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