OBJECTIVE OF 1D CHESS: Be the first player to put their opponent’s King into checkmate


MATERIALS: Printable 1D Chess Board, One black and white King, Queen, Rook, Bishop, Knight, and Pawn from a chess set

TYPE OF GAME: Abstract Strategy



1D Chess is an interesting variation of Chess created by Doctor Popular in 2018.  It is played on a board that is a single row and sixteen spaces long.  Only twelve pieces are used: eight black and eight white, and piece movement differs from traditional chess.  The board is easily drawn and taped together, but for something that looks a little sharper, print the board for free here. Printable rules are also available.


 In order to play 1D Chess, players need the gameboard and the following pieces: One Black & White King, Queen, Rook, Bishop, Knight, and Pawn for a total of twelve pieces.

Players sit across from each other at the table.  Orient the board so that it is pointing like an arrow at each player.  Beginning from the end closest to the player, pieces are placed in a line in the following order: King, Queen, Rook, Bishop, Knight, and Pawn.  The board should also be oriented so that the White Queen is on the white square, and the Black Queen is on the blue square.


Players will take turns moving one piece at a time.  A player can only move one piece of their color on their turn.  That piece cannot end up on a square with another piece of their color.  However, if their piece lands on a square with an opponent’s piece, their opponent’s piece is captured. 


The Pawns can only move forward.  On its first move, the pawn can move ahead two spaces, but following moves can only be one space.  The Pawn can capture an opponent’s piece that is located directly in front of it.  However, it cannot catch an opponent’s piece on a two space first move.

The Knight can move two or three spaces in either direction.  It is able to jump over pieces that are in its path. 

Bishops can move as many squares as they can by hopping to every other square that matches its beginning square’s color.  It can only hop onto squares that are empty or contain an opponent’s piece (in order to capture it).  It will only ever land on spaces of the same color as its starting square.

Rooks can move in a straight line as many spaces as possible until it runs into another piece.  It must stop in the space before a piece of the same color, but it can overtake and capture a piece of the opposite color.

The Queen has the option to move like the Bishop or the Rook.  If the piece is moved like a Bishop, it must follow the same rules as the Bishop.

Kings can move in either direction one space at a time.  Remember, if a King is checkmated, the game ends.

Players take turns moving pieces as described above until the game is won or comes to a draw.


The player that checkmates their opponent’s King is the winner.

Mark Ball
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