Now an officially sanctioned AsHmc club.


ChesSers was originally conceived by several residents of EastDorm (which includes, but is not limited to, JoshMiddendorf, NickJohnson, and CurtisVinson) in October of 1999. The idea was originally born from the ChessVariant? BugHouse, in which two simultaneous games of chess are played on adjacent boards. The twist is that if you capture a piece, you hand it to your partner playing the opposite color on the other board to be placed anywhere on the board (with some constraints) as a single turn. Both games are timed independently, and a victory on either board means vistory for the whole team, so team play and communication, as well as quick thinking, are important.

ChesSers is an extension of the idea, but instead of playing Chess on one of the boards, a game of checkers is played. This means that checkers can appear on the chess board and chess pieces can appear on the checkers board, making for some surprisingly interesting strategy and interactions.

How to Play

The basic rules are:

Some conventions:



See the ChessersTournament node for information on chessers competitions in the works.


It is very difficult to analyze Chessers in the same way that you might analyze Chess or Checkers individually. But a great deal of effort has been put into finding effective Chessers strategies. Here are some of the ideas that have been put forth.

Piece Valuations

Assigning piece valuations in the same way that Chess has piece valuations is a path wrought with peril. Especially on the CheckersSide, as a result of forced capture, this becomes completely impossible. For example, in Chess, there is no situation in which is would be preferable to have a bishop instead of a queen. But on the CheckersSide, the queen is very easy to force into a chain capture mode that prevents its owner from responding to attacks, but this is much harder to do with a bishop.

One proposal that can be used as a rough estimate, however, is as follows: 3-.5 for a Checker, 1 for Pawn, 2.5-3 for Knight, 3 for Bishop, 5 for Rook, 8-9 for Queen for pieces on the ChessSide, and .5 for Checker, 2 for Pawn, 4 for Knight, 2 for Bishop, 3 for Rook, and 4 for Queen on the CheckersSide. This is a very rough estimate though, and the caveats mentioned above should be taken to heart. More complicated systems have been proposed that attempt to take into account whether or not the piece has already been dropped and board position, but the consensus seems to be that piece valuations for Chessers are not a feasible way of evaluating the state of the game, especially on the CheckersSide.

Using the Pieces

The following list describes how the different pieces are generally used in Chessers:

Cross-board Dynamics

"No matter what you do, don't let any pawns come over for the next 30 seconds" -- Every Joe Random ChessersPlayer

One of the most interesting aspects of Chessers is the way partners must interact to maximize success. For example, if one player is in trouble, the other player may often need to sacrifice their own position to ensure that he doesn't lose pieces that could be dropped on the other board to end the game. A player on the Chess side is often forced to protect his pawns, since they are very valuable as drop pieces, something someone experienced in pure Chess will not be used to.

Many of the unique aspects of chessers strategy are a consequence of the asymmetry between the two boards. Unlike BugHouse, there's no reason to assume that a trade that appears good for you will be even remotely good for your partner; in fact, the opposite is often the case. As a result, games tend to end on time, especially between players who are relatively evenly matched.

Additionally, the extreme disparity in starting power between the boards alters the opening strategy of both. The chess player must avoid openings (such as the DanishGambit) that provide extremely disadvantageous piece-flow to the checkers side. On the other hand, it is not necessary to worry overly about dealing with the initial piece-flow from the CheckersSide, since it will consist solely of checkers. The checkers player, of course, has the reverse situation. This tends to even out somewhat in the middlegame, at which point crucial piece-flow becomes much more game-specific.

Phases of the game

Both sides of the game seem to have vaguely well-defined phases:

Chess game:

Checkers game:

It should be noted, however, that the CheckersSide is interesting in part because of its extreme variety. Though the above is probably a reasonable summary of most games played between experienced players in EastDorm, there are certainly games that do not fall into this classification. Probably the most common examples are Queen's gambit games, which branch from the opening to something vaguely resembling a late endgame, but with less piece-flow in.

Some Variants (both theoretical and actually played):


Place your comments here

Thank you whoever reorganized this page --JoshMiddendorf

See also: ChessersSuite

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