Portal chess is a chess variant which uses at least two fairy pieces called portals (or less commonly portholes). These pieces can be easily added by using poker chips, coins or other suitably sized objects. The game seeks to incorporate portals to allow pieces to teleport around the board. Apart from the portals and their ruleset, the game often plays like ordinary chess, including en passant, castling, and pawn promotion.

Versions

There are three versions of portal chess, created seemingly independently by three different people: David Howe in 1997,[1] Mike Hidden some time before 2008,[2] and Ian Buckley around 2012.[3] They all, however, contain the core dynamic of teleportation and special squares/pieces for this, as opposed to other variants which allow transportation at any point and/or any time.

Throughout the article, the symbol "" will be used to denote teleportation from one square to another.

David Howe version

a8
b8
c8
d8
e8
f8
g8
h8
a7
b7
c7
d7
e7
f7
g7
h7
a6
b6
c6
d6
e6
f6
g6
h6
a5
b5
c5
d5
e5
f5
g5
h5
a4
b4
c4
d4
e4
f4
g4
h4
a3
b3
c3
d3
e3
f3
g3
h3
a2
b2
c2
d2
e2
f2
g2
h2
a1
b1
c1
d1
e1
f1
g1
h1
A
a8
b8
c8
d8
e8
f8
g8
h8
a7
b7
c7
d7
e7
f7
g7
h7
a6
b6
c6
d6
e6
f6
g6
h6
a5
b5
c5
d5
e5
f5
g5
h5
a4
b4
c4
d4
e4
f4
g4
h4
a3
b3
c3
d3
e3
f3
g3
h3
a2
b2
c2
d2
e2
f2
g2
h2
a1
b1
c1
d1
e1
f1
g1
h1
B
Two-board variant with portals marked as corresponding numbers

In this version, there are two distinct playing areas linked by fixed portals. These areas can be either two separate boards or one board split down the middle (between the d- and e-files).

The rules that are different for this variant are:

Mark Hidden version

abcdefgh
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
e7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
a5 black circle
b5 black circle
e5 black circle
f5 black circle
c4 black circle
d4 black circle
g4 black circle
h4 black circle
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
f1 white bishop
g1 white knight
h1 white rook
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
The locations of the portals are marked with black dots.

The portals in this game are neutral yet mobile.

The number and starting location of these portals can be different when the game begins, but the image shows the standard set-up.

In this game the portal pieces move around by very specific rules.

Ian Buckley version

abcdefgh
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
e7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
a5 black cross
b5 black cross
c5 black cross
d5 black cross
e5 black cross
f5 black cross
g5 black cross
h5 black cross
a4 black circle
b4 black circle
c4 black circle
d4 black circle
e4 black circle
f4 black circle
g4 black circle
h4 black circle
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
f1 white bishop
g1 white knight
h1 white rook
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
Beginning layout of the board is standard. Possible sites for White's portal are marked with a dot, Black's possible spots are marked with a cross.
abcdefgh
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
e7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
a5 black champion
e4 white champion
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
f1 white bishop
g1 white knight
h1 white rook
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
An example first move that would be annotated 1: Pe4 Pa5

This version of the game has player-controlled portals, which are linked to each other.

The rules for these portals are worked out as though they make the squares they cover into one square. In the set up to the right, a5 and e4 can be conceptualized as the same square.

The specific rules for portal use are as follows:

References