Racing Kings is a very popular and original Chess variant, invented by Vernon R. Parton in 1961. Since the game objective is to move own king to the last row (and do it faster than the opponent), this variant could be a good choice for players who are familiar with standard Chess rules and want to try a "race" instead of "deep strategy" type of game (on the other hand, some kind of strategy is always a plus).
The start position and game object
Every player starts a game with 1 king, 1 queen, 2 rooks, 2 bishops and 2 knights (i.e. standard Chess set without pawns). All pieces (white and black) are positioned at the first two rows and both players can see the board from the same perspective. The starting position is shown at the following picture:
The goal is to be the first one who moves own king to the last row (8), using standard Chess rules to move and capture pieces, with the following changes and restrictions:
It is not allowed to attack the opponent's king. It means that no player can make a move which would, in classic Chess, give a check to the enemy king. For example (at the start position), white player cannot capture the black bishop at C1 by the E2 white knight, because this move would attack the black king at A2.
A king cannot make a move to a square which is attacked by an opponent's piece, just like in normal Chess.
How to finish the game
The game is finished if one player moves own king to the last row. However, when white moves his king to the last row, and black moves directly after that also his king to the last row, the game is a draw, in order to compensate white player's advantage of making the first move. Play this game