Home page of The Chess Variant Pages
"It is generally assumed that chess originated in India, 5-7 centuries after the birth of Christ. At that time, the game was not as we know it. During the course of history, many variants of the game were tried. Some were discarded immediately, some had for some time an enthusiastic following and then died out, while others stayed, and replaced the game as it formerly was known.
Today, the game chess as we know it, has remarkable differences from the original game.
At the same time, in different parts of this world, different chess games are played.
These are also believed to originate from the same Indian / Arabic origin. The most played variants are Shogi (in Japan), and Xiangqi (in China).
Other Asiatic countries know other variants. Additionally, these games and the `Western' chess have many variants, played by people that want something different for a change. These pages want to describe such variants, and give pointers to places that contain more material on them. "