Zombie Chess™

Zombie Chess is a chess variant designed by Chess Power.

Apart from being a lot of fun to play, Zombie Chess encourages kids to think ahead and improve their Chess vision by becoming more aware of possible moves ahead. 

Zombie Chess also encourages players still getting to grips with Chess because when they lose their pieces they can bring them back as stronger Zombies!

Zombie Chess has a built-in resilience that prevents beginners from being wiped off the board.

Zombies are coming...

"Thinking ahead is the most critical skill for improving in Chess"

Zombie Chess Equipment

The great thing about Zombie Chess is you can play it with just a normal chess set and pieces. To show that a piece is a Zombie, just place the piece on the board on its side.

For our Zombie Chess tournaments, we have a bunch of coloured twisty ties, that you just wrap around any piece you want to show is a Zombie piece. Or make some coloured Zombie bases that you can put normal pieces on. You could just have a different chess set that you use to show as Zombie pieces.

If you want to get really fancy, you can make your own set of Zombie Chess pieces and use those.

Zombie Chess

Zombie Chess Rules

  • The rules are the same as standard Chess but there are some crazy exceptions
  • When you capture your opponents piece, it becomes a dead man and goes into your opponents graveyard. Their graveyard is just behind their pieces.
Zombie Chess - Graveyard locations
  • On your turn, you can make a normal chess move, or resurrect a dead man as a zombie from your graveyard. It counts as a move to resurrect a zombie.

In the diagrams on the right, Zombies are shown turned on their side.

Zombie Chess - Resurrecting a Zombie

White has captured Black's knight on d4.
Black has decided to use a move to resurrect a Zombie Knight on b8 

  • Zombies must be resurrected on the normal starting square for that piece. e.g. If you are White and you resurrect a Zombie Knight, it must come alive on either the squares “b1” or “g1”. Zombie pawns can be resurrected anywhere on the 2nd rank because this is where all pawns start.
Zombie Chess - Choices when resurrecting a zombie
White would like to resurrect a zombie knight. He can choose to resurrect the zombie knight on b1 or g1.
  • A Zombie piece is more powerful than a normal piece. On it's move it can move twice!! Actually, Zombie pieces have to move twice if they can.

Zombie Chess - Zombie Bishop movement
Black has a Zombie Bishop on c8. In one turn, the Zombie Bishop can move to g4 and then to d1, capturing the White queen.

  • When you capture a Zombie piece, it cannot be resurrected
Zombie Chess - Capturing a zombie piece
White decided to capture the Zombie bishop on d1. As the bishop is a Zombie, it cannot be resurrected.
  • A Zombie move ends if it does a Check. Zombie's are frightened of enemy kings.
Zombie Chess - Checking with a Zombie piece
Black has just moved his Zombie rook to d8. Because it is a check, Black doesn't get to move his zombie rook twice.
  • If you manage to turn all of your army into Zombie's you enter a Zombie Apocolypse. All Zombies can then move three times! Your king must also be a Zombie. Read further to see how to make a Zombie King.
Zombie Chess - Zombie Apocalypse
Black has achieved a Zombie Apocalypse as all three of his pieces are zombies. The Zombie knight can move 3 times!
  • If you get a pawn to the end, it promotes just as normal. But if you get a Zombie Pawn to the last rank, it can promote to any Zombie piece.
Zombie Chess - Promoting a zombie pawn
In this game, White has just promoted his Zombie Pawn to the e8 square. He can now replace his pawn with a zombie piece of his choice. Just as in normal chess, you cannot stay as a pawn and you cannot promote to a king.
  • If you checkmate your opponent whether with a Zombie piece or a normal piece, the game DOESN'T END! Your opponents King turns into a ZOMBIE KING. Your opponent takes his King off the board and then must resurrect his King as a Zombie King straight away. The Zombie King can be resurrected on any square on the board – as long as it is not on a square that is under attack.

    Remember, a Zombie King can move twice. However a Zombie king cannot move into check either on its first move or on its second move. 

Zombie Chess - Getting Checkmated example 1
White has managed to checkmate the Black king on g8. Black now removes his King and resurrects it as a Zombie King on any square that isn't currently under attack.

Zombie Chess - Resurrecting the King
Black has decided to resurrect his Zombie King on the square d5.

  • When you checkmate a Zombie King, the game is over and you win!
Zombie Chess - Checkmating the Zombie King
White has now checkmated the Zombie king. The game is over - White wins.

If you aren't clear on any of the rules for Zombie Chess, feel free to email us at zombies@chesspower.co.nz

Zombie Chess Strategy

So what are the best strategies for winning a game of Zombie Chess? Well it isn't easy to find the right answers which makes Zombie Chess so interesting.

One piece of advice - don't be greedy! If you capture too many of your opponents pieces they will all come back as Zombies and you will be over-run!

If you can get a Zombie Queen or Zombie Rook to your opponents back-rank the consequences are often deadly. The reason is because each time they try and resurrect a Zombie, you can simple capture it. This usually spells the end of the game.

One other piece of advice - never give up! Even if you get wiped out, just one Zombie resurrection can bring you back into the game. So it is not over until it's over.