Homecoming Chess

The special thing about this game is that pieces start at the wrong end of the board i.e. the white pieces are on the black side and vice versa. The objective is to move the pieces back to their home squares. Note the queens remain on their own colour square.

The winner is the first to return all their pieces to their home square. Pieces cannot capture each other. It is possible to block other pieces. There is a choice of two home squares for the rook, bishop and knight. Once a piece has arrived home it can no longer move, but can block other pieces. The game strategy is to move one’s pieces back to their home squares in the minimum number of moves whilst at the same time blocking the opponent’s pieces.

If a player cannot move they lose the game. In the diagram below, white to move loses because the rook at h8 left it too late to move from its starting square.


*Rooks: The rooks are easily blocked in so you ought to move them early. Typically, they will block each other on the first move – which can be permanent as you can see above.

*Knights: It is quicker to move the knights diagonally across the board compared to straight across – i.e. the black knight takes fewer moves to get from b1 to g8 rather than to b8 (see diagram).

*Queen: The queen can block the enemy from very early on so you might want to bring it to the seventh rank quickly.

*Bishops:  A bishop needs to move at least twice to get home. Don’t move a bishop until you can see its destination square.

*King: The king is the slowest piece and could be moved when the other pieces are waiting for a square to become available.

Credit:Sarah Kett