The games are sub-divided according to their goals and arranged alphabetically
Chess variants Annihilation Territory LGC Connection Unification Looping Race Blockade Configuration Other
They can all be played in the Player Section
Chess variants
Name Inventor Time Description
CaïssaChristian FreelingShortCaïssa belongs to the "Atlantis Triplets", three miniature chess variants based on a shrinking playing field.
ChakraChristian FreelingMediumChakra is an ordinary chess variant with one extraordinary piece: the Transmitter. Consisting of two parts, it is a portal through which pieces can warp.
Chess960Robert James FischerMediumThis notorious chess variant by Robert James Fischer bears testimony to the fact that great players do not necessarily make great inventors.
CongoDemian FreelingShortInvented a couple of weeks before the inventor's eighths birthday, this exotic Xiangqi variant of sorts is great fun throughout.
CyclixChristian FreelingShortCyclix, the third of the "Atlantis Triplets", recycles captured pieces via the king, effectively keeping them in play all the time.
King's ColourChristian FreelingShortIf you thought Loonybird would be the weirdest one here, think again :).
LoonybirdChristian FreelingMediumThe chess pawn moves different from the way it captures. In Loonybird all pieces except the king move different from the way they capture.
Royal GuardChris Huntoon
Christian Freeling
MediumRoyal Guard is building on a chess board divided in four sub-grids combined with a feature of King's Colour. The result is still funny but the implementation here gives a more serious game.
ShaktiChristian FreelingShortShakti belongs to the "Atlantis Triplets", three miniature chess variants based on a shrinking playing field.
XiangQitraditionalMediumXiangqi is the traditional Chinese variant of Chess. It somehow froze into its archaic form but yet has a large following, at least in China.


The games are sub-divided according to their goals and arranged alphabetically
Chess variants Annihilation Territory LGC Connection Unification Looping Race Blockade Configuration Other
They can all be played in the Player Section
Games of annihilation
Name Inventor Time Description
Armenian DraughtstraditionalMediumA game that relates to Turkish Draughts like Frisian relates to International Draughts. It introduces diagonal movement in an otherwise straight game. A definite step towards modern games like Croda and Dameo.
BashnitraditionalMediumBashni is a colomn checkers game based on the framework of Shashki, the Russian 8x8 draughts variant.
CrodaLjuban DediçMediumWithout the late Ljuban Dediç's game Croda, a brilliant attempt by a renown Draughts master to save Draughts from from fading into insignificance, Dameo would not have existed.
CrossfireChristian FreelingMediumThis hexvariant of Sid Sackson's game Focus replaces the 'ceiling' of 5 for the height of a stack, by one equal to the number of adjacent cells, which makes aiming large stacks at 'low capacity' cells very profitable and a focuspoint in terms of tactics and strategy.
ExplocusMartin MedemaShortFew games are as dramatic and capricious as the late Martin Medema's game Explocus, a lucky merger of Sid Sackson's game Focus and and obscure seventies game called Explosion.
We also feature the hexversion Hexplocus.
FanoronatraditionalShortFanorona is the national game of Madagascar and the 9x5 'Fanoron-Tsivy', the widest-known variant, is the mother of all forms of contact checkers (which to our knowledge amounts to precisely one other game, namely Bushka).
FocustraditionalMediumSid Sackson's game, once marketed brilliantly as 'the never get board game', is in fact slightly overrated. The absence of 'advantageous sub-goals to be achieved as calculable signposts along the way' makes it an interesting but largely tactical game.
HarzdameBenedikt RosenauMediumHere the diagonally opposed forces move and capture orthogonally. Strategy revolves around promotion, of which there's a lot due to the special promotion squares.
HexEmergoChristian FreelingMediumThis flawed masterpiece, the hex version of Emergo, is definitely somewhat 'over the top' tactically - that's in fact the very source of its flaw. In turnbased play white definitely has an advantage.
Not so in over the board play though, because the advantage relies on trial and error.
HexOustMark SteereMediumHexoust is the hexversion of Mark Steere's game Oust. Some players like the latter better, but reference may well be a matter of taste.
Killer DraughtsMembers of the Dutch Draughts communityMediumThis is International Draughts with a 'specially demoted' king. The net result is that two kings win against one, but the rule cannot avoid the smell of a band aid.
LascaEmanuel LaskerMediumLike its pedecessor Bashni, Lasca results from introducing column checkers into a known framework. In Lasca's case the framework is that of Anglo-American Checkers - which serves it worse. The late Emanuel Lasker was Chess world champion from 1894 to 1921.
LocaChristian FreelingShortLoca is a unique Checkers variant because it features man-king hybrids, pieces that move short but capture long. It is an 'entrance into and endgame' in that it starts with a barrage of mutual captures. The game was accidentally invented by Christian Freeling in 2020.
MeridiansKanare KatoShortA 'line of sight' game of annihilation by Kanare Kato that sees paths between pieces in much the same way as liberties are seen Go. No paths? You're dead. It gives rise to a very fundamental game.
PommelMichael HoweShortPommel is a hexagonal checkers variant invented by Michael Howe of Connecticut, USA in 2010. It has an interesting feature found in no other checkers variant, namely linear capture by leaping.
Turkish DraughtstraditionalMediumWhere the European branch evolved on a diagonal sub-grid, turkish evolved on a straight grid. Although there's much to say for the latter, Turkish never got to the status that International Draughts once had as an international sport.
ZolaMark SteereShortZola is a simple and drawless game of annihilation invented in 2021. The inventor's claim of 'little or no' turn order imbalance has been challenged by AI tests where a slight first player advantage was established.
The games are sub-divided according to their goals and arranged alphabetically
Chess variants Annihilation Territory LGC Connection Unification Looping Race Blockade Configuration Other
They can all be played in the Player Section
Territory games
Name Inventor Time Description
AmazonsWalter ZamkauskasMediumThe Game of the Amazons was invented in 1988 by Walter Zamkauskas of Argentina. In the game the 'amazons' move to wall off territory to keep room to move. Eventually one of the players will fail.
AstralisPhil LeducMediumAstralis, invented in 2021, is an abstract, area-control, strategy game of space exploration, expansion, and extraction for two players, inspired by sci-fi games such as Alpha Omega, Twilight Imperium and Eclipse.
Cannons & BulletsChristian FreelingShortCannons & Bullets was inspired by the placement protocol of Mike Zapawa's Tumbleweed and it even emerged with the same goal. But it is smaller and has a very different behaviour, less sticky, more jumpy.
DesdemonaRey AliceaMediumDesdemona was invented by Rey Alicea in 2020 as a natural merger of Amazons and Othello into a hybrid that actually works.
DominionsChristian FreelingMediumContrary to appearances, Dominions is a Go variant. The set of pieces it is played with is provided by the China Labyrinth.
HexSygoChristian FreelingMediumFew attempts to implement a Go variant on a hex grid have ever succeeded, and equally few to make one based on 'flip capture'. Because of the 'life saving' properties of the Symple move protocol, Sygy succeeds at both simultaneously.
KeilLuis Bolaños MuresLongKeil is a Go-like territory game invented by Luis Bolaños Mures in 2019. It introduces the idea of linked cells, which preserves crosscuts and ko by reducing the natural connectivity of the hex grid.
LotusChristian FreelingShortThis is Medusa's support act, a simple Go variant with a small body of rules that works like the mechanism of a Swiss watch.
MacBethChristian FreelingShortTranslating Othello to the hexgrid wasn't all that difficult. The game 'carves' its own grid. Diagonal capture has been omitted for clarity, reducing the number of directions in which captures can be made to even less than the average in the square game.
MedusaChristian FreelingMediumMedusa is a Go variant without any ambiguity in its rules, and with the option to actually move groups. Its branch density is staggering, without making the game anymore difficult to 'read' for humans.
Mu levisChristian FreelingMediumMu levis is a multi-player territory game. It has a wild two-player relative that you can find in the Arena.
OthelloLewis Waterman
John W. Mollet Esq.
ShortMore than a century ago a game called 'Reversi' appeared in England that later was renamed Othello for commercial reasons. There's a dispute about its origin: a mr. Lewis Waterman claimed to be the inventor, while a John W. Mollet Esq. claimed it to be merely an adaption of his game 'Annexation'. Will the truth ever emerge? Who really cares?
Square OffChristian FreelingShortA territory game based on a configuration theme of completing squares. Simple, fast and requiring no more than a chess board, a checkers set and a number of markers.
StigmergyLuis Bolaños Mures
Steven Metzger
MediumStigmergy was invented in 2021 and like its predecessor Tumbleweed the game is territorial and also based on 'line of sight' placement and capture. But Stigmergy remains flat.
TriccsChristian FreelingMediumThis game actually served to momentarily store the "one bound - one free" opening protocol after its emergence. It's a simple game with Othello-like capture.
TumbleweedMike ZapawaMediumTumbleweed was invented in 2020 by Mike Zapawa who also invented Slyde. The game is based on 'line of sight' placement and capture. A very organic game based on a very original concept.
XiaGoChristian FreelingMediumThe thought that led straight to XiaGo was "what if the 'holes' in the Medusa board that are there to reduce the liberties of the hex grid, were movable? XiaGo is still Go in many respects, but the movable neutrals add a new dimension not seen before in a Go variant.
The games are sub-divided according to their goals and arranged alphabetically
Chess variants Annihilation Territory LGC Connection Unification Looping Race Blockade Configuration Other
They can all be played in the Player Section
Largest Group Cascading
Contestants' largest groups are compared in size and number.
If equal the count cascades down to the next largest groups, and the next, till a decision is arrived at.

Name Inventor Time Description
CatchupNick BentleyMediumIn Catchup and in the other games in this section, as long as they differ in size, players' territories consists of their largest groups. If these are the same size, then players' territory consists of (their largest group plus) their 'next in size', and so on till an unequal territory count results.
MigongLuis Bolaños Mures
Christian Freeling
MediumMigong is based on the set of pieces of the China Labyrinth, like the much earlier game Dominions. It is a co-invention with Luis Bolaños Mures, a fellow inventor I've always admired and of whom we feature Ayu and Keil.
PermuteEric SilvermanMediumPermute also mirrors Catchup's goal and also has a new and original core behaviour: the twist. Four stones in a 2x2 square are rotated 90 degrees in either direction, after which on of them is 'bandaged' so it cannot be part of a twist again.
QascadeChristian FreelingMediumQascade's also ends with 'the largest group, cascading'. It uses the 'one-bound, one-free' opening protocol to guarantee balance, an even distribution and termination, and 'one placement, one twist' to play out the game. Draws cannot occur.
SlydeMike ZapawaMediumSlyde mirrors the goal of Catchup but has a new and original core behaviour: the swap. Not the turn order balancing swap but the 'swap move'.
The games are sub-divided according to their goals and arranged alphabetically
Chess variants Annihilation Territory LGC Connection Unification Looping Race Blockade Configuration Other
They can all be played in the Player Section
Connection games
Name Inventor Time Description
Gonnect João Pedro Neto Medium Gonnect, sometimes described as 'a love child of Go and Hex', was invented by João Pedro Neto in 2000. It basically links the rules of Go to a different object: to estabish an orthogonal connection between opposite sides of the board, left-right or bottom-up as the case may be.
Lox Luis Bolaños Mures
Steven Metzger
Christian Freeling
Medium Lox rests on two pillars, the game of Hex and the game of Stigmergy. I was very impressed by the 'control protocol' and its implementation in the latter game, invented in 2021 by Luis Bolaños Mures and Steven Metzger. So I wondered if Luis, with whom I played Stigmergy that moment, had considered using it in Hex. He hadn't so Lox became a co-invention.
Query Christian Freeling ShortThere are several connection games using the 'alquerque' board. This one's distinguishing feature is the choice a player has to either place one stone on a connectivity-8 point, or two stones on two connectivity-4 points.
RondoChristian FreelingShortCharacterised as 'a game of circular reasoning' it has making a connection as its main goal, but sending your opponent hopping in circles or blocking him completely will also do.
SlitherCorey ClarkMediumSlither is a connection game invented by Corey Clark in 2010. It emerges from the combination of a clever condition and a clever move protocol. The result is a very dynamic game full of surprising tactics.
Symple HexBenedikt RosenauMediumThis game is based on Hex in that it has the same object. However, it replaces the normal move protocol and the pie rule by the Symple move protocol and its embedded balancing rule.
The games are sub-divided according to their goals and arranged alphabetically
Chess variants Annihilation Territory LGC Connection Unification Looping Race Blockade Configuration Other
They can all be played in the Player Section
Unification games
Name Inventor Time Description
Lines of ActionClaude SoucieMediumLines of Action (LOA) is a famous unification game invented by Claude Soucie around 1960. Sid Sackson described it in his first edition of 'A Gamut of Games' (1969).
PylyxChristian FreelingShortA simple unification game in which you must stack up ten men in one piece.
UknightChristian FreelingMediumUknight is the second game based on the 'knight vision' placement protocol that first appeared in the game KnightVision. This time the goal is not a Hex-like connection, but Lines of Action-like unification.
The games are sub-divided according to their goals and arranged alphabetically
Chess variants Annihilation Territory LGC Connection Unification Looping Race Blockade Configuration Other
They can all be played in the Player Section
Looping games
Name Inventor Time Description
HoopMichael Amundsen
Alek Erickson
ShortA game in which the players, Black and White, compete to complete a loop of neutral stones by claiming cells for their colour and and placing neutrals.
KnightShadeChristian FreelingShortKnightShade is the third game based on the 'knight vision' placement protocol that first appeared in the game KnightVision. The goal is not a Hex-like connection, but rather the creation of a single loop that is touching the edge while rounding the centre.
Loops 'n LeapsChristian FreelingMediumLoops 'n Leaps is another descendant of Cannons & Bullets made in one afternoon because 'loop games' are so hard to make, according to the dominant forces at BGG.
The games are sub-divided according to their goals and arranged alphabetically
Chess variants Annihilation Territory LGC Connection Unification Looping Race Blockade Configuration Other
They can all be played in the Player Section
Race games
Name Inventor Time Description
BreakthroughChristian FreelingShortA capricious race game, in which the 'far wall' is the main obstacle for both players.
BreakthroughDan TroykaMediumDan Troyka's race game of the same name as Christian Freeling's one, was invented in 2000. It has great simplicity and great strategical depth as its hallmarks.
Jump SturdyChristian FreelingMediumJump Sturdy is a simple game of breakthrough and race, with a very unusual twist. It has great tactical scope and a profound strategical depth.
OrdoDieter SteinMediumOrdo is a very organic race game with an original way of movement and capture, invented by Dieter Stein in 2009. The inventor proceeded with a faster but not necessarily better version called Ordo-X.
The games are sub-divided according to their goals and arranged alphabetically
Chess variants Annihilation Territory LGC Connection Unification Looping Race Blockade Configuration Other
They can all be played in the Player Section
Blockade games
This section includes games where the object is to have the last move.
Name Inventor Time Description
DropZoneChristian FreelingShortA simple 'last to move wins' game based on the square set of the China Labyrinth. It comes with a very clever and wholly dualistic form that emphasises its puzzle origins.
GrabberChristian FreelingShortA combinatorial quickie, related to Konane. On small boards the second player wins 7 out of 10, and the Axiom program playing against itself suggests that this behaviour casts a long shadow. However, on a 6x6 board humans would have a hard time applying this knowledge.
KonanetraditionalShortA traditional combinatorial game played in Hawai, based on draughtslike capture. Every move must be a capture. Last to move wins. Columnified, the game became Grabber.
MattockDrew EdwardsShortMattock is an intruiging game invented by Drew Edwards in 2020. It shines a new light on an old goal: increasingly constricting the opponent, step by step, till the last player to move wins.
MiniMancalaChristian FreelingShortYou can play this game against an invincible program. You can trick the program by instructing it to occasionally (or always) play random moves.
Monkey TrapChristian FreelingShortMonkey Trap, a miniature relative of Amazons, is a fast fun game for the younger ones that can even be played as a pencil and paper game, with pennies for monkeys.
PilareJorge Gómez ArrausiShortPilare is a board game designed by Basque game author Jorge Gómez Arrausi. It won a proxime accessit award in the games creation contest of Tona, 2005. Its mechanics bear a strong similarity to mancala games.
WedgeLockChristian FreelingShortThis is a transposition of sorts of DropZone, based on the triangular set of the China Labyrinth. It hasn't got colour duality as DropZone, and thed blue and yellow pieces each player has consist of two half-sets that don't make a whole one. Like having two left legs.
The games are sub-divided according to their goals and arranged alphabetically
Chess variants Annihilation Territory LGC Connection Unification Looping Race Blockade Configuration Other
They can all be played in the Player Section
Configuration games
Name Inventor Time Description
HexadeChristian FreelingShortThis is Havannah's support act, a configuration game with three different winning configurations of six stones each - line, triangle and hexagon - and Pente-like capture of adjacent pairs. Highly tactical and very dramatic.
PenteGary GabrelShortPente was invented in the seventies and became very popular in the USA in the first half of eighties. The game adds an interesting twist to the general five-in-a-row idea: straight or diagonally adjacent pairs of opponent's stones can be captured in the 'custodian' fashion.
The games are sub-divided according to their goals and arranged alphabetically
Chess variants Annihilation Territory LGC Connection Unification Looping Race Blockade Configuration Other
They can all be played in the Player Section
Games with various other goals
Name Inventor Time Description
FlowerShopMike ZapawaShortFlowerShop was invented in 2021 by Mike Zapawa who also invented Slyde and Tumbleweed. The game uses the 12* protocol, features partial and impartial pieces and features a factorial score.
HanniballChristian FreelingMediumIt isn't easy to create an abstract game with the flow of an actual game of soccer. Hanniball, a joint effort with Arty Sandler of iGGameCenter, came the other way around: because it displayed the flow of an actual game of soccer, the game was presented as such.
HexSympleChristian FreelingMediumIn HexSymple the absence of diagonal cutting points makes for tactics that differ from those of its ancestor Symple, but they're serving an equally deep strategy.
King's CastleChristian FreelingShortThis is a 'Capture the Throne' game in which two rivalling fractions contest the possesion of the throne after the king's death. All in the abstract of course.
MephistoChristian FreelingVery shortYou need a domino set, five different colored pawns, five correspondingly colored dice, a one minute sandtimer and as many beer infested bèta-nerds as the room will accommodate. Ans you really need them because there's no app. :(
MorelliRichard MoxhamMediumMorelli, by the late Richard Moxham, is an 'occupation' game in which players fight for the Throne. Their weapons are capture and configuration and the Throne may change ownership several times during play. The game's theme is refrehingly new, and its tactics support a fair range of strategies.
MultiplicityChristian FreelingMediumThe goal of Multiplicity is to have a higher score than the opponent. The score is the product of the sizes of all a player's groups. The game uses the 'one-bound, one-free' move protocol. Its strategy revolves around not connecting groups!
PolarDieter SteinMediumPolar is an intruiging placement game invented by Dieter Stein in 2015-2017. Like Starweb that you can find in the ArenA, it uses triangular scoring.
Swish & SqueezeChristian FreelingShortSwish and Squeeze are twin bead capture games, but no mancalas. With simple material and without an excessive need to make a meal of it, they are very sharp, well balanced, finite and drawless.
TrackgammonChristian FreelingShortMy first game, before I even became obsessed, is a backgammon type game for two to four, on an each on his own basis. More or less the only dice game in my oeuvre, or one would have to classify Mephisto as such. Unfortunately it has no app. :(
XoddLuis Bolaños MuresMediumXodd and Yodd are 'dynamic goal' connection games invented by Luis Bolaños Mures in 2011. They may be considered essential non-parity games. Both players control both colors and inverting the goal of the game results in essentially the same game.
YoddLuis Bolaños MuresMediumXodd and Yodd are 'dynamic goal' connection games invented by Luis Bolaños Mures in 2011. They may be considered essential non-parity games. Both players control both colors and inverting the goal of the game results in essentially the same game.