Half Chess is a simplified version of chess that is played with half of the pieces, with the pieces confined to half of the board. An advantage of Half Chess is that it can be played even if some of the chess pieces are missing. Another advantage is that two games of Half Chess can be played concurrently using the same chess set.
To play Half Chess, place a rubber band around the middle of a chessboard so as to divide the board into the king’s side and the queen’s side. Arrange the pieces in the usual manner on either the king’s side or the queen’s side, or both sides if two games of Half Chess are to be played concurrently. During play, the pieces are confined to half of the board, demarcated by the rubber band. On the queen’s side, the queen is played as a king. It is suggested that a rubber band be placed around each of the queens or some other marker used to remind the players of this fact. While the players initially have no queen, as in conventional chess, if a pawn moves to its eighth rank, it may be exchanged for a queen (or another piece).
Except as specified above, the rules of Half Chess are the same as the rules of conventional chess.
If two games of Half Chess are to be played concurrently on the same board, it is recommended that the players be seated at a small square table, with the players playing each other seated at adjacent sides of the table. Position the board so that each player is seated next to the corner of the board closest to where his or her pieces are initially arranged.