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Help For DarkChess


Welcome to the network DarkChess server. The rules of DarkChess are below. The move notation is described on the help page for chess.

Because of the need to keep the opponent's view secret, DarkChess is not much of a spectator sport. Subscribers will see nothing (every square is dark) until the game ends. Players may use the "showas" command to request the board securely. The "submit" and "preview" commands cannot be used. Other commands are the same for all pbmserv games.

darkchess showas userid password board+
darkchess showas userid password [all|active|inactive|next]
The showas command can safely show a player's view of the board, since he verifies his identity with the userid and password.

Rules of DarkChess DarkChess is a Chess variant invented by Jens Nielsen. The main feature is that you can only see the squares on the board that your pieces can move to. If you don't know how to play Chess, then first read the help page for chess.

The differences between Chess and DarkChess are as follows:

  • A piece is able to "see" the squares it attacks and can go to: If you open e2-e4 you will see d5, e5, and f5, since the pawn can move or capture to those squares. You will also see the squares on the diagonals opened for the queen and bishop.
  • Squares that you cannot see (none of your pieces can move to them) are "dark" and you are not shown what may or may not be on them.
  • The goal is not to checkmate the opponents king, but to capture him.
  • There is no "check". The king may move into check with or without knowing it, and you are not warned when your king is in check. During castling the king may jump over or land on an attacked square.
  • There is no en-passant capture.

All other rules are the same as regular chess.

Tips for playing DarkChess

A popular opening is c4 ... Qa4, which puts the queen in line with the opponent's king, and gives it a good view of one side of the board. Beginners should watch out for the classic Dark-Fools-Mate:

   White         Black      
   1 c4          2 e5       
   3 Qa4         4 d5       
   5 Qxe8     


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