How to play Hidden Identity Chess

Learn the rules to the board game Hidden Identity Chess quickly and concisely – This video has no distractions, just the rules. For a refresher of the original rules of Chess, check out this video:

Don’t own the game? Buy it here:

(This product is designed by Triple S Games, We earn a small amount on each purchase)

The rules are the same as regular chess except for these changes. There is no check or checkmate. The object of the game is to capture your opponent’s king. Each piece is replaced by a special chess piece whose identity can only be seen on 1 side. During set up, each player places their pieces however they want on their closest 2 rows, with their pieces identities facing them, hidden from their opponent. There is no restriction to where pieces can be placed. Pawns are allowed to be placed on the first row and bishops can be placed on the same color.

Whenever a piece is captured, its identity is revealed.

Pawns on the first row are allowed an initial double-step move if you want. If a pawn moves to its second row, it can still perform its double step move. En passant is allowed like normal against an opponent’s pawn taking a double-step from either row, however, if the opponent’s piece being captured isn’t a pawn then the pawn preforming the move is removed from the board instead. When performing en passant, announce what you are doing, but leave the identity of the piece you are trying to capture hidden. Your opponent then says if it is a pawn, if it isn’t, then the pieces identity remains hidden. The king is allowed to move to a threatened space.

Castling is allowed if the rook is on the same row as the king and there are no other pieces in between. To castle, move the king 2 spaces towards the rook, then move the rook to the other side of the king. If a rook is 2 spaces away, or adjacent to the king, then the king takes the space of the rook and the rook is moved to the other side. You may only castle if it is the King and Rook’s first move of the game.

If ever a piece is moved illegally, or discovered to have move illegally in the past, then the illegally moved piece is removed from the board and the opponent of that piece also removes any single enemy piece of their choice from the board as a penalty. If the illegally moved piece was already removed from the board when discovered, then the opponent removes 2 pieces of their choice instead of 1. If the removed piece was the king, then they win the game immediately. If a player performs more than 1 illegal move in a game, then they immediately lose.

The first player to capture their opponent’s king, wins!

You can also play with the revealed kings variant. At the start of the game, use a divider when setting up the pieces and play with a normal king. Remove the divider to begin play, both players will now play the game with knowledge of the enemy king’s location. If your opponent performs an illegal move, then instead of removing pieces, you win the game immediately.


  1. Wait, we can play fog chess with these I think

  2. Not really a fan of chess variants that are this reliant on the honour system (or a neutral third party) to work.

  3. there is another (very rare) game called all the kings men. very similar but the board moves are restricted by the arrows you move on 🙂

  4. Why use a stupid divider when you can set up as you would normally, then replace the king at the start of the game?

  5. It's like GOG or Game Of Generals (because it hides the identity ofc) but it doesn't have the ranks like the game

  6. this is quite similar to a dutch game called stratego

  7. I liked it the first time I saw it when it was called Stratego

  8. I think ill just stick with standard chess

  9. Its like the generals game but with chess piece

  10. So I can technically perform an illegal move without losing. Neat.

  11. I think Stratego is still better. I played a lot that old game in 90's.

  12. I have two things I don't like about this. First is that castling should work the same as it does in 960 fischer random chess. In that variant, castling always moves the king and rook to the same squares. I believe this just works better. The next is that because of illegal moves, this would be better implemented on a website rather than in board game form. All of the rules about illegal moves are too complicated and only exist to make the game work, rather than to make it better. Players would have a tough time remembering whether an illegal move was made 20 or 30 moves ago.

  13. This feels like a more complicated version of Stratego

  14. Intriguing, but what's to stop your opponent from lying when you try to take a pawn en passant?

  15. This reminds me of the board game 'Game of Generals' where each piece can only move in the 4 adjacent squares, but the way they capture a piece is dictated by a ranking system.

  16. So rules make it clear: it's legal to do ONE illegal move.

  17. My brother has a board game called TakTiki which has a similar concept to this

  18. So basically your king is a queen because if it's ever revealed you were making an illegal move you would have lost anyway

  19. I really love that an illegal move becomes a valid risk reward tactic.

  20. Illegal moves need to be an instant loss regardless, because otherwise anytime something weird happens the other player has to call it out then the pieces in question need to be shown.

  21. That's stratego. It's quite literally stratego.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.