Introduction to King of the Hill Chess

King of the Hill Chess is a fascinating variation of the classic board game that incorporates elements of racing and strategy. In this game, players must not only defeat their opponent by checkmating their king, but also by controlling the center of the board, also known as the “hill”. This unique twist to the traditional rules of chess has gained popularity in recent years and has even been integrated into online chess platforms. In this article, we will delve deeper into the world of King of the Hill Chess, exploring its origins, rules, and strategies.

Origins of King of the Hill Chess

The concept of King of the Hill Chess can be traced back to an old game called “Tudor chess”, which was popular in England in the 16th century. This game also involved controlling a specific square on the board known as the “king´s seat” in addition to capturing the opponent´s king. The game of King of the Hill Chess as we know it today was first introduced in 1961 by Nicolas Rossolimo of France. Rossolimo added a new rule where players must also control the center of the board in order to win, making it a more challenging and strategic variation of chess.

Rules of King of the Hill Chess

The rules of King of the Hill Chess are similar to traditional chess in terms of board setup and piece movement. The only major difference is the addition of the “hill” or the center square of the board, which is initially occupied by the king. The game follows all the basic rules of chess, including check, checkmate, and stalemate. In addition, players must also ensure that their king remains on the “hill” throughout the game. If at any point, the king is not on the “hill”, the player loses the game, regardless of the position of the pieces on the board.

Strategies for King of the Hill Chess

As with traditional chess, there are various strategies that players can adopt in order to win at King of the Hill Chess. The key objective of the game is to control the center of the board while also protecting your king. Therefore, it is crucial to develop your pieces quickly and maintain a strong control over the board´s center squares. It is also essential to be aware of the “king´s race” move and use it strategically to your advantage. This move can be a game-changer and can often catch opponents off guard.


King of the Hill Chess is a unique and exciting variation of the classic game that combines elements of both racing and strategy. It requires players to not only focus on checkmating their opponent´s king but also on controlling the center of the board. With its interesting rules and special moves, King of the Hill Chess offers a refreshing and challenging experience for chess enthusiasts. As its popularity continues to grow, it is a testament to the enduring appeal and adaptability of this traditional strategy game.

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