Bughouse Rules For Seaside

Bughouse is a form of team chess. Two-player teams face off against each other on a pair of chessboards. One partner plays black; the other, white. Play proceeds like in standard chess, BUT with some absolutely critical differences—especially regarding the fate of captured pieces, as described below.

Detailed rules can be found here, and a copy will be available at the front desk at the tournament site.

Highlights include:

● When you capture a piece, pass it to your partner, who will keep it in reserve. On a player’s turn, there are two options: (i) make a normal chess move, or (ii) place a captured piece on any unoccupied square on the board. Exception: pawns may not be placed on the first or eighth rank.

● The game ends with unblockable checkmate, flag fall, or illegal move on either board. If a “checkmate” is blockable, the game is not yet over even if no piece is available to block the check with — the defending player may wait to get a piece from his or her partner. But if the flag falls during the wait, the game is then lost.

● “Clock move” — a move is determined only when the clock has been pressed. G/5 time-control without increment or delay.

● Illegal moves lose (e.g., “capture the king” is in effect). Moving before an opponent presses the clock is not considered a losing illegal move.