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Ho Math Chess Research and Articles > How to Play Blind Chess or Half Chess

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17 Nov 2007


How to Play Blind Chess or Half Chess 

Frank Ho 

Founder of Ho Math and Chess

Canada certified math teacher



Ho Math and Chess Teaching Set is especially designed for young children to learn chess. Since Ho Math and Chess Teaching pieces have flat surfaces and uniform outlook in square size, the pieces cannot be identified and are indistinguishable from each other when they are turned face down.  

This special feature allows children to play a special game called Blind Chess or Half Chess (or called Banqi in Chinese Chess). The rules to play Blind Chess are very similar to Chinese Blind Chess. Blind Chess is very easy and fun to play. 


Blind Chess is played by two-player on half (4 by 8 square board) of the normal chessboard. 

Game Rules 

The 32 pieces are shuffled and then each of them is randomly placed face-down on each square. The first player turns over a piece and the colour of the first piece uncovered will be the side the first player.  

Moving a Piece 

There are 3 kinds of moves. A player may turn a piece face-up, move a piece, or capture an opponent’s piece. A player may only move face-up pieces of his or her own colour. Unlike normal chess moving rules, there is one rule to move pieces in Blind Chess: a piece move only one square up, down, left, or right, namely all pieces move like a rook. To capture, a face-up piece may only move to a square occupied by an opponent’s face-up piece.

Capturing an Opponent’s Piece 

All pieces (Black or White) are ranked according to the following hierarchy and the capturing rule is strictly according to the defined hierarchy. 

King has the highest rank and can capture all opponent’s pieces other than pawn.

Queen can capture all opponent’s pieces other than king.

Rook can capture all opponent’s pieces other than king or queen.

Bishop can capture all opponent’s pieces other than opponent’s king, queen, or pawn.

Knight can only capture opponent’s pawn.

Pawn has the lowest rank but can capture opponent’s king. 

How game ends 

The game ends when a player can not make a move or until all pieces are captured. If the game is forced in an endless cycle of moves then it is a draw.

Frank Ho


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