What is Crazyhouse?

Crazyhouse (ZH for short) is a chess variant in which an opponent's captured piece can be dropped onto an unoccupied square of the board instead of playing a piece already on the board. Crazyhouse is a chess variant similar to bughouse, but with only two players. Other names for this variant are drop chess, mad chess, reinforcement chess, turnabout chess and schizo-chess. It is also known as wild 23. The exact origins of the game remain veiled in mystery, but with the birth of online chess, it has taken off in popularity among a niche of enthusiasts, including many international masters and grandmasters of the regular game.


All the rules and conventions of standard chess apply, with the addition of drops, as explained below.

• A captured piece reverses colour and goes into the capturing player's pocket which you can see beside your board. Instead of making a move with a piece on the board, a player can instead drop a piece from their pocket onto an empty square on the board. 

The notation for drops uses the @ : for example B@g5 denotes a bishop drop on g5, while @g5 where the piece is not specified means it was a pawn drop.

• Pawns may not be dropped on the players' 1st or 8th ranks. 

• Promoted pawns when captured revert to being pawns in the opponent's pocket.

• Drops may put the opponent into check or even checkmate.

Rules-page on lichess with video: https://lichess.org/variant/crazyhouse


lichess.org, chess.com and the Free Internet Chess Server (FICS)

—Compiled by MMichael

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