Bughouse is a very funny chess game to be played in team, that helps you to play more aggressively.

Bughouse, also known as New England Double Bughouse, Pass-on Chess, Tandem Put-Back, and 2 versus 2, is a recent chess variant, whose origins are unknown even if it’s been played since 1960s. It’s quite a popular chess variant: there are lots of clubs, tournaments, books, and websites focused on this special chess variant.

Why is this game useful?

This game will make you play more aggressively, which is a good practice: hanging back and waiting is not the best strategy to win a chess game.

Bughouse Rules

This game requires at least two chess sets and two teams of two players (per team).

The two chess sets are setup up side by side, with opposite colors next to each other.

The two players playing together in the team sit besides each other, and they have opposite colors (1st player of team A plays White, 2nd player of team B plays Black).

Both the games start at the same time and continue running alongside each other.

Players do not need to make the same moves at the same time. They play at their own pace.

They play a normal chess game, with a few different rules:

  • when you capture a piece, you hand it to your partner to use. The same does your partner (who hands it to you), the same do your opponents.
  • when it’s your partner’s turn to play, he decides to move one of his pieces on the chessboard, OR to use the piece (or any pieces) he got from you, placing it on the chessboard.
  • he is free to place the piece down anywhere he wants, except on top of other pieces. He can also put the King in check or checkmate.
  • pawns are not allowed to be placed on the first or the very last rank
  • placing a piece counts as a turn and can only be done when it’s your turn. You could either place a piece or move a piece each turn.

Bughouse can be played by teams of any number of players – provided the total number of players is even: 3 vs 3, 4 vs 4, 5 vs etc.

In this case, the player capturing a piece can decide to give it to his right or to his left partner.