Human Chess is a chess variant where playing the top engine move is forbidden.


Select a chess engine and an evaluation method. Most chess apps include a chess engine. For casual games, the suggested evaluation method is letting that engine run for 1 minute on your device.


Human Chess has the same rules as normal chess, with one additional mechanic. Starting from move 2, players can claim their opponent’s last move was a top engine move. This immediately ends the game.

Claims are settled by asking the chess engine to evaluate the position before the contested move. If the chess engine suggests the opponent’s move, the claimant wins the game. If not, their opponent wins instead.

Checkmating loses the game, as it is always the top engine move. Rather than aiming for checkmate, players seek to force their opponent to make a top engine move. If a player only has one move available, that move will always be the top engine move, which loses the game.

Example Games

An early loss for black:

Simon vs. Bob:

The fine print

© Bob de Ruiter