Hostage Chess

Fascinating, exciting, extremely entertaining — what a wonderful new game!”

— Grandmaster Kevin Spraggett

Mating attacks are the norm. Anyone can hope to discover new principles or opening lines.”

— Grandmaster Larry Kaufman

Every bit as intriguing as standard chess. Beautiful roads keep branching off in all directions, and sharp-eyed beginners sometimes roll right over the experts.”

— FIDE Master Robert Hamilton

With only a few rule changes, Hostage Chess creates a marvelously exciting variant on the classical game.”

— International Master Lawrence Day

Chess is not yet played out, but it is no longer possible to perform at a high level without a detailed knowledge of openings. In Hostage Chess creativity and imagination flourish, and fun returns.”

— Peter Coast,
ex Scottish Champion

Probably the most remarkable chess variant of the last fifty years. Captured men are hostages that can be exchanged. Play is rarely less than exciting, sometimes with several reversals of fortune. Dramatic mates are the rule, not the exception. ”

— D.B.Pritchard, author of "The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants"

It develops your imagination, your sense for the big fish lurking in chess waters. ”

— John Leslie, originator of Hostage Chess

HostageMaster is a free Windows program that allows you to play Hostage Chess against a computer.



  1. Operating system: Windows XP, 2000, Vista, or higher
  2. Hardware: mouse or pointing device
  3. Framework: .NET 2.0 or greater (free from Microsoft)

For HostageMaster to run, the .NET framework must be installed. If you have a Vista or Windows 7 computer, this framework is already fully installed. Otherwise, a suitable .NET framework — completely free — can be downloaded from this link: