A downloadable game

Get this game and 1 more for $5.00 USD
View bundle
Buy Now
On Sale!
40% Off
$5.00 $3.00 USD or more

Both games are available in print at shop.seanpatrickcain.com.

* * *

Chess is a game of vast complexity and a 1500-year history. 

Fake Chess is not.

Fake Chess players get to act like serious chess players without the burdens of chess strategy, chess tactics, or chess rules.

Live out your grandmaster fantasies … with Fake Chess!

* * *

"This is brilliant."

Michael "Wheels" Whelan
(The House Doesn't Always Win, Dicebreaker)

"[A] bizarre roleplaying game"

Alex Meehan (Dicebreaker)

* * *

Fake Chess requires a real chess set.  

Two players will sit down and face off, armed with nothing more than their chess pieces, a few scraps of paper, and an extremely limited knowledge of chess.  Using a very basic set of game rules and mechanics, these players will engage in what looks like an intense chess battle between two masters of the game.  

It is dramatic.  It is silly.  It might be a real game, but it's definitely fake chess.

* * *

"Can you declare the NO-U Gambit in normal chess and wipe out the queen without having to move a piece? In Fake Chess you can. I rest my case."

(Streamer, Great Grandmaster of F. Chess)

* * *

Fake Chess was created for #NotAGameJam2020.


Updated 6 hours ago
CategoryPhysical game
GenreRole Playing
TagsBoard Game, Casual, Chess, Funny, GM-Less, larp, live-action, notagame, Short
Average sessionAbout a half-hour


Get this game and 1 more for $5.00 USD
View bundle
Buy Now
On Sale!
40% Off
$5.00 $3.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $3 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Fake Chess - SPC - Booklet.pdf 35 kB
Fake Chess - SPC - Spread.pdf 32 kB
Fake Chess - SPC - Singles.pdf 31 kB
Fake Chess Book of Games - SPC - Booklet.pdf 65 kB
Fake Chess Book of Games - SPC - Spread.pdf 68 kB
Fake Chess Book of Games - SPC - Singles.pdf 63 kB
Fake Chess Book of Games Vol 2 - SPC - Booklet.pdf 58 kB
Fake Chess Book of Games Vol 2 - SPC - Spread.pdf 59 kB
Fake Chess Book of Games Vol 2 - SPC - Singles.pdf 50 kB

Exclusive content

Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Community Copy

If can't afford to purchase Fake Chess but would like to play it, help yourself to a community copy.  

If you appreciate the game, please consider leaving a 5-star rating.  A kind review or social media post can also go a long way.

Every sale contributes more copies to the pool.

The Fake Chess UnFT

NFTs are virtual. When you purchase this UnFT, you will receive a physical, one-of-a-kind, hardcover edition of Fake Chess and all of its supplements. It will come with a hand-painted chess set. It will be numbered and signed. 

NFTs fuck up the planet. When you purchase this UnFT, I will spend 10 hrs doing environmental cleanup and beautification.  I will also plant 10 trees.  This work will be documented on a disposable film camera which you will receive with film undeveloped.

NFTs are steeped in exclusivity. When you purchase this UnFT, Fake Chess will become free for all players, immediately and permanently. If you wish to be publicly credited, you will be.

Development log


Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.


I read it and I'm still confused so I'll just ask: Is a valid path to the destination space for a piece required or is it literally a case of go anywhere for every move?


Thanks for asking!  When you play Fake Chess, you do not need to follow any standard movement rules.  Pick up the piece, and plop it down on an empty square.

Hope that makes sense!  Let me know if you have any other questions.


That is how it read, but I just wanted to be absolutely sure I was playing as intended.

The best kind of rules are a complete dissociation from existing rules. Thanks for writing this - I will definitely have fun with it.


Awesome!  Hope you enjoy it -- and thanks for the reply!