A downloadable game

Get this game and 1 more for $7.50 USD
View bundle
Buy Now
On Sale!
25% Off
$7.00 $5.25 USD or more

BOOK OF CHAMPIONS is the standalone sequel/expansion to FAKE CHESS.  
Both games are available in print at shop.seanpatrickcain.com.

"Wildly original" 

 Matt Jarvis,  Dicebreaker Editor-in-Chief

"An absolute delight of a game"

Jay Dragon, designer of Wanderhome

"A ludicrous game of pretend"

Oscar, The Ugly Monster

* * *


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

Fake Chess is not.

Fake Chess players use a very basic set of rules and mechanics to live out their grandmaster fantasies by acting like serious chess players, engaging in what looks like an intense battle without the burdens of chess strategy, knowledge, or skill.  

* * *


With the BOOK OF CHAMPIONS at the table, players can now embody specific characters with unique moves, strategies, and play styles. 

  • Grind your way to riches as The City Park Hustler
  • Guide your protégé as The Benevolent Mentor
  • Pop some pills and stare at the ceiling as The Drug-Addled Queen
  • Giggle your way to victory as The Child Prodigy
  • Nurse your hangover as The Haggard Celeb
  • Chill your opponent's heat as The Icy Russian
  • Take your time as The Cerebral Snail
  • Dazzle and charm as The Magnanimous Hottie
  • Help (and annoy) new players as The Wizardly Tutor
  • Beep and bloop as The Chess Computer
  • Take a life as The Angel of Death
  • Get meta as The Fake Chess Player

It's dramatic.  It is silly.  

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

* * *


The Dicebreaker Podcast crew discusses Fake Chess :

Sean joins Two Can Play That Game to discuss Fake Chess (starting at 44:00):

* * *

"I roleplayed a hustler who kept making reckless wagers during a chess game. My opponent was a know-it-all wizardly tutor who hated J. K. Rowling. Fake Chess is just brilliant."

Ludipe, game designer

"It's rare that a game makes me laugh out loud. This really is a brilliant game, there's no other word for it."

Alex Rinehart, designer of Cyberrats & Gratitude

"I never had any interest in chess whatsoever until I came across this game. I also never had any interest in full-on method acting a character in any TTRPG until I read the list of Champions that Sean designed for us: so clearly defined, in such a simple but compelling way. I was stricken with a sudden urge to wear a blazer, learn Russian, or create names for chess openings and strategies on a gloomy Sunday morning. Fake Chess has elegant, easy-to-learn mechanics, and a perfectly conveyed vibe. It also has a move that lets you call JK Rowling a TERF, which kills two birds with one stone. Shout 'checkmate,' bang the table with your fist and play this game. "

Armanda Haller, designer of Paranoid Android & Teenage Angst

* * *

Fake Chess: Book of Champions requires a real chess set.  

While the Book of Champions contains 33 new game boards that are fully compatible with the original Fake Chess,  players do not need to own the original to play.

Content Warnings: Drug use, profanity 

CategoryPhysical game
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(48 total ratings)
GenreRole Playing
TagsBoard Game, Chess, Funny, GM-Less, LARP, live-action, Multiplayer
Average sessionAbout a half-hour


Get this game and 1 more for $7.50 USD
View bundle
Buy Now
On Sale!
25% Off
$7.00 $5.25 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5.25 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Fake Chess Book of Champions - SPC - Spreads.pdf 880 kB
Fake Chess Book of Champions - SPC - Singles.pdf 967 kB
Fake Chess Book of Champions - SPC - Booklet.pdf 566 kB

Exclusive content

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

The Book of Champions UnFT

NFTs are virtual. When you purchase this UnFT, you will receive a physical, one-of-a-kind, hardcover edition of Fake Chess: Book of Champions, the original Fake Chess, and all of the game's 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: Book of Champions will become free for all players, immediately and permanently. If you wish to be publicly credited, you will be.

Community Copy

If can't afford to purchase Fake Chess: Book of Champions 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.

Development log


Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

I love these simple RPGs with everyday items. No game masters, quick setup time and just pure fun with friends. This is really amazing and quite brilliant!

Thanks so much for those kind words!


As a former Chess Player I really had a hard time wrapping my head around what the game wants to do, but after reading it 3 times, setting up my board and just trying it in 'solo' mode I think I'm in love with this game =)

Just one think, that'd be interesting: How long does a Fake Chess game usually take? From just reading it, I have the impression it plays rather fast (~1hr).

Well cheers to you for digging in! So glad to hear that you’re enjoying the game!

You’re right — a typical round can run between 10-30 minutes. 

(I know some folks will print out a bunch of sheets, get some friends, and take turns playing rounds.  Like a lot of the game, that optional setup rule about a crowd providing erudite commentary is both tremendously dumb AND something that actually works for a game night.)

A really interesting take on the game from Oscar / The Ugly Monster: 


"Fake Chess is a ludicrous game of pretend. Strategy, or even process, is unimportant. The more shameless showman gets to bend the rules more. Whoever bends the rules more will likely win. Just like real life.

"Fake Chess is the game of our time. Most of the world’s Rich and Powerful aren’t all that special. They just convinced enough people that they were long enough to escape the “gravity” of public opinion.


Read it here:

"Vladimir Putin and Elizabeth Homes are ‘Fake Chess’ Players"


a quick little video of the new print edition of Fake Chess: Book of Champions

Dicebreaker wrote about Fake Chess!  

Here's their take on this "bizarre" little rpg.