Horde Chess is a chess variant in which the player controlling the white pieces faces a horde of black pawns arranged on the board in a specific formation. The game is played with standard chess rules, except that the white player’s objective is to capture all black pawns (including promoted pieces), while the black player wants to capture the white king in the usual way (checkmate).
The following diagram displays the initial position:
Looks sinister, huh? Black has twice as many pieces, and White can hardly make a move that wouldn’t be met with an instant capture. By the way, “to zerg” (from the article title) is a neologism that is well-known among the Starcraft players, and means “to storm the enemy base with a swarm of zerglings (simple alien forms that are weak alone but deadly in hordes)”, which is very similar to the basic Black’s strategy. But the truth is that the variant is quite unbalanced in the favor of White who, unless making too many blunders, is well-prepared to decimate the army of black pawns.
The statistical data from BrainKing.com just confirm it:
|7264 (71.47 %)
|2601 (25.59 %)
|298 (2.93 %)
However, despite the clear advantage, White must watch the black pawns advance with a great caution to prevent being caught by a surprise. Watch the video to see what happens otherwise:
Horde Chess is a popular chess variant among enthusiasts and is often used as a training exercise for chess players to improve their ability to handle complex and challenging positions.