Lichess Wiki

Explode your opponent's king to win.


  • In addition to standard rules, all captures cause an explosion by which the captured piece, the piece used to capture, and all surrounding pieces except pawns that are within a one square radius (3x3 area from the captured piece) are removed from the board.
  • It is illegal to capture a piece that would blow up your king, nor can a king capture any piece as according to atomic rules, the captured piece blows up and is removed from the board.
  • Traditional checkmate applies to atomic as well, but any move that results in blowing up the opposite king will result in an immediate victory, overriding all checks and checkmates.

This study explains the rules of atomic chess in detail:


In Atomic the kings can be connected by moving one into the adjacent squares of the other side’s king. When the kings are connected, checks do not apply. As it is illegal for a capture to blow up your own king, it is not possible to capture the other king directly. To win such an endgame, it is necessary to cause the kings to detach by zugzwang or explode a piece of the opposite color while the king is next to it.

Learning Material[]

Interested in learning more about atomic chess? Here are some resources to help you!


Opening Queen Tactics

Opening Knight Tactics

Introduction to 1.Nh3

Introduction to 1.Nf3


Basic Endgames

Intermediate Endgames

Advanced Endgames

Endgame Practice


Atomic Chess puzzles

Atomic Chess video series made by the 2016 Atomic Chess World Champion

Excellent advanced Atomic Chess resources