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This page is written by the game's inventor, Jose Carrillo.

Ajax Falcon Chess

Ajax Falcon Chess is a Cabaplanca Variant that features Ajax Ministers and two drops of the new Ajax Falcons.

In the picture above, the Ajax Falcons are represented by Seirawan Hawks.

I had the pair of Seirawan Hakws for sometime, but had never used them. So I decided to create a new piece, initially based on the Korean Elephant, for my new Falcons.


The Ajax Chess Setup is just like in Orthodox Chess, but with Ajax Ministers between the Bishops and the Royals (King and Queen).

At the start of the game, the Ajax Falcons start off the board.


Ajax Chess pieces inspired by the Man or Commoner from Courier Chess are used.

All regular minor chess pieces (Rook, Bishop and Knights) move as in Orthodox Chess, with the additional feature that they can also move (but not capture! see below) as Courier Chess' Man (or Commoner): one square in any arbitrary direction, just like a King:

This means that Rooks get an additional one-step diagonal move (Ferz), Bishops get an additional one-step orthogonal move (Wazir), and Knights get all Man (Commoner) one-step moves.

There is a catch though to this new "adopted" move to the Orthodox Chess pieces! They are not allowed to capture with their new "adopted" moves. So Rooks are not allowed to capture on their diagonal move, Bishops can't capture on their orthogonal moves and Knights are not allowed to capture on their one-square moves.

The additional "adopted" Commoner moves are intended to easily allow a Rook, Bishop and Knight to move to a new outpost where they can carry their orthodox attacks. They can also use their "adopted" moves to block an enemy attack.

The Ajax Falcon

The new Ajax Falcon has the combined movement of a Korean Elephant, Korean (or Chinese) Horse and Wazir, plus the characteristic Ajax one 'non-capturing' step in the remaining diagonal directions.

Ajax Falcons are improved Korean Elephants, which move one orthogonal step plus 2 diagonal steps. All squares in the path of the Korean Elephant must be unoccupied for the Elephant to reach it's destination.

The Ajax Falcon is NOT a leaper, so just like the Korean Elephant must also have the path clear to reach the 2nd diagonal square (labeled 3 on the diagram), but the Ajax Falcon can also move and capture at any square along the path to their 3rd square.

Therefore the Ajax Falcon can stop on it's 1st diagonal square (labeled 2 on the diagram), provided the first orthogonal step is empty; giving the Ajax Falcon the Korean Horse move capability; or it can just move and capture on it's first orthogonal square (labeled 1 on the diagram) in the path of it's Korean Elephant move, just like a Wazir.

Finally the Ajax Falcon has a one 'non-capturing' step in the remaining diagonal directions (red circles in the diagram), like a Ferz, to complete the one-step movement characteristic of the Ajax pieces.

Because Falcons are not leapers, their range is restricted early on when there are many pieces on the board. But as the board opens up and there are less pieces on the board, Falcons prove to be aggressive killers.

Ajax Falcons change color squares with every attacking move. They remain on the same color when moving on their non-capturing diagonal steps.

Ajax-Falcon's Drops

Two Ajax-Falcon's Drops are allowed per player on their first rank, per game. The Falcons must be dropped on any empty square on a player's first rank as their sole move in a turn; similar to dropping pieces in Shogi (Japanese Chess), except that the drops are limited to the first rank.

There is no restriction as to when (opening, middlegame or endgame) do players need to drop their Falcons, or even a requirement to drop them (players may play without any Falcons if they choose).

Players can only drop ONE Falcon per turn and the drops may not capture enemy pieces on the same turn.

The Algebraic Notation for a Falcon's drop is: (Fxx) including the parenthesis.

The Ajax-Minister

The Minister (enhanced Man or Commoner) is an additional short range major piece to the Ajax Chessmen set that can move AND capture on their one-square moves (just like a Man, circles in green above) or can also do a two-step leap in any direction (Alfil+Dababah - circles in blue above).


Over The Board, Ajax Ministers are represented by handmade Prime Ministers (King pieces without the Cross Crown).

Any other fairy pieces though, or checkers men, can be used to represent the Ajax Ministers OTB.

The Ajax Minister is the latest re-incarnation of a piece that has been known before as Pasha (Paulovits's Game by Istv�n Paulovits - c.1890), Squire (Renniassance Chess by Eric V. Greenwood - 1980), Jumping General (Grand Shatranj) or Jumping King (Atlantean Barroom Shatranj) [both by Joe Joyce - 2006], and Mastodon or Mammoth (Mastodon and Mammoth Chess by Mats Winter 2006).


Pawns can play one or two squares in their initial move. They capture one square diagonally as in regular chess and may promote to any piece (Queen, Rook, Minister, Falcon, Bishop or Knight) upon reaching their last rank.


The goal of the game is to checkmate the opponent's King, as in Orthodox Chess.

Rules for check, checkmate, stalemate, en passant, 50-move draw and Threefold Repetition Draw are like in Orthodox Chess.


Castling is three squares to either side of the board.

This table shows where the King and Rook end up and the notation for each type of castling.

White castles a-sidec-castlingO-O-OKc1, Rd1
White castles j-sidei-castlingO-OKi1, Rh1
Black castles a-sidec-castlingO-O-OKc8, Rd8
Black castles j-sidei-castlingO-OKi8, Rh8

Castling may only occur under the following conditions:

These rules have the following consequences:


Game Courier Preset

The Ajax Falcon Chess Game Courier preset enforces all the rules (including en passant, castling, check, checkmate and slatemate).

The Ajax Falcons start off the board (on the B and W files), and can be played right from there (W1 or W2 for White, B7 or B8 for Black) to their initial squares just as a regular Game Courier move.

Algebraic Notation: 10.(Fb1) (Fg8)
Game Courier Notation: 10.F W1-b1 f B7-g8

The moves above would drop the White W1-Falcon to b1 (provided b1 was empty), and the Black B7-Falcon to g8 (provided g8 was empty).

Game Courier Preset

Ajax Falcon Chess

Game Courier Logs

Game Courier Logs for Games of Ajax Falcon Chess

To see actual games that have been played on-line, follow the link above.

Ajax Falcon Chess (AFC) was created by Jose Manuel Carrillo-Muniz, from Puerto Rico in 2009.

Chess Variants by the Author:

Other Presets by the Author:

Other Pages by the Author:

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By Jose Carrillo.
Web page created: 2009-12-06. Web page last updated: 2009-12-06