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This page is written by the game's inventor, Andy Maxson.

ancient chess

This is the final game of my series of gradually regressing board games. As many of the games have tried to modernize chess this goes in the opposite direction. As new age chess was the next evolution of chess and Mid Evil chess bridged the chess-shatranj gap along with mir chess II This game is a game maybe some of the ancients played. This is the devolution of chess and in in its own way has its own elegance.




The general is the royal piece in my game and moves one orthogonally and two generals cannot face each other orthognally or diagonally without any intervening pieces there is no castling. The ferz moves one diagonally or straight back. The elephant moves exactly two diagonally or can move two orthogonally the elephant cannot jump and it can either move exactly two diagonally and can only capture on the last part of its move and it may not move back to its starting square or moves as a dabbaba that cannot pass over an occupied first orthoganal square . Horse moves as regular chess but cannot jump it either moves one diagonally and then one orthogonally outwards or one orthogonally then one diagonally outwards. The horse and elephant are stronger variants of their xiangqi counterparts. The elephant is slightly stronger than a lame alibaba but is weaker than a normal alibaba. The chariot moves as a rook in orthochess. Pawns move one square straight forwards and have no double step pawns upon crossing the center line gain the ability to move one square sideways there is no other promotion. Generals may not pass through the center line.


It is illegal to make a move that repeats the same board position three times If the king hasn't moved and is not in check it may make a noncapturing horse move. Stalemate is a win for the side that stalemates. If you bare the opponent's king you win.


This game is completely drawless. I got some of the inspiration from kevin maroney's ur chess.
The elephant is inspired the fact that elephants are the only animals in the world that cannot jump the horse and elephant were inspired by xiangqi along with the no three fold repetition and stalemate being a win and generals cannot cross the central line. The bare king (general) rule was inspired by shatranj along with the noncaptureing horse move. The ferz isn't as weak as it was in shatranj partially beacause of the way I enhanced it and partially beacause it can make some moves the General cannot make. The no pawn promotion, no facing kings, no generals crossing the center, and the open position was also inspired by xianqi. 
There are variants:
#1 the ferz moves one diagonally or straight forwards.
#2 the horse and elephant can now jump. 
#3 pawns on reaching the last rank promote to ferz or any lost piece.
these variants can be freely intermixed. This is the last game in my series. Enjoy:-)

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By Andy Maxson.
Web page created: 2007-02-20. Web page last updated: 2007-02-20