Check out Chess with Different Armies, our featured variant for July, 2024.

This page is written by the game's inventor, Ismael Santos.


I present you this variant of chess I came up with a few years ago.
I have been playing it ocassionally with my friends and just now found this page, so I decided to post it.


The game is meant to be played with a standard chess board.
A die may be used to add some randomness.

Before the game starts proper, players must place their King in a corner, and place their other initial pieces in their side of the board in any formation they wish. The 3 central diagonal lines are considered "no man's land" and cannot be used for initial positions.
The initial pieces are King, 6 Pawns, 2 Tier 2 pieces (Bishop, Knight, Rook) of their choosing.


Pieces in this variant have 3 attributes: Attack (ATK) Defense (DEF) and Speed (SPD)
Pieces do not move or contribute diagonally. ATK and DEF are used to determine wether a piece can be captured or not, SPD determines how many squares a piece can move in a single Move.

Pawn: ATK 1, DEF 1, SPD 1
Can be promoted to: Bishop, Knight, Rook.
Cannot be promoted to a specific type of piece if the player already has 2 of that specific type on the board already.

Rook: ATK 1, DEF 2, SPD 0
Can be promoted to: Queen/Officer.
The Rook cannot move outside of capturing an adjacent piece. It makes up for it's lack of mobility by being very difficult to capture itself.
Special Ability:
 +Inmunity to Knight's Charge

Knight: ATK 1, DEF 1, SPD 2
Can be promoted to: Queen/Officer.
The Knight can move 1 or 2 squares (in a straight line). It cannot leap over pieces.
Special Ability:
 +Charge: The Knight gains +1 ATK against pieces 2 squares away. Charge cannot be used on Rooks.

Bishop: ATK 0, DEF 0, SPD 1
Cannot be promoted.
The Bishop is the weakest piece on the board, but an army without bishop support is generally doomed.
Special Ability:
 +Reinforcement: a player may use a Move to place a pawn not currently on the board right next to a Bishop on a square of a different color than the one the Bishop is placed on. Cannot be used if the Player already has 8 Pawns on the board.

Queen: ATK 1, DEF 1, SPD 1
The Queen, or Officer, is a combat support piece that enables a player to break trough a stalemate. Due to it's power the player does not start with one and must promote a Knight or Rook in the field.
Special Ability:
 +Inspiration: friendly pieces on squares next to the Queen/Officer that are of a different color than the one the Queen/Officer is standing on receive a +1 ATK modifier.
 +Succession: If the King/General dies, the Queen/Officer is inmediately promoted to King/General.

King: ATK 1, DEF 1, SPD 1.
The King, or General, must be protected from the enemy. Should the King/General fall in battle withouta successor the player will be defeated.
Special Ability:
 +Escape Route (aka Castling): At the player's discretion, a king may be moved to the position of any friendly rook anywhere on the board. The Rook is removed from the board. The only limit to this ability is the number of Rooks available.


Piece count:
Players can only have a maximum 8 Pawns, 2 of each special piece (Knight, Bishop, Rook) and 1 of each royal piece (King, Queen).

Pieces can only move in a cross fashion. Diagonal movements are forbiden. The number of squares is indicated by the SPD attribute.

Pieces can only capture enemy pieces when the combined ATK overcomes the DEF of a piece. When two or more pieces surround an enemy piece, one of the surrounding pieces will move to take the fallen piece's place, which piece moves is a the player's discretion.
Pieces do NOT contribute their ATK diagonally.
Example: A WPawn on a WSquare can only capture a BPawn next if it is in a BSquare, and only if there is another WPawn flanking the BPawn from a WSquare next to the BPawn.

Whenever a Pawn, Rook or Knight captures a piece, it can be promoted if the player chooses to and has pieces available. This must be done in the same turn the piece performs the capture. Retroactive promotion is not allowed.

Depending on Mode, the player may have access to 1 to 3 Moves per turn. A piece may only perform 1 Move per turn regardless of how many Moves the player has available. Actions that are considered Moves: Moving a piece to another square, capture (only the Capturing piece uses the Move, flanking pieces are not counted as performing a Move), Placing a Pawn (Bishop Special), Castling (King Special).

Modes determine the number of Moves a player has per turn.
 +Default: players have 1 Move per turn.
 +Fast: players have 2 Moves per turn.
 +Blitzkrieg: players have 3 Moves per turn
 +Dice: players will roll a die (D6) and the number of Moves on that turn will be determined by it.
    + 1: Fumble. Player has 0 moves and the turn skips to the other player.
    + 2-3: Player has 1 move.
    + 4-5: Player has 2 moves.
    + 6: Player has 3 moves.

A Player wins the game when one of these conditions is met:
  +The Opponent's King has been captured and there is no Queen to promote.
  +The Opponent has been reduced to the King alone
  +The Opponet's pieces are locked in such a way the player cannot make any legal move.


On Promotion:
Promoting a piece is optional and the players should consider wether a promotion is necesary or even beneficial.
For example, if a Pawn is promoted to Rook on the edge of the board, that Rook will offer little to no benefit besides providing a handy escape for the King, but promoting to rook on the front line or in areas near the center will force the opponent to work around them.

On Bishops:
Bishops, having 0 defense, can be taken down in single combat by every other piece, and since they have 0 attack they do not contribute directly to capturing pieces, however, due to them restoring lost Pawns they are the lifeline of your army. So it is recommended to start every game with at least 1 Bishop.

Proxy Bishop:
Moving a Bishop (or promoting a Pawn) near the front line is a solid tactic, as it allows the player to deploy pawns right in the meat grinder instead of deploying them far back at home.

Offensive Rook:
Promoting a Pawn to Rook on the front line provides excellent area denial and can be devastating to a tight formation as the rook requires to be surrounded near completely to be taken out, making it an excellent battering ram. A Rook paired with a Queen is a near unstoppable force that is best avoided.

On pointless sacrifices:
While Pawns can be restored ad infinitum, keep in mind that if your enemy is killing too many of your pieces it's getting more pieces promoted and this can snowball into a defeat.

4 Player mode:
While the rules are made to be played with standard chess setup, the way pieces move allows for 4 players if playing on a 12x12 board and setting initial positioning to a 5x5 square for each player's corner. I personally did this with my friend and his two kids and it was very hectic. It is recommended to play on Fast, Blitz or Dice because the match will be very long otherwise.

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 Ismael Santos.

Last revised by Ismael Santos.

Web page created: 2023-04-04. Web page last updated: 2023-06-22