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Royal Bishop Chess

Royal Bishop Chess is a simple, modest chess variant involving a royal bishop.


Royal Bishop Chess can be played with a FIDE Chess set. Setup is the same as FIDE Chess, except Black's King (which acts a Royal Bishop) and Queen are switched. 



There are two new pieces, the Royal Bishop and Aanca. Piece values are estimated.

Royal Bishop (White: e1, Black: d8): Moves and captures as a FIDE Chess Bishop, but is royal and can be checked and checkmated. Cannot castle.

Queen (White: d1, Black: e8): Moves and captures as a FIDE Chess Queen. Worth about 9 pawns.

Aanca (White: c1/f1, Black: c8/f8): Moves and captures one square orthogonally and then any number of squares diagonally outwards like a FIDE Chess Bishop. Cannot jump over pieces. Worth about 7 pawns.


Rook (White: a1/h1, Black: a8/h8): Moves and captures as a FIDE Chess Rook. Worth about 5 pawns.

Knight (White: b1/g1, Black: b8/g8): Moves and captures as a FIDE Chess Knight. Worth about 3 pawns.

Pawn: (White: 2nd rank, Black: 7th rank): Moves and captures as a FIDE Chess Pawn. Can promote to Queen, Aanca, Rook, or Knight upon reaching 8th/1st rank.


All rules not previously mentioned are the same as FIDE Chess.


In the opening and middlegame, it is important to keep diagonals leading to the Royal Bishop closed or well-defended. Exploit the opponent's open diagonals with the Aancas and Queen. Keep in mind the b- and g- pawns are undefended in the starting position. In the endgame, it is generally advantageous to promote pawns to Aanca as it is the only piece capable of delivering mate on its own.

The reason why Black's Royal Bishop and Queen are switched in the initial position is to avoid drawish Royal Bishop and Pawn endgames where the Royal Bishops are on opposite colors.

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 QIDb602.

Last revised by Ben Reiniger.

Web page created: 2023-02-22. Web page last updated: 2023-04-22