Check out Grant Acedrex, our featured variant for April, 2024.

This page is written by the game's inventor, David Paulowich.

TenCubed Chess

by David Paulowich

Setup and Pieces

The 10x10 square array is as follows:

Initial Setup for TenCubed Chess

King f2; Queen e2; Chancellor f1; Archbishop e1; Knight c2, h2; Champion c1, h1; Wizard d1, g1; Bishop d2, g2; Rook b2, i1; Pawn a3, b3, c3, d3, e3, f3, g3, h3, i3, j3.

King f9; Queen e9; Chancellor f10; Archbishop e10; Knight c9, h9; Champion c10, h10; Wizard d10, g10; Bishop d9, g9; Rook b9, i9; Pawn a8, b8, c8, d8, e8, f8, g8, h8, i8, j8.

TenCubed Chess uses ten different piece-types on a 10x10 board. The Queen combines the moves of rook and bishop. The Marshall combines the moves of rook and knight. The Archbishop combines the moves of bishop and knight. The Champion combines the moves of dabbabah and alfil and wazir. The Wizard combines the moves of camel and ferz.

2cwamwc2/1rnbqkbnr1/pppppppppp/10/10/10/10/PPPPPPPPPP/1RNBQKBNR1/2CWAMWC2/ is the initial setup shown in the diagram above. Each of the three empty squares in a corner is attacked by two different pieces.


Moves for the pieces are essentially unchanged. Pawns have an initial double step (from the player's third rank to the fifth) and may capture "En Passant". Immediately upon reaching the player's tenth rank, a Pawn promotes to a queen, marshall, or archbishop of the same color. Promotion is not limited in any other way - one player can have 11 queens on the board at the same time. Castling does not exist. Checkmate wins the game and stalemate draws.


This game was a finalist in the contest to design a 10-chess variant which was held to celebrate the 10th aniversary of the Chess Variant Pages. The contest objective was to design a chess variant prominently featuring the number 10. TenCubed Chess features 10 different types of pieces on a board with 10 ranks and 10 files.

The pattern of 52 empty squares is original to this chess variant. In the last twenty years there have been several chess games with pawns on the third rank and most of the remaining pieces on the second rank, notably Christian Freeling's Grand Chess and Jean-Louis Cazaux's Shako. The first and tenth ranks here are reserved for the "nonstandard pieces".

Six months ago I attempted a similar variant using pieces from Eric Greenwood's RennChess. After placing Cavaliers on the e-file and Dukes on the f-file, I had trouble deciding on which of the weaker pieces to add to the game. I also searched the piece lists for John William Brown's Centennial Chess and Millennial Chess, but without success. I pesonally prefer the Wizard and the Champion to more exotic pieces like the Camel and the Murray Lion. So I eventually abandoned that project and chose this TenCubed Chess setup.

Play Online

Game Courier: TenCubed Chess can be played on this site with Game Courier. A selection of fully automated, rule-enforcing presets can be found here. You can also view games that have previously been played on Game Courier here.

Computer Play

ChessV: TenCubed Chess is fully supported by ChessV, a free open-source program for playing chess variants.

Zillions-of-Games: You can also play TenCubed Chess if you have a registered version of Zillions-of-Games installed on your Computer. This program gives you a choice of using chessmen from the "images\Abstract\" directory (source: Fergus Duniho) or the "images\Alfaerie\" directory (source: David Howe). At least one of these must be installed on your hard drive for the program to function properly. You can Download the TenCubed.zrf here. (Author: David Paulowich)


Daniel C. Macdonald's Omega Chess places 44 pieces, including champions and wizards, on a board with 104 squares. After using my Omega Chess set to play a variety of 10x10 variants, I hardly notice the four added squares at the corners any more. Note that you will have to rotate this board 90 degrees to place a light color square at each player's right hand, as shown in the diagram. A large wooden "Staunton-style" chess set provided two knights (for the marshalls) and two bishops (for the archbishops). For more information on Omega Chess go to

Players who own one of Christian Freeling's Grand Chess sets could use rooks and bishops from a smaller set to represent champions and wizards. For more information on Grand Chess go to

Written by David Paulowich.
WWW page created: March, 2005.
WWW page updated: October, 2018 by Greg Strong.