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The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Charles Gilman.

Taijitu Qi

This variant combines Yang Qi's symmetric pieces with those of a notional but barely-playable all-short-range "Yin Qi". It can also be viewed as combining pieces from Xiang Qi itself and a reversed-radial variant, or of an all-orthogonal suggestive of a rectilinear Toccata and an all-diagonal. The fourth and sixth would need YQ-style swaps, to limit colourbinding problems. Rather than combining moves in single pieces as does Alibaba Qi, it keeps them all as separate pieces. These types plus the strongest Knights and royally-restricted piece, those of Yang Qi, give eighteen pieces spread across ten types, so I decided to dispense with forward-only ones.

The name reflects the Yin and Yang theme. As a European I judged that Yin Yang Qi sounded too like flying under false colours. Yin Yang on its own was too vague, and the title of another contributor's page began with it. Monad Qi might have been all right, the similarity to the word monarchy particularly suiting a variant with the full King, but suggested a nonexistent connection with Monadchess. I therefore put the words Yin, Yang, and Monad into a search engine and here is the most useful page that I found.

In combination with Inquisition Ashtaranga, this variant has also inspired Inquisitor Qi and Hoo Qi.



Pieces fall into several overlapping groups - board-restricted (Wazir, Ferz, Dabbaba, Elephant); diagonal (Bishop, Arrow, Ferz, Elephant); long-range (Rook, Bishop, Cannon, Arrow); orthogonal (Rook, Cannon, Wazir, Dabbaba); short-range (King, Knight, Wazir, Ferz, Dabbaba, Elephant); and Yang Qi (King, Rook, Bishop, Cannon, Arrow, Knight).
The KING moves one step in any of the 8 radial directions, and must be kept out of Check.
The ROOK moves any distance orthogonally through empty squares. Rooks start where they always have, in the corners.
The CANNON differs from the Rook in that capturing requires exactly one intervening piece, which may be of either army and is not itself captured. Cannons inherit their Xiang Qi array positions.
The BISHOP moves any distance diagonally through empty squares. Bishops inherit their Yang Qi array positions.
The ARROW differs from the Bishop in that capturing requires exactly one intervening piece, which may be of either army and is not itself captured. Arrows inherit their Yang Qi array positions.
The KNIGHT makes any 2:1 leap, and in this variant cannot be blocked. Knights start where they always have, beside the Rooks.
The WAZIR moves one step orthogonally. Wazirs start in the middle of the third rank.
The FERZ moves one step diagonally. Displaced from their Xiang Qi positions by Arrows, Ferzes start at the opposite corners of the Fortress.
The DABBABA moves exactly two cells in any of the 4 orthogonal directions. The version used in this variant is a stepping one, and the halfway square must be empty. Dabbabas start on a free location giving them a binding that includes the Elephant one.
The ELEPHANT moves exactly two cells in any of the 4 diagonal directions. The version used in this variant is a stepping one, and the halfway square must be empty. Displaced from their Xiang Qi positions by Bishops, Elephants start one of their own moves away, to be on their traditional binding.


Board restrictions:
* Dabbabas and Elephants cannot cross the River (between the middle 2 ranks) unpromoted.
* Wazirs and Ferzes cannot leave the Fortress (back 2 cells of middle 2 files) unpromoted.
* The King is unrestricted while the player has an unpromoted Wazir or Ferz but, once all these are captured or promoted, must return to the Fortress within two moves and remain in it thereafter.

* A player moving a long-range piece into the enemy Fortress may, as a part of that move, promote a short-range piece of their own to a long-range piece captured by the enemy.
* If the moving piece is orthogonal, the short-range piece and its promotee must be diagonal, and vice versa.
* A player may not promote if it leaves their own Fortress empty of one-step pieces.
* A player may not have more than two pieces of any one type.

Other rules:
* There is no Castling.
* In place of a normal move, the King may swap places with any adjacent Yang Qi piece of the same army, including a Knight, if neither piece is threatened. This can help return it to the Fortress if required.
* Check, Checkmate, and Stalemate are as in FIDE Chess.


There is no S in Taijitu. I mention this as the familiarity of Japanese company names makes it all too easy for someone not paying attention to slip one in.

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 Charles Gilman.
Web page created: 2006-08-31. Web page last updated: 2016-03-18