Check out Glinski's Hexagonal Chess, our featured variant for May, 2024.

This page is written by the game's inventor, Jean-Louis Cazaux.


This game ambitions to involve several pieces that are not used in the other variants from the author.

Most of the pieces are "bi-compounds" of other more familiar pieces. There are the three possible associations of the oblique leapers, Knight (2,1), Camel (3,1) and Giraffe/Zaraffa (3,2).

There are also the Japanese Kirin and Phoenix, compounds of the basic atoms Wazir, Ferz, Alfil, Dabbaba.

Finally, the newest pieces are the slider/leaper compounds combining Rook with Alfil, and Bishop with Dabbaba. These two later pieces can be seen as the extension of the Kirin and Phoenix and, so logically, one may promote to the other one. Indeed, using Betza's notation FD (Kirin) promotes to FFD=BD (Badger) and WA (Phoenix) promotes to WWA=RA (Ram).

The Soldier is an augmented Pawn which has been experimented with success in other variants. It is an efficient support of the front line of Pawns.

The strongest piece does not start on the initial array. It is a mighty queen, the Medusa which has augmented power from its standard counterpart, and which is appearing only by promotion of a Pawn or a Soldier.

You can play Patchanka with Game Courier here!



King: moves 1 step in any of the 8 orthogonal or diagonal directions to an unattacked square. The King is in check if it is attacked by one or several enemy pieces. It is forbidden to play a move leaving one's King in check. The only difference with standard chess is that there is no castling in Patchanka.

Pawn: can move, without capturing, straight forward one square or two squares from its starting position if the interving square is empty. It captures one square diagonally forward. It may also capture and be captured "en-passant" (see below). Almost identical to standard chess, the only difference is related to its promotion (see below).

Soldier: is an "augmented Pawn". It captures 1-square diagonally forward like a Pawn, but moves with no capture either 1-square forward or sideways (left or right). It may also step two empty squares forward from any position on the board. Otherwise, it is identical to the Pawn (same promotion, en-passant capture rules). The soldier is also found in Zanzibar-Maasai Chess and in Bigorra. Betza's notation: fsmWfceFfmnnD

Wildebeest:  combines the leaps of the Knight (2,1) and the Camel (3,1). Betza's notation: NC

Okapi:  combines the leaps of the Knight (2,1) and the Giraffe (Zaraffa from Grant Acedrex = Zebra) (3,2). Betza's notation: NZ

Bison:  combines the leaps of the Camel (3,1) and the Giraffe (Zaraffa from Grant Acedrex = Zebra) (3,2). Betza's notation: CZ

Kirin:  combines the steps of the Ferz (1,1) and the leaps of the Dabbaba (2,0). This piece is from Chu Shogi. Betza's notation: FD. In Patchanka, the Kirin may promote (see below).

Phoenix:  combines the steps of the Wazir (1,0) and the leaps of the Alfil (2,2). This piece is from Chu Shogi. Betza's notation: WA. In Patchanka, the Phoenix may promote (see below).

Badger:  rides diagonally as a chess Bishop or leaps as a Dabbaba (2,0). Betza's notation: BD, hence its name BaDger.

Ram:  rides orthogonally as a chess Rook or leaps as an Alfil (2,2). Betza's notation: RA, hence its name RAm.

Medusa:  mighty piece that combines the powers of the Badger and the Ram. In other words, it combines the moves of the chess Queen and the leaps of the Alfil and the Dabbaba. Betza's notation: QAD. This piece is not present on the initial array, it appears through promotion of Pawns or Soldiers only.

See the Interactive Diagram above and its facilities to illustrate the different moves.


Promotions: several pieces can get a promotion at Patchanka when reaching the last rank of the board. Promotion is immediate, compulsory and cannot be refused.

En Passant capture: Any time a Pawn or a Soldier takes a double step and passes through the capture square of an opposing Pawn or Soldier, that Pawn or Soldier may capture the Pawn or Soldier as if it had only moved one square. This en passant capture must be made in the move immediately following the double step. Only a Pawn or a Soldier may capture en passant.

There is no castling at Patchanka.

End Of Game: The end-of-game rules, checkmate, stalemate, etc., are identical to standard chess.


This game has been partly inspired by Compound Chess proposed by Kevin Pacey where the pieces equivalent to Medusa, Badger and Ram are employed, though they were not named as such.

The relative strength, according to the values estimated by the Interactive Diagram are (note that the Bison is close to the strength of a Rook that would be on the same board):

Pawn (0.8), Soldier (1), Phoenix (2.9), Kirin (3.1), Bison (5), Okapi (5.3), Badger (5.3), Wildebeest (5.5), Ram (6.3), Medusa (10.2)

There not enough icons available to have a proper representation of this game. Icons for Phoenix, Kirin, Badger, Bison and Okapi are needed. Some existing compound move-symbolic icons could have worked but there are not esthaetically adequate for this game. Missing icons have been replaced by, respectively, Bird2, Dragon, Squirrel, Ox and Kangaroo. Hoping this will be improved in future.


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 Jean-Louis Cazaux.

Last revised by Jean-Louis Cazaux.

Web page created: 2023-12-31. Web page last updated: 2024-01-26