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The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Abdul-Rahman Sibahi.

Falcon Hexagonal Chess

I have been delaying posting this for so long, and I guess it is about time.

I presume that most people here are familiar with two variants, George Duke's  Falcon Chess, and Glinski's Hexagonal Chess. Personally, both of these are of my favourite variants; so, mixing them up in a game would seem the most natural thing. (After all, I mixed Grand Chess with Bughouse, and I am a fan of neither !!)


The board is a base-7 hexagon, with the six corners trimmed. There are two reasons for that, one is that the bishops have the same relation to pawns as in Glinski's Chess. The other reason I will explain on the rules.

To quote Ralph Betza, here's an ugly ascii diagram : 

     a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j   k   l   m    
                        ___     ___                       
                    ___/ q \___/ k \___                  9
            ___/,n,\___/,,,\___/,,,\___/,n,\___          8
        ___/ r \___/   \___/ b \___/   \___/ r \___       
       /:p:\___/:::\___/:::\___/:::\___/:::\___/:p:\     7
13  ___/   \___/ p \___/   \___/   \___/ p \___/   \___  6
12 \___/,,,\___/,,,\___/,p,\___/,p,\___/,,,\___/,,,\___/ 5
   /   \___/   \___/   \___/ p \___/   \___/   \___/   \  
11 \___/:::\___/:::\___/:::\___/:::\___/:::\___/:::\___/ 4
10 \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/ 3
 9 \___/,,,\___/,,,\___/,P,\___/,P,\___/,,,\___/,,,\___/ 2
   /   \___/   \___/ P \___/   \___/ P \___/   \___/   \  
 8 \___/:::\___/:P:\___/:::\___/:::\___/:P:\___/:::\___/ 1
 7     / P \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/ P \      
 6         \___/,N,\___/,,,\___/,,,\___/,N,\___/          
               \___/ F \___/ B \___/ F \___/            
 5                 \___/:Q:\___/:K:\___/                  
                       \___/   \___/                      
     a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j   k   l   m


All pieces (pawns included) move as they do in Glinski's Chess.

The Falcon moves similarly to the square version. i.e. :

1. It moves exactly three steps, always in an outward direction.
2. The steps are either two orthogonal, one diagonal; or two diagonal, one orthogonal.
3. It may NOT mix two different orthogonal (or diagonal) directions in the same move.

You might want to look at the Falcon Chess page to read more specific details about the Falcon's movement, (if you're not familiar with it already.)

This diagram shows the hexes the Falcon can move to from the central hex (note that it's color-switching, like the Knight.):

     a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j   k   l   m    
                        ___     ___                       
                    ___/   \___/   \___                  9
            ___/,,,\___/,,,\___/,,,\___/,,,\___          8
        ___/   \___/ O \___/   \___/ O \___/   \___       
       /:::\___/:O:\___/:O:\___/:O:\___/:O:\___/:::\     7
13  ___/   \___/ O \___/   \___/   \___/ O \___/   \___  6
12 \___/,,,\___/,,,\___/,,,\___/,,,\___/,,,\___/,,,\___/ 5
   /   \___/ O \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/ O \___/   \  
11 \___/:O:\___/:::\___/:::\___/:::\___/:::\___/:O:\___/ 4
10 \___/ O \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/ O \___/ 3
 9 \___/,,,\___/,,,\___/,,,\___/,,,\___/,,,\___/,,,\___/ 2
   /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \  
 8 \___/:::\___/:O:\___/:::\___/:::\___/:O:\___/:::\___/ 1
 7     /   \___/ O \___/ O \___/ O \___/ O \___/   \      
 6         \___/,,,\___/,,,\___/,,,\___/,,,\___/          
               \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/            
 5                 \___/:::\___/:::\___/                  
                       \___/   \___/                      
     a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j   k   l   m    

I would hate to state the obvious, but from the opening setup, the Falcon on "e3" (using the Game Courier notation, not the official Glinski's notation,) can move from his starting hex to "b8", "c8", and "d7". It cannot move to "b7" because every path leading to that hex is blocked.

The Hex Falcon differs from the Square Falcon in one important aspect:
a Square Queen+Knight+Falcon piece, when in the center of 7x7 board, can move to every square of it. However, a Hex Queen+Knight+Falcon can-NOT move to every hex within the 6-based hexagon. It misses exactly 12 hexes.

This 'flaw', one might say, is fixable by replacing the Knight with the Gnu. The Gnu combines the Hex Knight and the (2,1) leaper of the diagonal pattern. On the square board, this moves corresponds to the Camel, the (3,1) leaper, but not on the Hex board.


All rules are as in Glinski's Hexagonal Chess, except one thing : Pawns may NOT promote to Queens.

This means that Stalemate is 0.75 points for the stalemating player, which brings me to the the second reason of trimming the board:-  I am very fine with this rule. However, under the Glinski board, one bare King can stalemate the other, which makes it, technically, enough mating material. The trimming simply removes the possibilty. (Also, the coloring of the Corners is now more like the original Glinski board.)


Values of the Pieces : Don't ask me !!

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 Abdul-Rahman Sibahi.
Web page created: 2007-09-08. Web page last updated: 2007-09-08