The Chess Variant Pages

Check out Cylindrical Chess, our featured variant for March, 2023.

This page is written by the game's inventor, Andy Kurnia.


a Large Variant 99 Contest entry by Andy Kurnia

Over the years, chess has successfully remained an entertaining game for all ages. Needless to say, it is more than just a game. It is a game of skill that requires deep thoughts for a player to be able to win his opponent's royal piece while defending his own. This could be why many plays it: it models pride; or rather, dignity, in the sense that one would defend it as long as possible.

Chess has so many variants. The term chess by itself, depending on the context, always refers to a specific variant, which is generally one of orthodox chess, Chinese Chess, or Japanese Chess.

Many of the variants keep the general theme, that is, to include a royal piece to be won. However, many of these limit the movement of the royal piece to at most eight squares per move.

This variant is an attempt to demonstrate that a chess game with a stronger royal piece, given the right circumstances, can still be enjoyable. This piece will try to keep fleeing from enemy attacks, but should eventually fail. [Author's note: Game has not been tested. Keep me posted... ]


A 16x16 board is used. It should be possible to grab four standard chess boards and align them to simulate this big board.


The two rows nearest to white are set up as follows:

  2 P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P    white pawns
  1 R N B . R N B Q K B N R . B N R    white pieces
    a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p

    P = pawn    N = knight    Q = queen    . = blank
    R = rook    B = bishop    K = king

The two rows nearest to black are consequently set up as follows:
   a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p
16 R N B . R N B Q K B N R . B N R    black pieces
15 P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P    black pawns

The 3rd to 14th rows start off empty.


Rooks move R.

Knights move FAWND.

Bishops move B.

Queens move BRAND.

Kings move BRAND. It can go through, but not to, checked squares.

Pawns move fB4fsW. It promotes on reaching the last row, to Guards only.

Guards move B4R4AND.

Where, for the unfamiliar:

R = orthogonal (rookwise) movement, any length

R4= orthogonal (rookwise) movement, up to 4th square

W = orthogonal (rookwise) movement, one square (= R1)

D = orthogonal (rookwise) jump (even over an empty square) to second square

B = diagonal (bishopwise) movement, any length

B4= diagonal (bishopwise) movement, up to 4th square

F = diagonal (bishopwise) movement, one square (= B1)

A = diagonal (bishopwise) jump (even over an empty square) to second square

N = L-shaped (knightwise) jump, 2x1

fB4 = forward-only B4

fW = forward-only W

sW = sideways-only W

fsW = fW + sW

fB4fsW = fB4 + fsW

FAWND = F + A + W + N + D

BRAND = B + R + A + N + D

B4R4AND = B4 + R4 + A + N + D


Same as standard chess unless explicitly changed as stated above.
Written by Andy Kurnia. HTML by David Howe.
This variant is an entry in the 1999 Large Variant contest.

WWW page created: April 23, 1999. Last modified: November 14, 2002.