Check out Chess with Different Armies, our featured variant for July, 2024.

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


Excelsior is based on Super Advanced Chess, which is a progression of Advanced Chess, then modified for the 84 squares chess variant design contest.

A 5 x 4 board is attached to the 8 x 8 board, as shown.

Super Advanced Chess is played on a standard board with two extra pieces per player.

The King, Queen, Rook, Bishop, Knight: all move as in the standard game. They all start the game in their usual positions.

The Squire leaps one square forward, then moves diagonally forward. This can promote to a Knight. The Squire starts the game on the second rank, in front of the Knight. Checkers may be used.

The Pawns start on the third rank and apart from En passant, they move, capture and promote in the usual way.

Pieces can promote to the upper level (5 x 4). And, players can move a piece on either level.

A capturing piece is promoted to the upper level.

Any piece that puts the King in check enters.

The piece a pawn is promoted too.

Pieces promoted to the “higher ground” must be placed on their first rank.

Capturing pawns & Squires are placed on their second rank. They may promote on this level.

Play continues in Excelsior until one player has a bare King or concedes. (In S.A.C., it is checkmate).

Written by `Este'. Html edited by Hans Bodlaender.