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

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


Hi! :) I was looking at the excellent games on this site, and wanted to add my humble contribution. (I kinda feel like Christian Laettner on Dream Team One...)

Lately I've been playing a lot of Courier Chess, Courier-Spiel, and Tamerlane Chess, and have found that the pace and the feel of those games are quite a refreshing alternative to the "All-out tactics on turn 1" games. I wanted to create a game that recaptures the feel of those great games while eliminating what [to me] are the major flaws: pieces so weak as to be useless, and insufficient power to mate w/ greately reduces material after a hard struggle. Here, then, is the fruit of my labor (and it was a joy)-


The board is 10x8, with 4 "Citadels" located at: A1, A8, L1, L8. The Rooks start the game in the citadels, and any piece may freely move into them. Your *pieces* promote inside the enemy citadels. {P.S. these are the ONLY squares on these files; there is no A2, L6, etc.)

Setup goes like this: white's first rank, left to right, A1 thru L1:

Rook, Guard, Horse, Bishop, Eagle, Champion, King, Lion, Bishop, Horse, Guard, Rook.

Second Rank, Left to Right, B2 thru K2:

Pawn, Pawn, Pawn, Pawn, Ferz, Vizier, Pawn, Pawn, Pawn, Pawn.

Third Rank, F3 and G3: Pawn, Pawn.

Black's setup is just like White's. So, Ferz Faces Vizier, Eagle is across from Lion, and so on.

               A       B      C      D     E      F      G     H      I       J       K      L
           |  R   |  G   |  H   |  B   |  L   |  K   |  C   |  E   |  B   |  H   |  G   |  R   |   8
                  |  P   |  P   |  P   |  P   |  V   |  F   |  P   |  P   |  P   |  P   |          7
                  |      |      |      |      |  P   |  P   |      |      |      |      |          6
                  |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |          5
                  |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |          4
                  |      |      |      |      |  P   |   P  |      |      |      |      |          3
                  |  P   |  P   |   P  |   P  |  F   |   V  |   P  |  P   |  P   |  P   |          2
           |  R   |  G   |  H   |   B  |   E  |  C   |   K  |   L  |  B   |  H   |  G   |  R   |   1


The King, Rook, Horse, and Bishop all move as per their standard counterparts. However, when they, or ANY piece, reaches an opposing Citadel square, it [citadel] becomes a Promotion Square. (Special: Bishops may also use the opposing "corner" squares {b1, b8, or k1, k8} as promotion squares.)


The Pawn may only move one square at a time-no double leap (and, odviously, no En Passant either). Pawns promote on the last rank {Special: B- and K- File pawns have the option of promoting on the next-to-last Rank} to Dababbah.


Jumps to the first or second square Horizontally or Vertically.


The Firzan moves one square either Diagonally or straight backwards. It promotes to an Eagle.


The Vizier Moves one square Horizontally or Vertically, and promotes to a Lion.


The Guard moves one square any direction. It promotes to Champion.


The Horse promotes to a Nobleman: may move 1 or 2 squares any direction or combination of directions, but no jumping (anymore!)


The Bishop promotes to an Archbishop: may move as Bishop or Horse.


The Rook promotes to a Marshall: Moves as Rook or Horse.


The Eagle moves as either the Guard or the Horse, and Promotes to the Queen {Moves as either Rook or Bishop}.


The Lion moves as a Guard, or jumps to the second square Horizontally, Vertically, or Diagonally. It promotes to Warlord (moves as a Queen or Horse).


The Champion moves as a Horse, or jumps to the second square Horizontally, Vertically, or Diagonally. It promotes to the Supercav.


Moves as a Guard, or moves 1 square diagonally and any number straight, or any number of squares straight and one diagonally.


The King promotes to the Tetrarch: gains the ability to move to the second square Diagonally.

Also, the King/Tetrarch has the ability, Once per game when in check, to exchange places w/ any allied piece on the board that is not under attack ("in check").


The usual rules apply: the King leaps to the Horse's square, and the Rook overleaps to the Bishop's square.


Play starts slowly and builds momentum. Along with the King, the Citadels must be protected strongly-the promotional pieces can easily make up a material disadvantage, and become overwhelming when the upper pieces promote. Deciding which pieces are needed to defend your citadels and which can be used to breakthrough to the Opponent's citadels is crucial-with the lower mobility of the unpromoted pieces, it can be tricky switching from front to front, and not enough pieces either way can spell disaster.

Thank you for trying this game-you will be pleasantly surprised! :) Eric V. Greenwood

Written by Eric V. Greenwood. Html by Hans Bodlaender.