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

This page is written by the game's inventor, Luis Bolaños Mures.

Alapo 8x8

This is a variant of Alapo designed to be played on a chess board.


The opening setup is as follows:

White: Large square a1, h1; Large lance b1, g1; Large triangle c1, f1; Large circle d1, e1; Small square a2, h2; Small lance b1, g1; Small triangle c2, f2; Small circle d2, e2.

Black: Large square a8, h8; Large arrow b8, g8; Large triangle c8, f8; Large circle d8, e8; Small square a7, h7; Small arrow b7, g7; Small triangle c7, f7; Small circle d7, e7.

(You can use pieces from two different chess sets, one for the large pieces and other for the small ones.)


Pieces are large and small squares, lances, circles and triangles.

Large squares move like rooks in chess. Small squares move one square in horizontal or vertical direction.

Large triangles move like bishops in chess. Small triangles move one square diagonally.

Large circles move like queens in chess. Small circles move like kings (but without being affected by check).

Large lances move like bishops in chess, or any number of unobstructed squares orthogonally forward. Small lances move the same way, but only one square per turn (as the Silver General in shogi).

So, in all cases, the small pieces can move in the same directions as the large pieces, but only one square. Pieces take as they move.


The first player that moves a piece to a square at the last row (i.e., the eighth row for white, and the first row for black), such that it is not directly captured wins the game. If one player, at the start of his turn, does not have any available move, of does not have any piece on the board, he loses the game.

Finally, if one player causes a position to appear for the third time on the board, with the same player to move, or 50 moves pass without a capture, the last piece moved by both sides will be removed from the board. If one side thus runs out of pieces on the board, he loses the game. If the removed pieces are both sides’ last ones on the board, the player causing the third occurrence of position loses the game. These rules governing repetition of position are not present in the original Alapo.


A possible variant:

A player can demote one of his large pieces in one of his two nearest rows to its corresponding small piece, at the cost of one turn. For example, one player can demote one of his large squares to a small square, thus finishing the player's turn.

The first player that moves one of his small pieces to his farthest row wins the game. Before this happens, if one player loses all his small pieces, he loses the game.

This is even less draw prone than the original rule.

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 Luis Bolaños Mures.
Web page created: 2008-05-09. Web page last updated: 2008-05-09