The Chess Variant Pages



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This page is written by the game's inventor, Paul Newton. This game is a favorite of its inventor.

Arena Cheturshogqi

Arena Cheturshogqi is a large chess variant for two to four players. It is primarily influenced by Shatranj, Chaturanga for Four Players, Chess, Xiangqi and Shogi, though chess variant fans will most definitely see there are other influences as well. It is my attempt at an amalgamation of inspirations from some of my favorite historical and newer chess variants to produce a new and challenging variation that will be both an homage to its various (and varied) predecessors as well as an enjoyable and challenging game in its own right. The result is a fast-paced, unprecictably evolving battle that is never the same twice, but is always a lot of fun! Get ready for a wild ride: Once you enter the Arena, there is no turning back!

Setup

Two player Arena Cheturshogqi is played on an 11 x 11 square board.  There are two Keeps which are three squares by three squares (3 x 3) on the center of each player’s side of the board.   With the exception of the Keeps, the board is checkered with the corners being black.  The keeps are solid grey to distinguish them from the rest of the board.  The five square by five square (5 x 5) area that is in the middle, between the two Keeps (and outlined in red), is The Arena. 

  

Three or four player Arena Cheturshogqi is played on a 13 x 13 square board.  There are four Keeps which are three squares by three squares (3 x 3) on the center of each of the four sides of the board.   With the exception of the four Keeps, the board is checkered with the corners being white.  The keeps are solid grey to distinguish them from the rest of the board.  The seven square by seven square (7 x 7) area that is in the middle, between the four Keeps (and outlined in red), is the Arena. 

  

The pieces are all non-colored Shogi-like pieces with a pointed end indicating the direction that they are facing, which is to indicate whose pieces they are as well as to orient their movement.  (As in Shogi, all of a player’s pieces will always point away from the player to whom they belong.)  Each player begins the game with the following set of pieces on the board:  A King, a Queen, a Knight, a Rook, a Bishop, a Ferz, an Elephant, a Wazir and a Dabbabah, all of which are placed in their Keep, and three Pawns that are placed in the Arena on the three squares immediately in front of their player’s Keep.  Each player places their nine starting non-Pawn pieces in their Keep in any way they wish, subject to the rules below.  Each player also has the following pieces in their off-board reserve at the beginning of the game:  One Knight, one Rook, one Bishop, one Ferz, one Elephant, one Wazir and one Dabbabah. 

Pieces

Basic Pieces: 

Here are the pieces that all players begin the game with:     

  King:  One step in any direction to move or capture.    

  Queen:  Unlimited clear orthogonals or diagonals to move or capture.  

 Bishop:  Unlimited clear diagonals to move or capture.  

 Rook:  Unlimited clear orthogonals to move or to capture.   

  Knight:  1,2 or 2,1 leaper to move or capture.   

 Pawn:  One step forward to move (two on initial move), one step diagonally forward to capture.  

 Ferz:  One step diagonally to move or capture.

 Elephant:  Leaps two spaces diagonally to move or to capture.

 Wazir:  One step orthogonally to move or to capture.

 Dabbabah:  Leaps two spaces orthogonally to move or to capture.

"Mutated" (Compound) Pieces:  

All of the pieces below are possible "mutated" pieces that can be made by captures in the Arena.  Except where the compound piece has a well-known and recognized name, they are simply identified by the two pieces that are compounded to make them. 

In the movement diagrams below a square is a non-jumping move, a circle is a jumping move.  If a space can be reached by both a jumping and a non-jumping move, this is indicated by a square inside a circle.  If the move may result in a capture it will have an X in it.  If you can only move to the space but cannot capture there, the square or circle will not have an X in it.      

 Amazon:  Compound of a Queen and a Knight.  

 Cardinal:  Compound of a Bishop and a Knight.     (This piece is also known by several names, Archbishop being one of the most popular, along with Princess and Paladin.)

 Centaur:  Compound of a King (or Man) and a Knight.  

 Dragon King (King):  Compound of a King and a Rook.  

 Dragon King (Ferz):  Compound of a Ferz and a Rook.    

 Man:  Compound of a Ferz and a Wazir, a non-royal piece with the same movement and capture as a King.    

 Marshall:  Compound of a Rook and a Knight.   

 Bishop King:  

 Bishop Pawn:  

 Bishop Wazir:     (This piece is listed in the piececlopedia as a Dragon Horse, the promoted form of a Bishop in Shogi.)

 Dabbabah Bishop:  

 Dabbabah Elephant:  

 Dabbabah Ferz:  

 Dabbabah King:   

 Dabbabah Knight:     (This piece is listed in the piececlopedia as a Carpenter.) 

 Dabbabah Pawn:  

 Dabbabah Queen:   

 Dabbabah Rook:  

 Dabbabah Wazir:  

 Elephant Bishop:  

 Elephant King:   

 Elephant Knight:     (This piece is also known as the Kangaroo (Newton) and was first used in a variant on the Chess Variant Pages in Timothy R. Newton's Outback Chess, the winner of the 84 Squares Contest.)

 Elephant Pawn:  

 Elephant Queen:   

 Elephant Rook:  

 Ferz Elephant:   

 Ferz Knight:  

 Ferz Pawn:  

 Pawn Knight:    (This piece is listed in the piececlopedia as a Dragon.)

 Pawn Rook:  

 Wazir Knight:  

 Wazir Pawn:    (This piece is known as a Gold General in Shogi.)

 Wazir Elephant:   

Rules

Arena Cheturshogqi follows the normal rules of chess, except as noted below:   

Each player gets to hold any pieces they capture outside of the Arena in their off-board reserve.  On a subsequent turn the player may drop them back onto the board.  Pieces may be dropped subject to the following conditions:

The Arena is a very important area.  As such, it has some special rules which we will consider here: 

Let’s consider a few examples to help make captures and mutation clear: 



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 Paul E. Newton.

Last revised by Fergus Duniho.


Web page created: 2023-03-17. Web page last updated: 2023-03-19