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

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


This game has the standard 8x8 Chess board, with the usual pieces. It also has a few extra squares 'hanging' off the edges of the board, with a couple new pieces. In addition to the usual chessmen, each player has two Clerics, which should be very close in value to Rooks, and two Scouts, which should be very close in value to Knights and Bishops. This allows more opportunity for exchanges between pieces of different types, and thus more potential for situations developing where the players have different armies. Notice that the names of the files and ranks are such that the main chessboard and chessmen are on squares with the usual notation.


initial setup

King e1; Queen d1; Rook a1, h1; Knight b1, g1; Bishop c1, f1; Cleric x0, z0; Scout d0, e0; Pawn a2, b2, c2, d2, e2, f2, g2, h2.

King e8; Queen d8; Rook a8, h8; Knight b8, g8; Bishop c8, f8; Cleric x9, z9; Scout d9, e9; Pawn a7, b7, c7, d7, e7, f7, g7, h7.

Initial Setup:


All pieces are as in Orthodox Chess, with the following additions:

The Cleric

The Cleric moves like an ordinary Bishop, but with the additional ability to leap exactly two squares horizontally or vertically. Also, a Cleric that is still on its starting square has the added ability to move (once) like a Camel allowing for faster development.

Like the Bishop, this piece is bound to squares of a given color, and is never able to change. This piece was used by Ralph Betza in his game, Chess with Different Armies, with the name 'Bede.'

The Scout

The scout may step one square horizontally or vertically, or leap exactly three squares horizontally or vertically. Also, a Scout that is still on a Scout starting square has the added ability to move (once) like a Knight allowing for more flexible development.

Like the Knight, the Scout it is forced to change the color of the square it occupies with each move.


Extra squares: The extra squares which 'hang' off the corners of the standard 8x8 board are special; once the piece that occupies them moves off, they may never be entered again. It could be viewed as those squares 'disappearing' once the piece moves off. The only way a piece could ever move to one of these squares is if it were capturing a piece which occupies it.

Pawn promotion: A pawn reaching the eigth rank may promote to a Queen, Rook, Knight, Bishop, Cleric, or Scout.

All Orthodox Chess rules apply, unless otherwise noted. The goal of the game is to Checkmate the enemy King. If the King of the player to move cannot make a move to a square where he is safe from capture, but is not attacked on the square he is on, and no other move can be made, than this situation is Stalemate. Stalemate is a draw. Three-time repetition of a position is also a draw, as is fifty full moves without a pawn being moved or a piece being captured.


files=10 ranks=10 promoZone=2 promoChoice=NBRQCS graphicsDir=/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG/ squareSize=50 graphicsType=png hole::::a1,b1,c1,d1,e1,f1,g1,h1,i1,j1,a2,j2,a3,j3,a4,j4,a5,j5,a6,j6,a7,j7,a8,j8,a9,j9,a10,b10,c10,d10,e10,f10,g10,h10,i10,j10 pawn:P:ifmnDfmWfceF:pawn:b3,c3,d3,e3,f3,g3,h3,i3,,b8,c8,d8,e8,f8,g8,h8,i8 knight:N:N:knight:c2,h2,,c9,h9 bishop:B:B:bishop:d2,g2,,d9,g9 rook:R:R:rook:b2,i2,,b9,i9 queen:Q:Q:queen:e2,,e9 Cleric:C:BDiC:bishopwarmachine:a1,j1,,a10,j10 Scout:S:WHiN:scout:e1,f1,,e10,f10 king:K:KijsO2:king:f2,,f9

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 Greg Strong.

Last revised by Greg Strong.

Web page created: 2006-08-11. Web page last updated: 2021-08-28