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

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

Compound Chess

Compound Chess is chess on a 10x8 board with Sergeants (type of pawns) and armies of compound pieces, including Dragons, Centaurs and Bedes; the corner pieces are Rook-Alfils and there are also Queen-Alfil-Dabbabah triple compound pieces. In fact, all the pieces and pawns in the setup are arguably compound pieces (even the orthodox Kings, which can move like ferz' or wazirs), which explains the name of this variant.

There is a preset available for play on Game Courier.



In this game there are six unorthodox piece types that are used:

The figurine depicting a Knight-Pawn compound piece is also known as a dragon. It has the combined powers of the normal chess knight and the normal chess pawn. In this game the dragon can capture (a sergeant) en passant, but does not promote upon reaching the eighth rank. Given that all the dragons in the setup begin on their side's first rank, none can ever make an initial double step like a chess pawn in this game.

The Sergeant moves and captures one square forward or diagonally forward. Like a pawn, the Sergeant may make a double non-capturing move straight forward on its first move. When double-moving, a Sergeant may, as stated, be captured en-passant by a dragon, but it may not itself capture en-passant. In this game a Sergeant can promote to any piece type in the setup, except for a king.

The figurine depicting a Bishop-Dabbabah compound piece is also known as a Bede. It can move like a bishop or like a dabbabah (i.e. leap two squares on a rank or a file).

The figurine depicting a rotated rook represents a Rook-Alfil compound piece that can move like a rook or like an alfil (i.e. leap two squares diagonally).

The figurine depicting a Queen-Alfil-Dabbabah triple compound piece can move like a queen or like an alfil or like a dabbabah.

The figurine depicting a Knight-Guard compound piece is also known as a centaur. It can move like a knight or like a guard (i.e. can move to any adjacent square).


Castling is like as in standard chess, except a king goes three squares sideways during the process (instead of two squares), and it castles with a Rook-Alfil piece that's as yet not been moved. Threefold repetition of position or stalemate is a draw as in chess, and similarly the 50 move rule is also in effect in Compound Chess (i.e. game drawn if no captures or [Sergeant] pawn moves before 50 consecutive moves by both sides).


My tentative piece value estimates (for on this game's 10x8 board) would be: S=1.54(or 1.5 approx.); NP=5.07(or 5 approx.); BD=5.35(or 5.25 approx.); RA=7.1(or 7 approx.); NGU=7.58(or 7.5 approx.); QAD=12.45(or 12.5 approx.) and Ks fighting value=3.2. Note that e.g. just 3 sergeant pawns are worth about a NP or BD, which is why sergeants are to go with the chosen armies, i.e. to make trading a low number of them for a piece feasible at times, sort of as in chess. Note that all the sergeants are protected in the setup.

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 Kevin Pacey.

Last revised by Kevin Pacey.

Web page created: 2023-12-25. Web page last updated: 2023-12-25