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This page is written by the game's inventor, Charles Gilman.

Crossover-piece Dual Direction Variants

As my number of Dual Direction Variants has grown I have decided to split the page into two, based on how the pieces are combined. The original page deals with those where each radial piece is combined with its own dual. This new page deals with those where they are combined with a piece moving differently in the dual direction. Knights have the Camel move added to give a Gnu in both cases. This is useful for adding moves not included for any piece to variants with both of two duals.

Thanks to this range of images I have finally managed to devise images for all this page's pieces.



Ashtaranga means eightfold army, and in the context of this variant piece types represent two regiments each - infantry and yeomanry (Princeling), chariots and elephants (Infanta), cavalry and camelry (Gnu), and war engines and couriers (Inquisitor). This variant is derived from adding moves to the FIDE pieces, except for the Queen which already has both orthogonal and diagonal moves. This array can also be used for INQUISHOGI, applying similar rules to Bishogi.

BEAKGI 90 and BEAKGI 120

This is a crossover form of Mitregi. To make things more interesting I combine one symmetric component with one forward-only one in keeping with the generals.



Hoo Qi, named after the Dai Shogi name for the Waffle, is a variant of Alibaba Qi pairing each long-range piece with the other's dual and each short-range radial piece with the other's dual.


Compounds of duals:
The PRINCELING also occurs in Dai Shogi under the Japanese name Tessho (Iron General), and its effect is to "iron out" differences between Occidental and Oriental front ranks. It can be viewed as a compound of either the Pawn and Yeoman (Berolina Pawn) or the Point (Fuhyo=Foot Soldier) and Cross (Sekisho=Stone General).
The QUEEN is the compound of Rook and Bishop, appearing in Inquisition Ashtaranga because it already exists in FIDE Chess.
The GNU is the compound of Knight and Camel, widely used in Chess variants as an enhanced Knight or as the Queen's oblique-leaper counterpart. In theory you could have a stepping Gnu as an enhanced XQ Knight, but its move would be hard to remember so the familiar leaping Gnu might be best for all variants.
The HANDYMAN moves like the leaping Gnu but only in the four (on a 2d board) forwardmost directions. Moving this piece twice takes it forward 4, 5 (an odd number!), or 6 ranks, and sideways zero or two files. See also Man and Beast 03: From Ungulates Outward.
The KING already exists in most standard Chesses, as well as being the dual-direction enhancement of the XQ General.
Shogi Generals:
Along with the King, two already-standard pieces are worth considering as they are are neither simple pieces nor straightforward compounds of a piece and its dual. The GOLDGENERAL (Kinsho) and SILVERGENERAL (Ginsho) are a Wazir and Ferz enhanced by each other's forward moves.
Crossover compounds:
The INFANTA is Rook+Elephant and the INQUISITOR Bishop+Dabbaba, applying Ashtaranga principles to modern-Bishop games. Just as in versions combining the Elephant and Dabbaba into an Alibaba, these components in separate compounds can be both leaping (never blocked), both stepping (blocked by any intervening piece), or both Multiple Displacer (blocked by allies but able to capture both intervening and destination enemies) depending on how close you wish to keep to the character of the corresponding standard game. The name Infanta refers to the association, whether real or apocryphal is much debated, between the phrases "Infanta de Castile" and "Elephant and Castle", and Inquisitor continues the Spanish history theme but in a religious context. See also Man and Beast 06: The Heavy Brigade.
The GOLDFACULTY is Rook+Tusk and the SILVERFACULTY is Wing+Elephant. The name Faculty (itself representing Wing+Tusk, a forward-only Infanta) is a pun on "Ivory Tower".
The SILVERBEAK is Bishop+Dabchick and the GOLDBEAK is Mitre+Dabbaba. The name Beak (itself representing Mitre+Dabchick, a forward-only Inquisitor) comes from the image of a hungry chick in a nest sticking its beak up like a mitre.
The NITAN leaps to any of the 8 cells 2:1 away from it, or the 2 cells 3 ranks ahead on neighbouring files. The CAMAN leaps to any of the 8 cells 3:1 away from it, or the 2 cells 2 ranks ahead on neighbouring files. It cannot be blocked. The image for the Caman is a pun on cayman.
The Chinese-style CHATEHOPPER is Cannon+Ferz, and the Chinese-style PRIMAHOPPER Arrow+Wazir. The names are attachments of hopper to the starts of Chatelaine (Rook+Ferz) and Primate (Bishop+Wazir).
The SPARROW is Rook+Arrow (a bird name ending with Arrow) and the SAINT Bishop+Cannon (a pun on Cannon and canonise), differing from the Queen in that diagonal Sparrow captures, and orthogonal Saint captures, require an intervening piece. See also Man and Beast 06: The Heavy Brigade.
The WAFFLE is Wazir+Elephant and the FEZBABA Ferz+Dabbaba (both names formed from their components). They occur in Dai Shogi under the Japanese names Hoo and Kirin.



In Inquisition Ashtaranga Princelings are promoted to any capturable array piece, and in Inquisitor Qi to any captured piece, on reaching the far rank. In Inquishogi any piece except a King or Queen may be promoted to a Queen on starting or ending a move within the enemy camp. Beakgi has optional promotion following a move starting or ending in the enemy camp as follows: Princeling, Handyman, Goldgeneral, and Silvergeneral to Prince; Goldfaculty and Silverfaculty to Queen-Rook Secundigrade (Rook+Ferz+Elephant); Silverbeak and Goldbeak to Queen-Bishop Secundigrade (Bishop+Wazir+Dabbaba); Nitan and Caman to Gnu. Secundigrades are fully described in Man and Beast 11: Long-nosed Generals.

Castling and Double-step Moves

In Inquisition Ashtaranga an unmoved King may Castle with an unmoved Infanta, with usual FIDE restrictions on check. Other variants have no Castling. Princelings have no double-step initial move, as they are already considerably stronger than Pawns, and so no En Passant.

Oriental Rules

In Inquishogi and Beakgi, as in Shogi, pieces can be reintroduced, always unpromoted and on a cell whence they have an unpromoted move.
In Inquisitor Qi, Infantas cannot cross the River diagonally, nor Inquisitors orthogonally. Chatehoppers cannot enter or leave Fortresses diagonally, nor Primahoppers orthogonally. These are River restrictions on components added relative to the riverless Yang Qi. Inquisitor Qi also has the Yang Qi King Swap.
Hoo Qi pieces can cross the River orthogonally or Knightwise but not diagonally or Camelwise. Its King can enter and leave both Fortresses diagonally but not orthogonally while Princes, Waffles, and Fezbabas can do so orthogonally but not diagonally. Both rules are consistent with existing XQ moves, given that XQ Generals can never actually reach the River! Kings may not face each other along any file, rank, or diagonal without an intervening piece.


In all these variants the goal is to checkmate the enemy King. Stalemate is a draw.

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 Charles Gilman.
Web page created: 2006-09-19. Web page last updated: 2016-03-31