Check out Alice Chess, our featured variant for June, 2024.

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


Horizons is chess-based game on 12x12 board with 5 unordinary new pieces.

That's my first chess variant, firstly drawn in 2021 but then underwent many significant changes.


Choose any theme of board and pieces:


Warrior (w)

Warrior is antipod of pawn.

He moves one square forward diagonally (like pawn captures), and captures one square forward (like pawn moves). He also can move two squares by first move. 
Once in the game each warrior can take (capture) 2 spaces forward (if first is empty).

He is only pawn-like piece, who has any ability to checkmate bare king with his king's help without promotion, but previous move of opponent's king should be stupid, or it must be capture (sacrifice of advanced player to checkmate another by single warrior).

Warrior's En Passant is same as Pawn's: if opposite warrior moves from start two spaces to adjacent square aside of your warrior, this warrior can move orthogonally one step forward with taking his agressor.

You can try a variation where it doesn't demote and can capture two straight anytime.

Shielder/Shieldholder (s)

He moves like pawn (incl. double-step on start), and captures one square sideways.

But he has one special trait: if opponent's piece is standing in the next square forward, he can move one step forward and also move this piece in that direction. Without capture, only replace. He cannot push friendly pieces, another Shielders, more than 1 piece, or to the edge of the board.

Also, he can't be captured by pieces in front of him (either orthogonally, diagonally or knight-wise).

Shielder's En Passant is same as Pawn's or Warrior's; if opposite pawn-like piece moves two spaces and stops one square diagonally behind your shielder, or foe warrior goes two spaces, you can step one square sideways to the square where this opponent's piece could be by moving one space, with taking this piece.

You can also try a variation which rejects its defense from frontal captures.

More strong pieces have the same destinations of moving and capturing:

Ox (O)

He moves like letter T with visibly short, but normal vertical line: 2 or 3 spaces orthogonally, or 2 spaces orthogonally and then 1 diagonally, left or right. He can't move if first two squares aren't free, because he isn't leaper. Moving:

Left note: if you will see the Ox in my Stone Garden Chess, you will see his previous movement. Like he was on Horizons — there is his original version. (Maybe oxen are heavier in cities;)). You can try it also, as a variation.

Magician (M)

This is slightly hard piece to understand his moves.

Generally: he moves at least 3 squares in any orthogonal or diagonal direction, then turns 45° and steps 1 square. On free board he combines Aanca and Unicorn (from Grant Acedrex) though without landing on 7x7 quadrate of squares around him. But his motion's mechanic is different: it has the main lines and destinations around them, like trees with branches: if he meets any piece on his way, he can't go farther in this direction.
For example, he meets a pawn on 4 squares diagonally from his starting point (f8 in our diagram), and this pawn (no matter whose) blocks for him squares f9, g8 and h9. Squares f7 and e8 are yet available. But when he meets any piece on his final destination (like f5), this doesn't stop him.

So he is unique piece which is weak on short distances but has very much control on longer ones.

On boards which are smaller than 8x8 Magician moves at least 2 (not 3) squares before he turns to step. Though this board is bigger, you can try this motion as a variation.

Zip (Z)

Its moves are: 1 step orthogonally, then 2nd straight step, and then it starts turning 45° with stepping 1 space, then turning 45° back and stepping 1 again, and so on. Its movement's structure is based on Nightrider (piece which makes arbitrarily many Knight's leaps without changing directions), i. e. 1 or 2 steps straight from starting point and after moves of Nightrider, but without moves of Nightrider themselves…

Zip is ranger, it can't move farther if meets anything on the way, but it has a decent control of lines.

So picturesque, like a thunderstrike with lightning!

All other pieces move like in FIDE.


Draw conditions:

En Passant:

All other settings and rules are like in chess.

Pieces' values: Pawn - 1 pawn, Warrior, Shielder - 2 pawns, Knight - 3 pawns, Bishop - from 3 to 4, Ox - 4, Rook - 5, Magician - from 7 to 8, Zip - 8, Queen - 9.


The inspiration behind this variant is, among other things, the album of 7and5 called "In a Moment's Time" where are 12 tracks with different themes (e. g. weather, hope, memory, etc.). This variant has 12x12 board and 12 pieces' types according to Interactive Diagram. Look at the details – and you'll see that final track of this album is the reprise of fifth track (which gave the name to this album); and Diagram shows 12 while really there're 11 (Warrior is represented as normal and demoted). To be honest, I already don't listen this music at this time, but idea of album is very close to this game.


Interactive diagram was made by site's editor and advanced programmer H.G.Muller. Themes "Galactic", "Greenwade" and "Joyful" were created by Roberto Lavieri, Bob Greenwade and me, respectively. Thanks to editorial staff of Chess Variants Pages for revising and publishing this page.

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 Lev Grigoriev.

Last revised by Lev Grigoriev.

Web page created: 2022-04-17. Web page last updated: 2023-02-18