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Masonic Chess

Masonic Chess is played on a board with rows staggered to resemble brickwork. It was invented by George R. Dekle in 1983, and appears in the Classified Encyclopedia of Chess Variants, chapter 23.


setup diagram; usual piece layout on new board


Orthogonal movement is defined as moving to a cell sharing a border with the currently occupied square. Diagonal movement is defined as moving to the squares adjacently left or right of the two front or back cells.

Pieces generally move the same way as in chess using the new definitions of directions, except:

  1. The bishop may also move one step orthogonally.
  2. Knights move one step orthogonally followed by one diagonally "outward", but this includes two orthogonal steps vertically (both diagonals after a vertical step are considered outward).


The cells are topologically hexagonal, but diagonal and knight movements are different from usual hexagonal ones.

Beasley notes:

The knight’s move is curious, since the moves at 30 degrees to the vertical are merely two steps along R-lines and there is no piece which can move to the cells two ranks away and directly above and below, but the diagram in the source document is quite explicit.

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Author: KelvinFox and Ben M Reiniger. Inventor: George Dekle.

Last revised by Ben Reiniger.

Web page created: 2019-01-28. Web page last updated: 2024-04-29