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The Chess Variant Pages

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

Pandemonium (Surajang修羅場)

Gothic chess + Courier chess + Cannon shogi + Shogun + Gwangsanghui(廣象戱)


You can even actually play Pandemonium on the bot-spam channel on Pychess Discord!



(This is the basic setup. Always start the game in this deployment.)

- - Q - T - C - - 
P - P - P - P - P 
- - - - V - - - - 
- - - - - - - - - 
- - - - V - - - - 
P - P - P - P - P 
- - Q - T - C - - 


(When all pieces promote)

- - Q - T - C - - 
G - G - G - G - G 
- - - - M - - - - 
- - - - - - - - - 
- - - - M - - - - 
G - G - G - G - G
- - Q - T - C - - 




(Piece list)



The promoted piece moves in the form of a combination of the moves of the other two pieces. (Guards are an exception.)

- King is the only piece that is not promoted.




Pawn (P. Jol卒) : Moves one square orthogonally forward. Of course, the White Pawn and the Black Pawn move in direction facing each other. Promotes to Guard.

Guard (G. Cho哨) : Moves one square orthogonally or diagonally.


Rook (R. Cha車) : Moves any number of squares orthogonally. Promotes to Dragon.

Dragon (D. Yong龍) : Moves like a Rook or a Ferz.


Bishop (B. Gak閣) : Moves any number of squares diagonally. Promotes to Horse.

Horse (H. Ma馬) : Moves like a Bishop or a Van.


Knight (N. Gi騎) : Moves one square orthogonally and then one square further diagonally. It can go for a total of eight squares. It can pass pieces. Promotes to Scepter.

Kangaroo (O. Dae袋) : Moves like a Knight, or an Alfil.


Sage(S. Jang將) : Moves one square orthogonally or diagonally. Promotes to Hwacha.

Hwacha(W. Hwa火) : Moves like a Sage or a Bull.


Ferz (F. Myo猫) : Moves one square diagonally. Promotes to Queen.

Queen (Q. Bun奔) : Moves like a Rook or a Bishop.


Van (V. Jeon前) : Moves one sqaure orthogonally. Promotes to Marshal.

Marshal (M. Seo犀) : Moves like a Rook or a Knight.


Alfil (A. Yu遊) : Moves 2 squares away diagonally. It can pass pieces. Promotes to Cardinal.

Cardinal (C. Ye猊) : Moves like a Bishop or a Knight.

 - It is the only piece that can make a checkmate alone.


Bull (U. U牛) : Moves 2 squares away orthogonally. It can pass pieces. Promotes to Centaur.

Centaur (T. Gwan冠) : Moves like a Sage or a Knight.


Yang/Eum (K. Yang陽/Eum陰) : Moves one square orthogonally or diagonally. It does not promote. When called without distinction between Yang and Eum, it is simply called King宮. (therefore, in notation, Yang and Eum are written as same K.)

 - The state in which your King is attacked by enemy piece is called check. if your King has no way to get out of the enemy's check on that turn, call it checkmate and you are defeated.


(Sage and Guard have the same moves as King, but they are treated as normal pieces. So if your Sage or Guard is captured, you are not defeated.)



Basic rules :

 1. The player with Yang is called White, and the player with Eum is called Black.

 2. White moves first, and Black moves next. They move alternately and the game continues until one player is defeated.

 3. There is no passing a turn.

 4. Start the game according to the arrangement of the pieces in the first picture.


Promotion (進級 = 成) :

 1. The 7th, 8th, and 9th rank are called enemy camp. A Frendly piece may be promoted when it reaches the enemy camp, moves within the enemy camp, or leaves the enemy camp.

 2. Promotion is not compulsory. So, you may not promote a piece if you don't want to. However, a piece that has left the enemy camp without promoting cannot be promoted until it reaches the enemy camp again.

 3. A promoted piece cannot return to its pre-promotion state until it is captured by the enemy.

 4. When a promoted piece is captured, it goes back to before promotion. That is, promotion is initialized.

 5. Queen, Cardinal, and Centaur start from the beginning with promoted. Of course, When a Queen, Cardinal, or Centaur is captured, promotion is immediately initialized just like any other piece and becomes Ferz, Alfil, and Bull respectively.


: There is no limit to the number of pieces that can be promoted. Therefore, In theory, all 34 pieces except the king can be promoted.


Drop (投入 = 打) :

 1. The piece you captured is called the hand piece, and the hand piece is placed on a piece stand (the square plate on which you place the captured piece).

 2. A hand piece may be placed on any empty square on the board, which is called a drop.

 - Only one piece may be dropped on the board per turn, and this must be done instead of moving a piece on the board.

 2. Hand pieces are not promoted just because they are dropped into enemy camps. A dropped piece can only be promoted after it has been moved.

 3. You can drop a piece to give a check or make a checkmate.

 4. Unlike Shogi, Pawn can be moved or dropped into a file with other friendly Pawns, and can also drop a Pawn to make checkmates.

 3. Unlike Shogi, Pawn can be dropped even at the last(9th) rank, and when reaching the last rank, it can still choose to promote or not.


Stalemate (膠着狀態) :

 The player who can no longer move or drop pieces loses.


Threefold repetition (長生) :

 1. If the same situation occurs 3 times with the position of the pieces, the type and number of pieces captured in each other, and the turn, The player who moved first in that situation loses. Simply put, no player can create the same situation 3 times in one game.

 - Even if it does not appear in a row, if the same state occurs 3 times in a game, threefold repetition is established.

 2. If a threefold repitition is established by continuously giving checks, the person who gave consecutive checks loses by a foul.

 - It is not a foul to include a check during a sequence of repetitions other than consecutive checks.


Surrender (棄權) :

 When you surrender, you declare surrender by placing your King on your piece stand.


Castling (安宮) :

 One of the unique features of Pandemonium is that Castle is unnecessary.

 There are many gaps between the Pawns, and there are already powerful pieces in the center. So it's more efficient to center the scattered Pawns and protect the King rather than evacuate the King to a corner like Chess or Shogi.

 Of course, there are plenty of leapers (pieces that can pass through the pieces in the path), so be careful, blocking the King's escape route while also making a solid defense can be a bad idea.

 (That doesn't mean it's always safe for the King to stay in the middle. You also need to know how to evacuate the King depending on the situation.)


Opening (定石) :




You can download PNG and SVG files of piece icon from this site.


Offline piece shapes

Please refer here for detailed explanation. (but please note that it is written in Korean.)

- You can play Pandemonium by downloading the file in the site.

1. Turn on cutechess.exe -> tools -> settings.

2. Set the path of the folder downloaded through Browse.

3. Click '+' icon.

4. Click Browse on the right of Command -> select fairy-stockfish-largeboard_x86-64.exe.

5. Add ' load variants.ini' to the end of the sentence on the right side of the Command -> click Ok.

6. You can use the engine now!


(StartFen hasn't been fixed yet in Cutechess. If you play Pandemonium on Cutechess, You must enter ' rnbsksbnr/2+a1+u1+f2/p1p1p1p1p/4v4/9/4V4/P1P1P1P1P/2+F1+U1+A2/RNBSKSBNR[-] w - 1 ' in the FEN string.)




Pandemonium definition in variants.ini :

variantTemplate = shogi
pieceToCharTable = PNBRFSA.UV.+++++++.++Kpnbrfsa.uv.+++++++.++k
maxFile = 9
maxRank = 9
pocketSize = 9
startFen = rnbsksbnr/2+f1+u1+a2/p1p1p1p1p/4v4/9/4V4/P1P1P1P1P/2+F1+U1+A2/RNBSKSBNR[] w - - 0 1
customPiece1 = o:NA
customPiece2 = s:WF
customPiece3 = u:D
customPiece4 = w:DWF
castling = false
pieceDrops = true
capturesToHand = true
immobilityIllegal = true
soldier = p
knight = n
bishop = b
rook = r
king = k
queen = q
commoner = g
dragonHorse = h
bers = d
alfil = a
archbishop = c
chancellor = m
fers = f
wazir = v
centaur = t
promotionRank = 7
promotedPieceType = p:g n:o b:h r:d a:c v:m f:q s:w u:t
doubleStep = false
perpetualCheckIllegal = true
nMoveRule = 0
nFoldValue = loss
stalemateValue = loss




Mate puzzle (博譜) :


- Tip : e8 and f8 are blocked by Knight and Rook. Aim for point d9, the only place the Black King can go.


- Tip : Black's King is threatening d8's Bull. White must attack the Black King while simultaneously defending d8's Bull.


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 Daphne Snowmoon.

Last revised by Daphne Snowmoon.

Web page created: 2020-11-16. Web page last updated: 2021-07-27