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This page is written by the game's inventor, Larry Smith.


by L. Lynn Smith

Played on a 10x10 field. Pieces promote to an appropriate friendly piece which has been previously captured.


10 [t][ ][u][s][q][q][s][u][ ][t] 9 [f][l][a][c][p][p][c][a][l][f] 8 [d][d][d][d][d][d][d][d][d][d] 7 [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] 6 [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] 5 [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] 4 [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] 3 [D][D][D][D][D][D][D][D][D][D] 2 [F][L][A][C][P][P][C][A][L][F] 1 [T][ ][U][S][Q][Q][S][U][ ][T] a b c d e f g h i j


DISCIPLE[D] steps one diagonal. May promote to CLERIC when capturing.
FONT[F] steps up to two orthogonal. May promote to ALTAR when capturing.
LADY[L] steps up to three diagonal or orthogonal. May promote to PRINCESS when capturing.
ALTAR[A] steps up to four orthogonal. May promote to THRONE when capturing.
CLERIC[C] steps up to five diagonal. May promote to SCHOLAR when capturing.
PRINCESS[P] steps up to six diagonal or orthogonal. May promote to QUEEN when capturing.
SCHOLAR[S] steps up to seven diagonal.
THRONE[T] steps up to eight orthogonal.
QUEEN[Q] steps up to nine diagonal or orthogonal.
DUENNA[U] leaps to the third orthogonal or to the opposite cell of a 2x3 area.
SCION[O] steps one diagonal or orthogonal to enemy-occupied cell only.

The SCION begins the game off of the field and may be placed on any vacant cell at any turn. Once either player has introduced their SCION the other must immediately introduce theirs.


The game is won by checkmating the opposing SCION.


This game was inspired by the Gorean Chess game introduced in the Counter-Earth novels of John Norman.

The graphic design for the Zillions implementation is based upon a binary system created many decades ago when I was playing Jetan in the service. It was a simple form which allowed for the use of graph paper and a red/blue pencil. The reader will note that the move distance of the piece is represented by a flat piece for one and a round piece for zero. Thus, DISCIPLE is 1, FONT is 10, LADY is 11. etc.

And the order of the pieces in this binary system have a form of logic. For example:

     FONT 10(2), ALTAR 100(4), AND THRONE 1000(8);
     Lady 11(3), PRINCESS 110(6) and QUEEN 1001(9);
     DISCIPLE 1(1), CLERIC 101(5), SCHOLAR 111(7);

this should aid the player in quick visualization of each piece's powers during the game.

Players are not able to recover the DUENNA upon its capture. So use it wisely. And rather than going after high powered piece, it might be advantageous to capture the lower powered pieces early in the game and so deny the opponent the potential of promotion.

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 Larry L. Smith.
Web page created: 2009-11-20. Web page last updated: 2009-11-20