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This page is written by the game's inventor, Gary Gifford.

Six Fortresses Short Range & SHORANJI

SIX FORTRESSES SHORT RANGE (9 x 9), SHORANJI (Show-ran-jee)(9 x 10), and SHORANJI Maximus [not shown] (9 x 12). These three games were dervived from my Six Fortresses game. The creation of these variations was requested by Joe Joyce who is very much involved with short-range pieces. Six Fortresses Short Range was created in October 2006. It is played on a 9x9 checkered board. Each side has three fortresses to protect. SHORANJI and SHORANJI Maximus were created on December 29 2006 after a few conversations with fellow game designer, Joe Joyce. Joe suggested larger boards (up to 9x12) and the 2-pawn move from chess. At first, I thought I would add only the 9x10 variation, as this gives us four spaces between the facing pawn armies, as in chess-- and seemed large enough. But I later accepted the idea of the larger 9x12 board for those who like a lot of manuevering. In both SHORANJI and SHORANJI Maximus, pawns can move an initial 2-spaces as in chess. Also, there is pawn en passant in those two variants. Aside from this, both SHORANJI variants are played by the same rules as Six Fortresses Short Range. SHORANJI stands for: "Short Range Joyce Inspired" SHO = Short RAN = Range JI = Joyce Inspired In all 3 games, when pieces are captured they are removed from the board as in regular Fide chess. When a captured Fortress is removed from the board, you get pieces that you can drop (as in Shogi) and your opponent gets his choice of Wazir or Ferz to drop (or his King if it was his last remaining Fortress).


As per the preset links, with ALLOWABLE RELOCATION OF FERZS AND WAZIRS TO ANY NON-FORTRESS SPACES ON THE FIRST RANK (see rules) PRIOR TO MAKING THE FIRST MOVE. Both players would make there setup change, if desired, prior to white's first move.  White makes the setup change first.  

Original setups are shown above.

To get to a preset you may need to cut-and-paste the associated link into the search-bar, i.e., if it fails to work automatically.

For Six Fortresses use this URL:

For SHORANJI, use this URL:

For SHORANJI Maximus, use this URL:


At the start of the game there are these pieces in the quantities shown are visible for each side:

Pawns – 9   For Six-Fortresses: Move as chess pawns; except no initial 2-step move. Promote on the last rank to Rook, Knight, Modern Elephant, Modern War Machine, King's Imposter, Wazir, or Ferz.
For SHORANJI & SHORANJI Maximus: Pawns have the initial 2-step move option as in Fide Chess. Also, pawn en passant is allowed.  Promotions as in Six Fortresses.

Rooks – 2    As in Chess, but no castling

Knights – 2  As in Chess

Modern Elephant – 2: Can leap over one space diagonally, or can move 1 or 2 spaces diagonally. Capture by displacement.

Modern War Machine –  2: Can leap over one space orthogonally, or can move 1 or 2 spaces orthoganlly. Capture by displacement

King's Imposter - 1: Moves as does a King; Immune from check and Checkmate, can be captured.

Wazir -2:  Orthoganally, 1 Step.  At start of game, Wazirs and Ferz can be relocated to any non-fortress space.  This does not count as a turn.

Ferz-2: Diagonally, 1 step. At start of game, Wazirs and Ferz can be relocated to any non-fortress space.  This does not count as a turn.

Fortresses -  3 These each include additional pieces as described in the rules.  Fortresses CAN NOT MOVE.  The last of your fortresses captured holds your King.  Therefore, as long as you have 1 fortress remaining you cannot be checkmated.


At start of game, Wazirs and Ferz can be relocated to any non-fortress space.  This relocation does not count as a turn.

***** When the FIRST ENEMY FORTRESS is captured ... *****

When you capture your opponent's first fortress, you get a Modern Elephant and a Knight of your color to drop as in Shogi, on your following turn or after.  Your opponent gets his choice of Wazir or Ferz to drop.  You can only drop one item per turn.  Your opponent cannot drop the Wazir or Ferz adjacent to any of your Fortresses. 


**** When the SECOND ENEMY FORTRESS is captured *****

When you capture your opponent's second fortress, you get a Knight and Modern War Machine to drop.  Your opponent gets a Modern Elephant or Modern War Machine to drop.  Again, your opponent cannot drop his new piece adjacent to any of your fortresses.  

****When the THIRD ENEMY FORTRESS is captured*****

When you capture your opponent's third fortress, you get your choice of two pieces to drop, they can both be the same, if desired.  Your opponent gets his real King which he must place on the board at this time.  He also gets to choose a second piece of his choice to drop later.  Note that the King placement ends his current turn.

Play proceeds until a King is checkmated, stalemated, or a draw is agreed.


A special thanks to Joe Joyce for his persistance regarding the creation of these three variants of my Six Fortresses game.

Short Range Six Fortresses (c) by Gary K. Gifford 30 October 2006
SHORANJI & SHORANJI Maximus(c) by Gary K. Gifford 29 December 2006

The following is a temporarary link hold to a large game.  It is not related to these 3 games.


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 Gary K. Gifford.
Web page created: 2006-10-30. Web page last updated: 2006-10-30