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

Thunderstruck Server Chess

Inspired by Capablanca Chess, Nachtmahr and several other games, it is another suddenly created game. The idea is Capablanca Chess game between two friends on chess variants server (with main and reserve databases), but thunder struck it and things were mixed up but not eliminated…


8x10 board (10 columns, 8 rows), exactly as in Capablanca Chess. Position is same but pieces differ.

2nd (for White) and 7th (for Black) ranks are filled with Axemen. Other white pieces are on 1st rank, Black on 8th.  Pieces on these ranks (from a to j): Hexmaster, Astra, Electrician, Boyscout, Oracle, King, Boyscout, Zip, Astra, Hexmaster.


They differ but relations remain.

Augmented Axeman (_/a)

This piece can be better understood by normal chess players.

It moves as normal Pawn, one (two from start) straight forward without taking, but takes knightwise forward (both sidemost and forwardmost). So don’t go to opposite half of board: it’s covered. Though, there's no en passant there.

That’s only divergent piece here. All others capture as they move.

Astra (A/Å)

Let’s start from light ones. 

Astra leaps exactly 3 spaces orthogonally or 2 diagonally, ignoring anything on its way. Only Astra leaps freely here.

Boyscout / Crooked Bishop (C/Õ)

Softly preparing you for more complicated cases.

This fairy piece moves like Bishop, endless number of diagonal steps, but each step it turns 90 degrees. So it slides near file/rank it stands, reaches even squares on it and has two path to get to them; squares right or left from this file/rank are reachable only by right/left path. As Bishop, if it meets something, it stops one or both its paths. Boyscout is colorbound (can reach only one color of squares on board).

Hexmaster (H/Ë)

There’re many hippogonal movers, pieces that ride orthogonally or diagonally; what if there’ll be pieces who ride hexagonally? Voilà: it’s here!

It moves one straight, then cycle starts: it turns 45 degrees and steps one diagonally, then turns 45 degrees back and moves one straight in starting direction, then turns 45 degrees again back and steps one diagonally, then turns 45 degrees back to starting direction without step; then cycle repeats until path is not free. Therefore it has some linear control, same scheme as Boyscout (two hybrid paths that unite on 1st, 4th, 7th, etc. squares orthogonally from starting space) and looks like lame crooked rider of Jörg Knappen’s Teutonic Knight.

Zip (Z)

This piece is invented by me in Horizons, and it also appears here.

It moves one straight, then in cycle: one straight then turns 45 degrees and steps one diagonally, then turns 45 degrees back and steps one straight; cycle repeats until path is occupied. Simpler: it repeats moves of Knight in same direction, but only his “two steps in one direction”, not “one to another”.

Electrician (E/Ē)

This is also my creation, which’s based on Zip.

It’s just its “rotary counterpart”: all straight steps become diagonal and vice-versa.

Oracle (O/Ô)

This is my creation based on old and new pieces.

It steps one in any diagonal or orthogonal direction, then turns 45 degrees & rides on even squares in this direction, ignores pieces between its destinations, but stops if landing square is occupied. Really it’s combined slip Griffon and slip Manticore (original ones are bent riders which step one in certain direction, then turn 45 degrees and slide; pieces sliding odd spaces from origin space are often called slip); therefore it includes moves of King, lame (non-jumping) Bison & by this, lame Thaumaturge.

King (K/+)

It moves as in normal Chess, but moves three spaces when castling (exactly as in Capablanca Chess, but with Hexmasters).


To win, checkmate the opposite King. All other things are exactly as in Chess (incl. en passant). Pieces that checkmate lonely foe King with help of their own King are Oracle, Zip, Electrician, Hexmaster, 2 Boyscouts, Astra+Boyscout.


(First letter after names are for computer notation, second is my classification.)

Hexmaster’s second possible name is Genetician, because trajectory is really like DNA chain; otherwise, the inspiration for this piece and its name was Ringmaster from Chess on a Soccer Ball. Electrician is not just a guy who acts with wiring but he/she can also ride electric scooter (I often see it on streets, it’s really dangerous vehicle). Zip is really Lightning or something like it. Astra’s full name is Astral Leaper – ethereal light soul; or Altleaper – derivative of Alfil & Threeleaper; and even Rosetta – it's in center of Rose's (circular nightrider) cycle, and name links to European Space Agency's probe. Axeman (also Halberd) is based on Charles Gilman’s Caddied Pawn, but I also imagined it while making SGC. Oracle is hugely based on Torch (my name of Slip Queen), but logic is integrated in bent riders’ lines.

The game is challenging (first move 1.f3 is check with forced 1.…f6); there’re also some tricks on start, e. g. analogue of Scholar’s Mate.

Relative values are a ≈ 1.75, A ≈ 3.5, C ≈ 4.25, H ≈ 6.25, E ≈ 7.25, Z ≈ 8, O ≈ 9.

This game is playable on Game Courier.


Big thanks to Daniel Zacharias, H. G. Muller, Bob Greenwade and HaruN Y for help with making the variant and XBetza pieces' notations in interactive diagram, play-test applet & Game Courier preset.

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: 2023-12-21. Web page last updated: 2023-12-21