The Chess Variant Pages

Check out Metamachy, our featured variant for December, 2023.

This page is written by the game's inventor, Joe Joyce.

Two Large Multi-Move Games

Historically, chess has overwhelmingly been a game of 2 players with each player moving one piece in turn. The attempts to make chess a multimove game have fallen into a few categories, generally games where players get some arbitrary in game terms, usually low, number of moves per turn, 2 being the most common, or games where the number of moves per turn increases or decreases as the game goes on. Only one game I know of, Fred Lange's Megachess, uses the number of kings a side has on the board to determine the number of moves that side gets in a turn. This actually makes sense to me; it provides a good reason why a player gets more than one move, and also why standard chesses only move once - they only have one king/side. The two games presented here, Superchief and Overlord, use that idea of one move per king to examine how not only multi-move games, but also multiplayer games might be developed further. Both games are modest variants of Chieftain Chess. Interestingly, all 3 games tend to be effectively over in around 35 turns or so.





C - the Chieftain. This is the royal piece. It slides 1 or 2 squares. It may not jump. It may change direction during its move, but may not move back to the square it started from. It has the special power of activating pieces so they may move.

H - the Hero. It may move 1, 2, or 3 squares in a turn. This piece is a combination of wazir and dabbabah, able to move orthogonally only, in a straight line only, as either or both. When activated, it may slide 1; or jump 2; or slide 1 and jump 2; or jump 2 and slide 1, horizontally or vertically only.

S - the Shaman. This is the diagonal analog of the Hero. It slides 1 and/or jumps 2 in a diagonal line. This piece is a linear mover. It may not change directions during its move.

N - the standard chess kNight. It moves as in FIDE.

M - Man - the standard 1-step non-royal piece. It captures as it moves, 1 square all around.

B - Bishopy. This piece moves as a 4-square bishop or a dabbabah. It slides up to 4 squares diagonally, or leaps to the second square orthogonally, jumping over the first orthogonal square and any piece that may be in that square. In Betza's funny notation, it would be a B4D.

R - Rookish. This piece moves as a 4-square rook or an alfil. It slides up to 4 squares orthogonally, or leaps to the second square diagonally, jumping over the first diagonal square and any piece that may be in that square. In Betza's funny notation, it would be an AR4.


Victory: The game ends when all Chieftains of one color are captured.

All pieces capture by replacement.