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This page is written by the game's inventor, Charles Gilman.

Unidirectional arrays on standard boards

The variants here are derived from Viking Chess, which puts the FIDE armies on a large board and sets both players' Pawns going in the same direction. This made me wonder whether:
(a) the armies could be crammed onto the same end of the FIDE board, with sufficient reduction in Pawns;
(b) Far East variants could also be redesigned for both armies going in the same direction.
The following family of variants are the result. I have since created a unidirectional variant having an entirely original array (and therefore warranting its own page), Westfield Chess.

Following John Smith's criticism that Shogi is too "forward" for this treatment and encouragement to do something about it, I have decided to give the Shogi variant the modest variation SAINTED SHOGI. This has no array Rook, substituting a second Bishop in face-to-face Shogi. Most pieces are promoted by adding the move of the XQ piece in the corresponding position. An exception is that Points, which are common to both, are promoted to Wazirs, a compromise between what they are promoted to in the two standard games. Sainted Shogi is a game especially suited to armies moving in parallel and therefore, on the normal Shogi board, to a Moebius interpretation in which the each rank wraps round not to itself but to the corresponding enemy rank. In fact it is one of the few variants for which Moebius treament does not place any pieces starting En Prise.

I have also decided to modify XQ promotion with the modest variation FURTHER-PROMOTION XIANG QI, in which a promoted Point can optionally be further promoted to a captured stronger piece at the end of a move along the far rank.

If anyone wants to write an implementation for either Sainted Shogi or Further-Promotion Xiang Qi as variants of the standard games, feel free to do so but please credit me. Regarding the main feature, again feel free to write implementations, crediting me and, where known and noted below, the inventor of the original face-to-face game.


Based on inventor of


Anglis Qi

standard game

Charles Gilman

Charles Gilman

Sainted Shogi Charles Gilman as modest variant to standard game
Further-Promotion Xiang Qi Charles Gilman as modest variant to standard game
Yang Qi Fergus Duniho
Eurasian Fergus Duniho
Capablanca 100
Grand Chess

omit two empty ranks for
Bird's Chess
Capablanca 80
Carrera's Chess

José Raúl Capablanca
Christian Freeling

Henry Bird
José Raúl Capablanca
Pietro Carrera


Array pieces are the same as the face-to-face variants, but with fewer front-rank ones, and no Gold or Rook in the Shogi one. Both players have the same forward directions for Pawns, Points, and Shogi pieces. Promotees are as follows:
array piecepromoteepromotee description
WINGROOKThe standard FIDE and XQ (i.e. not further promotable) piece
HELMHELMED MAOa Knight with a Leaping move in the front two directions
but a Stepping one in the other 6
SILVERStepping SILVERFEARFULdiagonal move acquires optional second step
BISHOPSAINTBishop+Cannon, name puns on "Canonised"
POINTWAZIRlike a Rook, but only one step
Bishogi promotion remains to Queen.


In variants with two rows of Pawns (not Points), rear Pawns have an optional double-step noncapturing initial move but front ones do not. Pawns that are the only Pawn on their rank have such a move on their first or second move but not both. There is no En Passant as opposing Pawns are too far apart, and no Castling as Kings and Rooks are too close together!

Promotion rules are inherited from the face-to-face variants, albeit in an initially empty part of the board rather than the enemy camp, and to nonstandard pieces in the Shogi case. Also inherited from relevant variants are any River/Fortress restrictions (but confined to the same side of the River, cf Tardis Taijitu), Reintroduction rules (always unpromoted), or King swaps.

In all variants Knights, whether leaping or stepping, may not move directly between their first and second ranks. On the FIDE board this is to prevent instant Checkmate, but on others it prevents early captures. There is no equivalent restriction for the two furthest ranks, as none is needed.

XQ Fortresses are moved to the corner 3x3 areas. As well as confining the General and Ferz, I lift the requirement for pass-through squares within the Fortress to be empty. This is again to prevent instant Checkmate. Think of it as a multi-storey Fortress if you like. That gave me another idea which saw fruition as Qiube.

Check, Checkmate, and Stalemate are as in the face-to-face variants.

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 Charles Gilman.
Web page created: 2006-12-26. Web page last updated: 2014-06-19