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The Chess Variant Pages

Cross Chess


Cross Chess is a Chess variant, played on a cross-shaped board. David Pritchard, in his Encyclopedia of Chess Variants, attributes Cross Chess to Leigh Miller, 1985. Cross Chess was at one time sold by Cross Chess International Pty. It does not seem to be available any longer from that company.

Recently we heard from a Mr. N. Maddox, who has a 'visual material' copyright claim from back in 1979 for Cross Chess. His site is at:

Board and Setup

Cross Chess setup

The board is basically a ten by ten board with nine squares removed from each corner, leaving a cross shape. Setup is:

General Rules

The rules of Cross Chess are identical to those of FIDE Chess, except where noted otherwise below.

Movement of Pieces

Kings, Queens, Rooks, Bishops and Knights moves as they do in FIDE Chess, except of course that Queen-side castling is not possible.

Pawns are divided into side-moving Pawns which go left to right or right to left, and vertically-moving Pawns which go up and down. Pawns that capture into arms they can't otherwise move into can be trapped. Pawns have a double initial move as usual and En passant capture is possible. Pawns promote to Queen, Rook, Bishop or Knight upon reaching the far side of the board in their direction of travel.


This information is based on the description in Pritchard's Encyclopedia of Chess Variants.


Pritchard's entry on this game states that play is supposed to be faster than Orthochess, but experiance with the ZRF does not seem to support that -- play being generally of the same length as with Orthochess.

It is curious that all Bishops are on the same color.

Computer Play

There is an implementation of Cross Chess for Zillions of Games (See below). The author of this page has added some variants with altered Bishops and Pawns and setups, none of which seem to be as good as the original game, but might hold some interest for the experimentally-inclined. Ed Friedlander has also implemented this game as an applet (see below).

Written by Peter Aronson.
WWW page created: July 25th, 2004.