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The Chess Variant Pages


In August 1870, a Mr. Hopwood published in the recreational supplement of The Gentleman's Journal, a proposal for a chess variant, especially designed for `our fair friends and also for draughts players'. (!!) Thus, for these, he made the game easier and smaller. While ladies and draughts players probably find the idea not very appealing, young children can be expected to have some fun with this variant.

Board and opening setup

The game is played on a six by six board. The opening setup is as follows:

King d1; Rook a1, f1; Knight c1; Bishop b1, e1; Pawn a2, b2, c2, d2, e2, f2.

King d6; Rook a6, f6; Knight c6; Bishop b6, e6; Pawn a5, b5, c5, d5, e5, f5.

Other rules

Pawns cannot move two steps in their first move. Castling is by changing the location of rook and king, under normal restrictions. Other rules are as in normal chess.


The game was described in Pritchard's The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants.

Computer program

Jari Huikari has made a free PC computer program that plays Diana. You can download it.

Version without graphics.
Written by Hans Bodlaender. Thanks for Patrick Riley for noting an error in the setup.
WWW page created: November 20, 1995. Last modified: August 8, 1999.