The Chess Variant Pages

Pawn Less chess

This is my entry to the 44 square chess variant design contest.

The board can best be described as an 8x8 chess board from which the squares d1-h1,d2-h2,a8-e8,a7-e7 have been removed. Those are 20 squares in total removed from a 64 square board, and that makes a 44 square board.

Pawn Less Chess: Board and Opening Setup

King b1; Knights a2,b2; Leaping Ferz a3,c2; Leaping Wazir b3,c3

King g8, Knights g7,h7; Leaping Ferz f7,h6; Leaping Wazir f6,g6

The pieces are the following:

King (K) - Same as FIDE Kin
Knight (N) - Same as FIDE Knight
Leaping Ferz (F) - Moves like a ferz, one square in any diagonal direction, has an extra non-capturing move described further below.
Leaping Wazir (W) - Moves like a wazir, one square in any orthogonal direction, has an extra non-capturing move decribed further below.

The additional non-capturing move is the same for both pieces: A LeapingFerz or a LeapingWazir, may leap over an orthogonally adjacent LeapingWazir to the next square, provided it's unoccupied. A LeapingFerz or a LeapingWazir may leap over a diagonally adjacent LeapingFerz to the next square, provided it's empty.

This variant is called Pawn Less Chess because it uses no pawns. The idea of using no pawns is an idea arrived at from more than one direction. A couple of things I considered was that the board shape meant I didn't need them to block threats in the initial array, and that in the 43 square contest I had, in addition to the royal piece, 3 types of pieces, one of which was a pawn, so I experimented with a variant that had 3 types of pieces, none of which was a pawn. And I came up with Pawn Less Chess - other than pawns it seems well equipped. The extra non-capturing move for the Ferz and Wazir gives them some extra mobility, especially during development, and doesn't make them too powerful for the board. It seems to me that the power horses of this variant are the knights.

Written by Uri Bruck. Webpage made: May 3, 2004.