The Chess Variant Pages

Janus Kamil (JK)


By Jörg Knappen


The Name of the Game

Janus Kamil Chess is a crossover between Janus Chess and Modern Kamil Chess.

Board and Opening Setup 

JK Chess is played on a board with 12 files and 8 ranks (a large variant of it has 12 files and 10 ranks). As usual, the lower left square is dark. Queens are on squares of their corresponding colour.

The opening setup is:

Camel, Rook, Janus, Knight, Bishop, Queen, King, Bishop, Knight, Janus, Rook, Camel.

On rank two, there are 12 pawns.

Pieces and Rules

The pieces are all fairly standard. 

The Janus combines the moves of bishop and knight. 

Pawns promote to any of the pieces in the initial setup (except king, of course).

Castling is as in Janus chess: The King slides towards the rook and the rook than jumps over the king. The spaces between the King and the respective Rook must be empty, the King and the Rook may not have moved before, and the King may not be in check nor move over attacked fields. (These are the same restrictions as in FIDE chess).

Aim of the game:

Checkmate the opponent's king. The FIDE rules about draws apply.


I designed this variant with two ideas in my mind:

First, I wanted to design a chess variant with more pieces of different strength. My choices are Camel (a piece weaker than the knight and Janus (with a strength between Rook and Queen).

Second, the opening setup line shall feature as the second and third rank of a large duodecimal variant with more pieces in the first rank. This variant is Quinquereme Chess and extends the range of different strengths.