The Chess Variant Pages




Drop Chess

These two games are chess variants that follow the same principle on different sized chess boards. In both, there are a total of 9 chess armies giving 81 different types of games that can be played with each one. In all of the games you get to place the front-row men wherever you want to.

Other than that, the games are similar to chess except no castling, no initial double-moving pawns, and No en passant moves. Some armies have different pawns. All pawns promote when reaching the last rank (either queen or dragon). All armies have different types of kings which are a different color than the rest of the pieces with the object of the game being to capture your opponent’s king..

The main purpose is to see how different types of chess pieces compare with each other without any special rules getting in the way.

I made both chess variants myself and would just like someone else’s opinion if the armies are equally balanced or not.

There are 7 basic types of chess pieces used for describing most of the chessmen in the different armies. They are: ferz (moves one square diagonally), wazir (moves one square like a rook), daba (jumps 2 squares like a rook), alfil (jumps two squares diagonally), and the knight, bishop, and rook which move like they do in normal chess.

The following descriptions list the front-row pieces first and then the second-row (pawn) piece is listed. For the 8x8 chess variant:

King

Front-row:

2 bishops
2 knights
2 rooks
1 queen (bishop+rook)
royal: king (wazir+ferz)

Second-row: pawn (moves forward 1 sqare and captures one square diagonally forward)

Flag

Front-row:

2 archbishops (bishop+wazir)
2 towers (rook+ferz)
1 queen (bishop+rook)
1 sideguard (moves like the king but not to the squares directly in front or behind)
1 topguard (moves like the king but not to the squares directly to the right or left)
royal: flag (can’t move)

Second-row: pawn (same as for king)

Pawnmaster

Front-row:

1 gold (moves like the king but not diagonally backwards)
1 silver (moves like the ferz or one square straight back)
1 vertical (moves front or back like the rook and to the side like a wazir)
1 rookie (moves like the rook to the front and sides and moves backwards like the wazir)
1 phoenix (alfil+wazir)
1 priest (ferz+alfil)
1 dragon (ferz+wazir+daba+alfil+knight)
royal: ferz-king (ferz)

Second-row: iron (moves and captures one square in any of the three forward directions)

Fast

Front-row:

2 archdeacons (bishop+daba)
2 checkers (ferz+alfil+daba)
1 linesman (moves forward and back like the rook and to the side like a daba)
1 rowsman (moves left and right like the rook and front and back like a daba)
1 jumper (moves like the queen but only in 2 step jumps)
royal: fast (alfil+daba)

Second-row: chariot (moves and captures one square diagonally forward, or can make a 2 step forward jump [not a capture])

Alfil

Front-row:

1 queen (bishop+rook)
1 cardinal (rook+knight)
1 crusader (bishop+knight)
1 knight
1 bishop
1 rook
1 fork (moves forward like the bishop and backwards like the rook)
royal: alfil-king (alfil)

Second-row: peon (moves and captures one square forward)

Daba

Front-row:

1 princess (moves like the bishop or forwards and backwards like the rook)
1 empress (moves like the bishop or right and left like the rook)
1 goldsmith (moves like the queen but not diagonally backwards)
1 spy (knight+alfil)
1 thin-bottle (moves like the ferz, to the right and left as the wazir, or front and back like the daba)
1 wide-bottle (moves like the ferz, to the front and back like the wazir, or right and left like the daba)
1 diamond (moves like the knight or can make a 3 square jump in a rook direction)
royal: daba-king (daba)

Second-row: stone (moves and captures one square front or backwards)

Knight

Front-row:

2 leapers (knight+daba+alfil)
2 minirooks (wazir+daba)
2 guards (ferz+wazir)
1 dragon (ferz+wazir+daba+alfil+knight)
royal: knight-king (knight) Second-row: pawn (same as in king, flag)

Wazir

Front-row:

2 minirooks (wazir+daba)
1 priest (ferz+alfil)
1 squire (ferz+daba)
1 duke (knight+wazir)
1 baron (knight+ferz)
1 amazon (rook+bishop+knight)
royal: wazir-king (wazir)

Second-row: grunt (moves forward one square and captures sideways one square)

Diagonal

Front-row:

2 bishops
2 archbishops (bishop+wazir)
2 archdeacons (bishop+daba)
1 pope (bishop+wazir+daba)
royal: diagonal (ferz+alfil)

Second-row: reversi (moves diagonally forward one square and captures forward like the wazir)


The 9x9 chess variants have the same pawns as their 8x8 equivalent so only the front-row men are listed.

King

Front-row:

2 bishops
2 knights
2 rooks
2 queens (bishop+rook)
royal: king (wazir+ferz)

Flag

Front-row:

2 archbishops (bishop+wazir)
2 towers (rook+ferz)
2 queen (bishop+rook)
2 guards (ferz+wazir)
royal: flag (can’t move)

Pawnmaster

Front-row:

1 guard (ferz+wazir)
1 crusader (knight+bishop)
1 vertical (moves front or back like the rook and to the side like a wazir)
1 bunker (rook+alfil)
1 hunter (ferz+wazir+alfil)
1 horizontal (moves left or right like the rook and to the front and back like a wazir)
1 top-seeker (moves forward and backwards like a knight, alfil, or daba)
1 side-seeker (moves left or right like a knight, alfil, or daba)
royal: ferz-king (ferz)

Fast

Front-row:

2 archdeacons (bishop+daba)
2 checkers (ferz+alfil+daba)
1 linesman (moves forward and back like the rook and to the side like a daba)
1 rowsman (moves left and right like the rook and front and back like a daba)
1 priest (ferz+bishop)
1 ubervillian (moves like the queen or jumper [from 8x8 flag])
royal: fast (alfil+daba)

Alfil

Front-row:

1 queen (bishop+rook)
1 cardinal (rook+knight)
1 crusader (bishop+knight)
1 dragon (ferz+wazir+daba+alfil+knight)
1 knight
1 bishop
1 rook
1 guard (ferz+wazir)
royal: alfil-king (alfil)

Daba

Front-row:

1 princess (moves like the bishop or forwards and backwards like the rook)
1 empress (moves like the bishop or right and left like the rook)
1 goldsmith (moves like the queen but not diagonally backwards)
1 demon (rook+ferz+alfil)
1 thin-bottle (moves like the king or moves forwards and backwards like a daba)
1 wide-bottle (moves like the king or moves right and left like a daba)
1 top-eagle (moves like the ferz, alfil, or front and back like a daba)
1 side-eagle (moves like the ferz, alfil, or right and left like a daba)
royal: daba-king (daba)

Knight

Front-row:

1 leaper (knight+daba+alfil)
1 ronin (ferz+wazir+knight)
1 agent (knight+daba)
1 baron (knight+ferz)
1 duke (knight+wazir)
1 spy (knight+alfil)
1 diamond (same as 8x8 equivalent)
1 megadiamond (ferz+daba+diamond)
royal: knight-king (knight)

Wazir

Front-row:

1 minirook (wazir+daba)
1 priest (ferz+alfil)
1 squire (ferz+daba)
1 camel (moves 3:1 like a knight)
1 minister (ferz+wazir+daba+alfil)
1 phoenix (alfil+wazir)
1 cardinal (rook+knight)
1 amazon (rook+bishop+knight)
royal: wazir-king (wazir)

Diagonal

Front-row:

2 bishops
2 archbishops (bishop+wazir)
2 archdeacons (bishop+daba)
2 popes (bishop+wazir+daba)
royal: diagonal (ferz+alfil)


Written by Key McKinnis.
WWW page created: February 23, 2000.