The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Eric Greenwood.

Hans 38Special

This is an entry of Eric Greenwood for the contest to design a chess variant on a board with 38 squares.


            1   2   3   4   5   6      
     H        |*B*|                  H  
     G    |*N*|*B*|*G*|*K*|*S*|*D*|  G
     F    |*Be|*Sh|*Ch|*Ch|*Sh|*Be|  F
     E    |   |   |   |   |   |   |  E
     D    |   |   |   |   |   |   |  D 
     C    | Be| Sh| Ch| Ch| Sh| Be|  C   
     B    | D | S | K | G | B | N |  B
     A                    | B |      A
            1   2   3   4   5   6

Drops are allowed; promotion is on any enemy setup square. This game was designed specifically with Hans37 pieces in mind!

Pawns 'n' Pieces


Be: Berolina Pawn
moves diagonally forward 1 and takes forward 1. Promotes to Wazir.
Sh: Shatranj Pawn
moves forward 1 and takes diagonally forward 1. Promotes to Firzan.
Ch: Chinese pawn
moves and takes 1 forward. Promotes to "A" (Across the river) by crossing the middle of the board.


D: Dabbabah
moves to the second square horizontally or vertically, and may move w/o capturing to the 1st horiz. or Vert. square. Promotes to Rook.
N: Chinese kNightrider
moves like a knight, but MUST move the first part of the move to an unoccupied horizontal or vertical square before going to the diagonal. (May not Jump.) As long as there is a clear path, the piece may keep going in the same direction. Promotes to Tiger.
B: Short Bishop
May move 1 or 2 squares diagonally only, and may not Jump to the 2nd square. Promotes to Full Bishop.
S: Silver
moves as Shogi Silver. Promotes to Gold.
G: Gold
moves as Shogi Gold. Promotes to Wolf.


promoted Shatranj Pawn. Moves 1 square diagonally.
promoted Berolina Pawn. Moves 1 square Horiz. or Vert.
Chinese pawn past midway. Moves forward or sideways. If moved into the "citadel" square, becomes piece-in-hand.
promoted Dabbabah. As Chess Rook.
promoted short bishop. As Chess Bishop.
promoted kNightrider. As Chess Knight,(may Jump now)plus may move 1 square any direction.
promoted Gold. Moves 1 square any except straight back.
Well, have fun w/ it-that's what counts! :)

Comment by HB

Although not mentioned explicitly, it is clear from Eric's description that orthodox chess rules as check, mate, stalemate, apply; the K is the king, that moves as in orthodox chess.
Written by Eric Greenwood. Html-makeup and comment added by Hans Bodlaender.
This is an entry in the Contest to make a chess variant on a board with 38 squares.
WWW page created: October 24, 1997. Last modified: March 2, 1998.