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This page is written by the game's inventor, Köksal Karakus.

Primitive Chess

This variant is somewhat alike Demi-Chess. Their similarity is the short range of the pieces, hence a slower but more strategical and warlike game. The major difference is that, there are no pawns but a piece like apprentice for every figure in Primitive Chess. There are also some differences in pieces' moves.
In Primitive Chess, the lord, which is the royal piece, is weak but may promote to the usual king. Note that weakness of the lord makes it more vulnerable to attacks.
If anyone wants to make comments or play Primitive Chess with me, you can mail me at (email removed contact us for address)

Board and Setup

Primitive Chess 

The game is played on a 8x8 board. Each player has a Lord, a Queen, 2 Bishops, 2 kNights, 2 Rooks, 2 Guards, 2 Priests, 2 Horsemen, 2 Towers.

The opening setup is as seen on the left.

White: Lord e1; Queen d1; Bishops c1, f1; kNights b1, g1; Rooks a1, h1; Guards e2, d2; Priests c2, f2; Horsemen b2, g2; Towers a2, h2.

Black: Lord e8; Queen d8; Bishops c8, f8; kNights b8, g8; Rooks a8, h8; Guards e7, d7; Priests c7, f7; Horsemen b7, g7; Towers a7, h7.


Knight plays as the usual knight in FIDE chess.

King, which is the promoted Lord, plays as the usual king in FIDE chess.


Lord, which is the initial royal piece in Primitive Chess, plays in a Y manner, ie it can play one square diagonally forwards, or one square vertically backwards.


Horseman can make one of the foremost two moves of a knight. So it can jump over intervening pieces.


Rook plays as R2, ie it can play one or two squares vertically or horizontally, but cannot jump over pieces.


Tower can play and capture moving one square forwards vertically.


Bishop plays as B2, ie it can play one or two squares diagonally, but cannot jump over pieces.


Priest can play and capture moving one square diagonally forwards.


Queen plays as Q2 (R2 + B2), ie it can play one or two squares in all directions (diagonally or orthogonally), but cannot jump over pieces.


Guard can play and capture moving one square forwards, diagonally or vertically.


A weaker piece (an apprentice) promotes to its stronger form (a master) if it reaches to the last rank (8th rank for white, 1st rank for black).

Lord promotes to king.

Horseman promotes to knight.

Tower promotes to rook.

Priest promotes to bishop.

Guard promotes to queen.

Other Rules

The aim is to checkmate the opponent's royal piece (it can be Lord, or may have promoted and be King).

Stalemate is considered just as in FIDE chess.

Neither castling, nor en passant exists.


  8 |*R*|*N*|*B*|*Q*|*K*|*B*|*N*|*R*|
  7 |*T*|*H*|*P*|*G*|*G*|*P*|*H*|*T*|
  6 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|          
  5 |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
  4 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
  3 |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
  2 | t |:h:| p |:g:| g |:p:| h |:t:|
  1 |:r:| n |:b:| q |:k:| b |:n:| r |
      a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h

(c) Köksal Karakus - 2000

Written by Köksal Karakus. Minor HTML editing by David Howe.
WWW page created: February 20, 2000.