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Wildebeest Chess. Variant on an 10 by 11 board with extra jumping pieces. (11x10, Cells: 110) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

A lovely use of the otherwise powerful jumping pieces included, by having them on a rather long board.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2017-10-09 UTC
files=11 ranks=10 graphicsDir=/membergraphics/MSelven-chess/ whitePrefix=w blackPrefix=b graphicsType=png useMarkers=1 startShade=#C0FF40 satellite=wildebeest symmetry=rotate promoChoice=QW pawn::fmW*fceF::a2-k2 knight:N:::b1,j1 bishop::::c1,d1 camel::::h1,i1 rook::::a1,k1 wildebeest::NC:gnu:g1 queen::::e1 king::KisO1isO2isO3isO4::f1

Wildebeest Chess adds two new leaper types to the FIDE setup, two minors and one major. (And the Wildebeest is only a major by virtue of the rule that stalemate is also a win.) What so far stopped it from being represented in an interactive diagram was the castling rule, in particular that a castling King can also end up on an adjacent square (sO1 castling in XBetza notation). With the usual convention that castling is entered by using the King, this would be ambiguous with a normal King move. The diagram script is now enhanced to understand a click on the applicable Rook (which will also be highlighted) as target square of a King move as a command to castle to the adjacent square.

Georg Spengler wrote on 2015-01-04 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
One of my favorite large board games. Playing it gives a kind of breathy feeling, if that makes sense. Like on a wide open field; your limbs seem's like playing chess on Pandora... In a way.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-12-09 UTC
Well the Knight in Diana does need a different symbol from the King, Bishops, and Rooks as it is a different piece. You didn't actually ask what piece I'd forgotten to replace [insert link] with, so there's fault on both our sides. I've put it in now, and as you will see it is a different piece from all the existing Wildebeest ones. A third Knight would be illogical in a game that is pushing the analogy between the Knight-Camel and Rook-Bishop dualities.

George Duke wrote on 2010-12-09 UTC
I review 'New Rules for Classic Games' by Schmittberger in earlier comment this article, Wildebeest is ranked high as current number 15 at Next Chess; Next Chess is on track to be turned into article more accessible than its connected threads.

John Ayer wrote on 2010-12-09 UTC
As far as I can see, the Diana knight is an ordinary knight, and doesn't need a different symbol. The Duke of Rutland also chose to maintain symmetry by placing a third knight on the queen's off-side. A neat solution, I think.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-12-09 UTC
I can see four ways to make the array more symmetric.

The first and simplest is to allow the 'King swap' of Fergus Duniho's Yang Qi. This stops it mattering that Bishops start on the same binding, likewise camels, and allows this:

The second it to simply swap files e and g over, balancing each kind of colourbound piece with the compound of the other:

The third is to remove the King and its file, the results of which can be seen in my Notchess 100.

The fourth is to put in an extra file with some unrelated piece on it. There has been much discusion here about how the Zebra might be added to this variant. Rather than try to make it part of a two-pairs-plus-their-compound group - which I have done in Wildeurasian Bestiary but which makes for a far more complex game than the one here - it could be a one-off rather like the Diana Knight. I would suggest the following array, to even give balance between the middle two pairs of files:

Claudio Martins Jaguaribe wrote on 2010-12-06 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I'm mesmerized by it!

But I've noticed that if you change places of the rooks and knights, all leapers and all sliders will be on one side. I can make the game ore interesting.


Hafsteinn Kjartansson wrote on 2010-06-26 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-07-16 UTC
Cool, thanks. Hope it works because I made it the official one. Coincidentally, I was looking at it this game this morning. Send me an invite if you'd like to play it with me.

Thomas wrote on 2009-07-16 UTC
Game Courier Preset with automation and rule-enforcement:


Thomas wrote on 2009-01-10 UTC
One might add a one-space orthogonal step to the Knight (Wazir Knight) and
a one-space diagonal step to the Camel (Wizard from Omega Chess), and both
moves to the Wildebeest (Wildebeest plus King). This preserves the symmetry
between the riding and leaping pieces, and now the King is integrated into
it, having the moves which are shared by Queen and Wildebeest.

And the stronger pieces can be seen as a second advantage, if one feels
that the standard pieces are relatively weak for the big board.

George Duke wrote on 2007-11-17 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Re: 'New Rules For Classic Games' not indexed, see link here. Ist ein sehr gutes Buch. Der Schriftsteller weiss viel ueber Schach. I re-open my copy 'NRfCG' every few months for wording or terms and names of games, especially because single longest Chapter about 40 pp. covers CVs. Schmittberger's 1992 is very good read though detracted from by CVPage trend to expand the universe of CVs indefinitely. ''New twists'' in Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Risk, Mah-Jongg, Bridge, Poker. Chess always the premier game is last Chapter 13, except for denouement, afterword, Chapter 14 on playing by mail. ''Beyond Chess'' covers own Wildebeest: ''Camels by the way are not as valuable as Knights'' is intelligent assessment. Wildebeest of course = N + Camel, whose previous uses documented in 1994 Pritchard's 'ECV' number twenty or more in serious CVs. Wildebeest is considerably better embodiment than (Whale Shogi or) Omega Chess, which also has Camel compound. Thirty other variants include Pre-Chess (like FRC), Screen Chess (similar to recent Verve), V.R.Parton's Kinglet(nice game), T.R. Dawson's Grasshopper Chess (nice concept), Ralph Betza's Avalanche Chess. These last 3 authors with lately-unheralded Sam Loyd comprise the complete membership of the all-time hall-of-fame, or 'qual'(-ity)-of-fame.

Joshua Morris wrote on 2007-11-02 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Just wanted to add my 'Excellent' rating.  This game is right up there with Grand Chess.

I have a question for all you Wildebeesters.  Either side can deliver a smothered Fool's Mate on move 2 using the long leap of a Camel or Wildebeest.  This can be defended against in a few ways.  Does this cause opening variety to be limited, in anyone's experience?  Or is it more like Qh5 in OrthoChess, an aggressive move that tends to backfire if the opponent defends well?

Douglas S wrote on 2007-09-29 UTC
There is now a zrf that allows you to play this variant with a purchased version of zillions-of-games.

The Missile Chess.zrf is available at

David Paulowich wrote on 2007-04-16 UTC

Endgame Position White: King c1, Knight e1 and Black: King a1, Pawn a2, Rook e2.

1.Nc2 check Rxc2 check and Black has won in Shatranj by the Bare King rule, which has only one stated exception. The Zillions Rule File for Shatranj (correctly) scores the game as a win for Black.

2.Kxc2 stalemate draws the game in my two recent 'Shatranj Kamil' variants. R. Wayne Schmittberg has just confirmed that White wins in Wildebeest Chess. And so we all agree to differ.

R. Wayne Schmittberg wrote on 2007-04-14 UTC
I'm not sure what to make of the comment suggesting that a player must have more than a bare king to win by stalemate. I don't recall there ever being any kind of bare king rule in Wildebeest Chess--I simply indicated in my original rules that checkmate and stalemate both win, without going into any details. In practice, there may be some endgames in which stalemate can only be forced with an uncomfortably large number of moves. Probably players and tournament directors should agree to import appropriate rules from orthodox chess, such as the 50-move rule and draws by repetition.

David Paulowich wrote on 2007-04-14 UTC

R. Wayne Schmittberg last made appeared here 30 months ago, so I don't know if he will be reading this comment. After dropping the (Shatranj) Bare King Loss rule, there is one minor detail to take care of. Sample Position: White King(c1), Black King(a1), Black Pawn(a2).

Victory Rules Checkmating your opponent wins the game. Note that you require a king and at least one other piece in order to checkmate. Stalemating your opponent wins the game, except when you have only a lone King. Then the result is a draw.

David Paulowich wrote on 2007-04-03 UTC

Two Kingdoms - by Nuno Cruz [2001] - uses the Gazelle piece.

'The Knights represent the Cavalry, moving as the usual Knight or as the fairy Zebra.'

Abdul-Rahman Sibahi wrote on 2007-03-27 UTC
Since the game was played regularly in NOST, I wonder if any theory was developed, (and, more importantly, published.) -- And, just a thought, what if the Knight and Camel (which are relatively weak due to the bigness of the board) were replaced by Charles Gilman's Endknight and Dicamel ? The Endknight moves like a regular knight with the ability to jump 3 square orthogonally. The Dicamel moves like a regular camel with the ability to jump 3 square diagonally. They would still be called Knights and Camels, of course.

David Paulowich wrote on 2006-11-14 UTCGood ★★★★

Cazaux's Zillions implementation of Wildebeest Chess is also missing the stalemate victory rule. See my comment here. There are even more comments on the 'Recognized Chess Variant: Wildebeest Chess' page here. As I stated there, we have very little information about the problems involved in forcing stalemate.

M Winther wrote on 2006-11-14 UTC
Cazaux's Zillions implementation of Wildebeest Chess has a bug: 
when a pawn makes a triplicate step, an opponent pawn cannot 
capture 'en passant' if the bypassing pawn ends up on the rank behind.

Moreover, Cazaux's implementation of Bolyar Chess (in
doesn't seem to follow the rules that appear on the Internet, and which I 
have recently implemented. Cazaux gives no source for his version of the 
rules. Instead Omega Chess is described. My Bolyar Chess:  /Mats

Derek Nalls wrote on 2006-04-04 UTC
[Comment deleted.]

Charles Gilman wrote on 2006-01-26 UTC
(having given ratings of Excellent previously and not wishing to overdo
I note that the mixture of non-Pawns in this variant is one King, one
of the two strongest pieces, and two each of four others - a description
which also applies to Shogi. This has inspired me to add a subvariant to
my Bishogi family of
using the Wildebeest Chess mix of pieces (but two Pawns fewer) on a Shogi
board and called Wildebishogi.

Mark Thompson wrote on 2005-02-09 UTC
I'd have to agree after our game of 'Zebrabeest Chess' (thanks to Greg Strong for setting that up on the courier) that Wildebeest C. is much better.

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