The Chess Variant Pages

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featured variant for September, 2023.

This page is written by the game's inventor, Lee Tomkow.

Rate Touranian International for the 100 Squares Contest

Touranian International

This game is an entry in the 100 Squares Contest.

The Basics

The movement for the additional pieces, situated on the outside corners are by no means complex.

i)The pawns that cover the corner pieces are not uniformly shaped with the other 8 pawns, they represent the Chinese symbol for longevity, they do however, move in the same way as the standard pawn.

ii) The new additional corner pieces on the outside of the rooks move any direction two squares ( forwards, diagonally, or backwards.They cannot jump over pieces like the knight though). They take the form of a ship for each player and a coin for each player. The ships take the blue squares and the coins take the green squares.

You will then play the game as you would normal chess, with the enhanced addition of the extra pieces.

The Philosophy

Making the standard 8X8 chess game into a 10X10 variant, I believe is revolutionary enough and the decision to do this is sufficient. Making the moves for the new pieces had to be as simple as possible to avoid too much inconvenience in learning an entirely new game. I didn't want, nor need to change the game but to remake what to me should have been present all along.

Originally this game was born in a chapter of a novel I am writing. Then on a posting to Agra in India I had the board cast into stone, I collected the pieces for the main board in Macau, finally having my additional pieces custom made in Xian, China (these pieces are made from two shades of jadeite). This in itself gives my game the depth of connected history and influence. The board (pictured) is made from lapis lazuli, malachite, mother of pearl and carnelian, inlaid pietro douro style into Italian marble.

The form of the game can be played with many thoughts behind the moves. The set up can be in two ways. This is due to the design and the philosophy of the complete board that includes the outer desing of the grid but does not change the rules of engagement in any way. The pattern represents the garden of eden ( Islamic paradise) where the pieces that have been taken during the game wait out until a new game begins.

The two large outer flowers represent the sun and the moon. The pieces can begin with these behind or to the sides when setting up the game to play. If the sun and the moon are behind the pieces on start up the game can take as long as you and your opponent wants, if the sun and the moon are on the sides then the game must be finished within the day, again purely philosophical and aesthetic with nothing to do with the rules of engagement.

The colours of the squares are again equally philosophical but the blue squares represent water, the overseas. This puts the mind into realising that the rooks become the borders of a country, with the ships meaning colonisation, trading and commerce. The green squares relate to the land and travel with the coins being the universally accepted currency between all nations, banking, finance, investments and wealth.

All of this elaboration does not have to be observed when playing the game but it does add to the essence of history and mythology.

An Alternative Rule of Engagement

Each piece cannot take a lower class piece i.e. a bishop cannot take a pawn but only its equal or above. The queen in theory should only be used to take out the king.

This is simply a challenge to your own or your opponents restraint in taking pieces arbitrarily.

I am sure you will enjoy playing this variant because the new pieces and their moves are naturally in flow with the traditional international game. Those who are masters of the game will equally find this new challenge a rewarding change.

Regards Lee Tomkow


A ZRF is now available for playing Touranian International against Zillions of Games. Only the version that has been entered into the 100 Square contest has been implemented. The alternative rule of engagement has not been implemented.

Written by Lee Tomkow. ZRF addition by Fergus Duniho.
WWW page created: July 6, 2000; Last Updated October 30, 2000