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WWII Chess

A Really Silly Idea!

The board is 9x9. The White side, called Japan, has the standard layout for Shogi, while Black, called USA, has the standard layout for Chess. Black has one empty space on the queenside of each row in the layout.

Below is the opening setup:

White - Japan:
Shogi King e1; Shogi Gold d1, f1; Shogi Silver c1, g1; Shogi Knight b1, h1; Shogi Lance a1, i1; Shogi Bishop b1; Shogi Rook h2; Shogi Pawn a3, b3, c3, d3, e3, f3, g3, h3, i3.

Black - USA:
Chess King f9; Chess Queen e9; Chess Rook b9, i9; Chess Knight c9, h9; Chess Bishop d9, g9; Chess Pawn b8, c8, d8, e8, f8, g8, h8, i8.

  1. Japan moves first. Japan's pieces move and promote according to the rules of Shogi.
  2. USA's pieces move as in chess and chess pawns promote to any chess piece upon reaching the 8th or 9th rank.
  3. Pieces captured by the USA are removed from the game.
  4. Pieces captured by Japan are retained in reserve and may be entered onto any empty square instead of an normal move. Entering a piece this way is called a 'drop.' Pawns may not be entered on the 8th or 9th rank, other pieces may be entered anywhere. (Note: Chess pieces captured by JAPAN retain their original chess powers -- they do NOT convert to shogi pieces!)
  5. Chess pawns promote to any orthochess piece upon reaching the 8th or 9th rank regardless of which player they currently belong.
  6. Promoted Chess pieces retain their rank when captured.
  7. Stalemate and perpetual check are not allowed. En passant by either side is not allowed. King side castling allowed, and only by the USA.
  8. Until Japan captures, checks the USA king, or promotes a piece, USA is prohibited from doing any of the three.


  • Rule 8 is probably unworkable as originally written. Loosen the restriction on the USA player -- allow the USA player to check and promote at will.
  • Ignore rule 8. USA may capture, check and promote at will.
  • Ignore rule 6. USA promoted pawns revert to unpromoted state when captured.
  • Captured USA pawns may be dropped anywhere on the board without restriction but do not promote at all.
  • Captured Shogi pieces go into the capturing player's reserve and may be entered in their unpromoted state on a later turn. Captured Chess pieces are removed from the game permanently. (In the original game, the power of drops was held by the JAPANESE player -- in this variation the power of drops is held by the SHOGI piece themselves. This version swings things wildly in favour of the USA.)
  • No drops; all captured piece removed from game. (Japan gets clobbered.)
  • Both sides have full drop power; all captured pieces of any type go into the capturing player's reserve and may be entered instead of moving on a future turn. (USA gets clobbered.)

All right, I admit it. I haven't played this and will probably never have the nerve to ask somebody to try it with me. I just think it's a funny idea. I just wish I could figure out how to get the Germans involved.

Written by Edward Jackman (email removed contact us for address) .com.
WWW page created: June 20, 1996. Last modified: September 30, 1997.