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The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Siwakorn Songrag.

Continental Chess

Continental Chess is a Chess Variant for two players. The idea behind the game was to create one with many types of pieces (that all are dislacement capture) such as stepper, leaper, hopper and rider in one game.

Continental Chess is created to be a fictional Chess variant. Continental Chess is played widely in Grand Continent, which is one supercontinent of a fictional world.


Continental Chess is played on an 8 by 8 board. Each player has 1 General, 1 Guard, 2 Elephants, 2 Horses, 2 Chariots, 2 Cannons and 10 Soldiers. The initial setup has only 16 pieces per player, with another 4 pieces held in hand.

For White: Soldiers on 3rd rank. Chariots on 2 outermost squares of 1st rank. Horses next to Chariot. Elephants next to horse. General and Guard next to Elephants but General always on the left of Guard. 2 Soldiers and 2 Cannons are in hand.

For Black: Setup rotationally symmetric to White.


In these images, white dots represent direct non-capturing moves, black dots represent direct capturing moves, green dots represent direct moves that may be capturing or non-capturing, beige dots represent non-capturing moves along a line of empty spaces, and olive dots represent moves along a line of empty spaces that may conclude with a capturing or non-capturing move. Each diagram centers around the piece it is for.


The General may move to any adjacent squares. It may not move into check, and when it is checked, the player must make a move to end the check. It moves like the King in Chess except it can't castle.

On 2nd Diagram, the Elephant threatens check on three squares the King could otherwise move to, which prevents the King from moving to those squares. (Please see Elephant movement below.)


The Guard may move to any adjacent diagonal square. It will still remain on the same color. It moves like the Ferz in Chaturanga and Shatranj.


The Elephant may move to any front or back adjacent squares. It never moves to any side adjacent squares. It moves like the Crane in Tori Shogi.


The Horse may move to any of the closest squares that not on the same rank, file or diagonal. It moves like the Knight in Chess.


The Cannon may move any number of squares along a rank or file, but it cannot leap over other pieces except to capture, which it does by jumping over a first piece of either color along a rank or file and capturing the next piece. It moves like the Cannon in Xiangqi.

For dropping Cannons, Cannons may be dropped only on the player's 1rd rank, which is the rank the other pieces (not soldier) begin on. Each player has 2 Cannons that can be dropped.

In the diagram, the Cannon may capture Soldiers on (-2,0), (0,3) and (3,0).


The Chariot may move any number of squares along a rank or file, but it cannot leap over other pieces. It moves like the Rook in Chess.


The Soldier may move to an adjacent front square on the same file, but it can capture only on an adjacent front diagonal squares. It must promote to Guard Soldier immediately when it reaches the player's 6th rank, which is the rank the opponent's soldiers start on. It is completely like the Pawn in Makruk.

For dropping Soldiers, Soldiers may be dropped only on the player's 3rd rank, which is the rank the other soldiers begin on. Each player has 2 Soldiers that can be dropped.

Guard Soldier

The Guard Soldier may move to any adjacent diagonal square. It will still remain on the same color. It moves like guard but it can appear from soldier promotion only.

The Guard Soldier may use same visual as Guard or use different visual.


Other rules are the same as in Chess except for these changes:

Pieces in hand (2 Soldiers and 2 Cannons) may be dropped into games, but captured pieces will be removed and no longer used.

Dropping must done instead of moving. You can drop only one piece on a turn. Each player can drop only 4 times during the entire game (because each have only 4 pieces to drop).

For example, this is 2nd White turn. White may drop a Soldier into e3 instead of moving, but it is not recommended.

The object of the game is to make the opponent unable to make any legal moves. It’s not same as Chess. Stalemate is a win for the player who can force stalemate.

For example, this is Black's turn. Black must make any legal move without moving the General into Check, but he can't. The game is a win for White.

50 moves rule is replaced by 64+16 moves rule. When there are no more Soldiers left on the board (Guard Soldier doesn't count into this rule), a countdown of 64 turns (a move from each player) begins. If that countdown reaches 0, the game is a draw. However, any capture adds 16 to the current countdown.

For example, this is White's turn: White is disadvantaged and tries to draw with 64+16 moves rule. White play b6=G to start the countdown; without further captures, the game will end in draw in 64 moves of Black. In other words, after Black's move complete 64 moves game will end in draw. But Black try to avoid it, Black doesn't want to count 64 moves to draw. Black try to trade Guard Soldier with S+c7 to increase 32 moves, from 64 moves to 96 moves (Becuase it has 2 pieces have been captured). But White don't want it and try to avoid trade with Ga5 and game will continue with Black have 63 moves if not have any pieces has been capture to checkmate White General.

Repetition of moves replace by Fourfold Repetition instead of Threefold. If Fourfold Repetition occur, the game will automatically draw.



Continental Chess can be played with a Standard Set board (Can play by use either 2 colors board or 1 color board, but recommend to use 1 color board.) with Two Makruks Set, by represent Cannon by Boat Tilting and represent Guard Soldier by Flipped Pawn.


These variations standard rules are apply but additional these rules.

These rules can use together.

Protect Variation Additional Unprotectmate

Who can check opponent general and opponent can't get out of check without moving general or general capture the attacker; win.

Camp Variation Additional Campmate

Who can move general reach last rank of players without put in check; win, but if opponent can move general reach last rank of players without put in check immeiately same: game will declare draw.

Drop Variation Additional Drop Rules

As in crazyhouse and shogi, captured pieces may be dropped back into the board as your own piece. Pieces can be dropped anywhere within the first 5 ranks instead of moving. Note, captured soldier and cannon can be droped anywhere within the first 5 ranks; unlike soldier and cannon held in hand on initial setup.

Example Games

For who want first game of player against player between Popo Chess against Skyhistory (me).

Popo Chess vs Skyhistory

  1. Ee2 Ef7
  2. @Cf1 He7
  3. Eb2 Gc7
  4. @Cc1 c5
  5. c4 Ed7
  6. Hc3 Hc6
  7. f4 g5
  8. Ef3 Eg6
  9. g4 @Cf8
  10. Hge2 h5
  11. Hg3 Hxg4
  12. exg4 Kf7
  13. fxg5+ fxg5
  14. Cxf8 Raxf8
  15. Hce4 Kg7
  16. Exg5 Exg5
  17. Hxg5 Hf5
  18. Gf2 d5
  19. Cc2 Kg6
  20. Hxf5 Rxf5
  21. Gg3 Kxg5
  22. Cg2+ Kf6
  23. Gf4 Ke7
  24. Kc2 Rf7
  25. @Pg3 @Cf8
  26. Ce2 Rh6
  27. g4 @f6
  28. h4 Rhh7
  29. h5 Ch8
  30. Ch2 Rg7
  31. Cxh8 Rxg4
  32. @g3 @h6
  33. Ec1 Rg8
  34. g4 Rxg4
  35. Reg1 Rfg7
  36. Ch7+ Ke8
  37. Rxg4 Rxg4
  38. Ed2 Rg8
  39. Ee1 Kf8
  40. Ef2 Hd8
  41. Kc3 Ec6
  42. Ef3 Kg7
  43. e4 d+
  44. Kb2 e5
  45. Gg3 Kxh7
  46. Gh4 He6
  47. b4 Hc7
  48. a4 cxb4
  49. Kb3 Gc5
  50. Rf1 Rf8
  51. Eg4 Kg7
  52. Ef5 He8
  53. Rg1+ Kf7
  54. Rg6 Rh8
  55. Rg3 Rg8
  56. Eg6+ Kf8
  57. Rf3 Ke7
  58. Eh7 Rf8
  59. Exh6 Rf7
  60. Rg3 b5
  61. a5 bxc+
  62. dxc Ed7
  63. Rg8 Ee3
  64. Rh8 Rf8
  65. Eh7 Rxh8
  66. 0-1 White resign; Black Win.

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By Siwakorn Songrag.

Last revised by Ben Reiniger.

Web page created: 2022-02-09. Web page last updated: 2022-07-16