The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Patrik Hedman.

Generals' Chess

I tried to incorporate a piece that moves as a "crooked bishop", but I called it a "general" instead.



General is otherwise known as boyscout or crooked bishop. It moves in a series of diagonal steps, alternating one space at a time between the two diagonal directions that do not move it back toward its origin. Its powers of movement in any general direction resemble a double helix wrapping around a single rank or file.

The Blacksmith is a divergent piece. Without capturing, it can move 1 step orthogonally straight forwards or backwards, or move as a Rook horizontally. They can't jump. To capture, it may move 1 space in any diagonal direction.


Rules same as in orthodox chess, except:

  • Pawns only ever move 1 step at a time.
  • Free castling. King and rook can't have other pieces in between them.
  • The game is played on a 9x9 checkered board instead of an 8x8 board.
  • Each player has 3 blacksmiths beside the board when the game starts. The first move consists of placing all 3 blacksmiths on the player's second rank.
  • The generals (known as boyscout in other variants) move like crooked bishops.
  • Pawns and blacksmiths promote to generals, rooks or knights (option is open every promotion). This happens on the player's eighth rank.

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 Patrik Hedman.

Last revised by Fergus Duniho.

Web page created: 2014-03-16. Web page last updated: 2021-02-24