Check out Alice Chess, our featured variant for June, 2024.

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Exotic Chess

If you had a Java-capable browser, you could play Fantasy Pieces Chess here.
No save/back keys for this applet yet.

Still undergoing much-needed repairs. Sorry for the inconvenience. Crabs and Rutland Rooks should be working (6/23).

King Royal piece, 1 square in any direction, orthogonally or diagonally
Royal Knight Checkmating this knight wins the game.
Scorpion King Royal piece, king plus grasshopper
Flag Non-moving royal piece.
Eagle King 1,0 or 2,2 jumper. Royal piece.
Royal CastleRoyal piece, moves as rook, non-capturing, may not castle, cannot cross check
Priest-King Royal piece, moves as bishop, non-capturing, may castle, cannot cross check
Pawn Moves one square forward, or two when starting on the second rank. Captures one square diagonally. May capture another pawn that has just moved two squares en passant. Promotes on eighth rank to any non-royal piece.
Guard As king, but not royal
Fish Like ordinary pawn, but can move (not capture) one backwards.
Berolina Pawn Like ordinary pawn, but captures forward and moves diagonally
Chinese Pawn Moves and caputures straight ahead.
Foot Soldier Omnidirectional pawn, does not promote
Defender PawnCan move any distance backward
Recruit One square forward, straight or diagonal. Promotes to Guard.
Crab Moves and captures one diagonal square forward, promotes as pawn.
Gold General From Shogi
Silver General From Shogi, promotes to Gold General on far side here
Grunt PawnMay also move but not capture sideways
Chinese Fish PawnForward to move or capture, or one backwards without capturing
Stone Pawn One forward or backward to move or capture, does not promote or take en passant
Knight 2,1 jumper
Rider Unlimited 2,1 jumps in one direction
Chinese Knight Cannot jump.
Chinese Rider Like an ordinary rider, but cannot jump.
Rose Makes up to a circle of knight moves.
Duke Combines moves of king and knight. Also called centaur. Non-royal, good for defense.
Vizier Knight Jumper 1,2 and 1,0.
Ferz Knight Jumper 1,2 and 1,1.
Dabbabah Knight Jumper 1,2 and 2,0.
Alfil Knight Jumper 1,2 and 2,2.
Gerbil Knight Jumper 1,2 and 3,0.
Lark Knight Jumper 1,2 and 3,3.
Zebra Knight Jumper 1,2 and 2,3.
Paladin As knight, and can move a second time in the same direction.
Dabbabah 2,0 jumper
Alfil 2,2 jumper
Camel 1,3 jumper
Giraffe 1,4 jumper
Zebra 2,3 jumper
Antelope 3,4 jumper
Flamingo 1,6 jumper
Gnu 1,2 and 1,3 jumper
Buffalo 1,3 and 2,3 jumper
Squirrel 2,0 and 2,1 and 2,2 jumper. This uage follows Hans Bodlaender. I think that some people call this a mover a "bear", use the term "squirrel" for what I've called a "daffy".
Frog 1,1 or 3,0 jumper
Grasshopper Hops to the square (empty, or capturing an enemy) just beyond the first piece along any diagonal or orthogonal line.
Wizard 1,1 or 1,3 jumper, from Omega Chess
Champion 1,0 or 2,0 or 2,2 jumper, from Omega Chess
Camel Rider 1,3 repeat jumper in one direction
Eagle 1,0 or 2,2 jumper
Page 2,2 or 1,1 jumper
Daffy 2,2 or 2,0 jumper
Root Fifty 5,5 or 1,7 jumper
Root Twenty-Five 3,4 or 5,0 jumper
Cub ScoutZigzag, first straight then diagonal
Long KnightRunner, first orthogonal, than same # diagonal changing angle 45 degrees
SissaRunner, equal distance orthogonal and diagonal, no further limits
Elephant Queen + Rider. Probably too strong.
Unicorn As bishop or rider. From David Paulowich's Unicorn Chess.
Bishop Unlimited diagonal movement while unobstructed
Pegasus Bishop + Knight
Ferz One square diagonally
Archbishop Like a bishop, but bounces off edges
Dragon Moves along accessable adjacent diagonals
Two-Square Bishop Limited range
Three-Square Bishop Limited range
Four-Square Bishop Limited range
Vao Diagonal Chinese Cannon, jumps when and only when it captures
Archdeacon Bishop + Vizier
Abbott As bishop or 2,0 jumper
Wooden Bishop 1,1 or 2,2 jumper
Korean Vao One-jump bishop
Rook Unlimited orthogonal movement while unobstructed
Marshall Rook + Knight
Vizier One square orthogonally
Gryphon Moves along accessable adjacent ranks and files. From Grand Acedrex
Lance From Shogi, promotes to Gold General on far side here
Rutland Rook Rook + Ferz
Two-Square Rook Limited range
Three-Square Rook Limited range
Four-Square Rook Limited range
Pao Orthogonal Chinese Cannon, jumps when and only when it captures
Wooden Rook 1,0 or 2,0 jumper
Palace Rook, or two-square bishop
Korean Pao One-jump rook
Queen Unlimited orthogonal or diagonal movement while unobstructed
Amazon Rook + Bishop + Knight
Godzilla Dragon plus Gryphon
Two-Square Queen Limited range
Three-Square Queen Limited range
Four-Square Queen Limited range
Panther Moves one or two squares in any direction, non-jumper
Lion Jumps any 2,2 or closer
Boy Scout Diagonal zig-zag
Girl Scout Orthogonal zig-zag
Murray Lion 2,2 or 2,0 jumper, or captures as king
Korean Lion One-jump queen. As the lion (2) from the Piececlopedia.
Leo Pao plus Vao. I decided to use cannons rather than yet another lion face, but the "leo" name is very fortunate. More about the leo from the Piececlopedia.
No Passing Impassable square for both sides
Bulldozer Pusher.
Rhinoceros As Queen, but pushes
Bomb Click on "Bang!" and the bomb and all pieces 1 square away are destroyed.
Atomic Bomb Click on "Bang!" and the bomb and all pieces 1-2 squares away are destroyed.
Tank Pushes or shoots.
Falcon 1,3 or 2,3 along empty squares; three possible ways for each move
Fortress Moves to any empty square, cannot capture
Iron PawnCannot be captured
Iron SoldierMoves as ferz, cannot be captured
Iron Knight Cannot be captured

More fantasy pieces are under development. Trying to castle can produce some weird results.

Thanks to my cyberfriend Andy Maxson for help with the debugging (Feb. 2007).

Suggested setups

  • Alternate turns choosing your armies
  • One side places eight additional pawns on its side of the board, and removes its queen.
  • One or both sides takes a Marshall in place of the queen.
  • Switch bishops and knights.
  • Use various augmented knights.


Hans Bodlaender's Chess Variants
Hans Bodlaender's Chess Applet

Ed's Chess Variants

These are simple illustrations rather than strong opponents.

Bug Reports -- Thank you! Keep them coming!

Written by Ed Friedlander

WWW Page Added: Sunday, December 30, 2001