The Chess Variant Pages
Custom Search



Recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Edge do not support Java. Internet Explorer and Safari should still support it. Besides that, recent versions of Java will block this script unless you add https://www.chessvariants.com to your Java exceptions list. You should find this in the Security tab of your Java control panel.

Martian Chess

If you had a Java-capable browser, you could play Martian Chess here.
Keys "s"=save "l"=load "b"=back once

Martian Chess comes from Edgar Rice Burroughs. Description from Hans Bodlaender's site on Martian Chess, which the Martians call Jetan

Win by:

  • Capturing the enemy chief with your chief;
  • Capturing the enemy princess with any piece.

I set this up to checkmate. This way, stalemate is a loss.

No piece may cross the same square twice in a single move.

When each side is down to three or fewer pieces, the final countdown starts. If nobody wins in 10 moves (5 per side), the game is a draw.

Another Jetan site

Chief Three squares in any direction or combination of directions, orthogonal or diagonal. Cannot jump over intervening pieces.
Princess Three squares in any direction or combination of directions, orthogonal or diagonal. Can jump over intervening pieces. Cannot capture.
Dwar Three squares horizontally or vertically or in a combination of these directions. Cannot jump over intervening pieces.
Flier Three squares diagonally or in a combination of diagonal directions. Does not promote. Can jump over intervening pieces.
Padwar Two squares diagonally or in a combination of diagonal directions. Cannot jump over intervening pieces.
Warrior Two squares horizontally or vertically or in a combination of these directions. Cannot jump over intervening pieces.
Thoat One straight and one diagonal in any direction. Can jump over intervening pieces.
Pawn One square in any direction except vertically backwards or diagonally backwards. Cannot jump over intervening pieces.

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

On August 24, 2007, "Steve" wrote me this letter which I'm sharing in its entirety.

Hello,

In your java program for the Jetan game you have allowed the Chiefs to be captured by enemy pieces other than a rival Chief. This means that in a game where one Chief is captured by a non-Chief enemy no can win (sic.) by the game by the Chief capturing the other Chief rule. I know from reading about Jetan elsewhere that the Chief in the original rules was supposed to be only capturable by the enemy chief, which makes the rule of winning by chief capturing a chief possible. Why did you ignore the original, seemingly sensible, rule of Burroughs and allow any pieces to capture the chief (making a nonsense (sic.) of the rule that says one wins if a chief captures a chief) ? Once one chief is captured by a non-chief piece the other chief becomes irrelevant for victory determination purposes, and thus the remaining chief can therefore be sacrificed like any other piece, which is absurd given that the chief is the leader of his army. This surely is not what Burroughs intended. He regarded the chiefs as very important, certainly not to be sacrificied for the sake of his other troops to win a battle. This was why he insisted that ONLY a chief could take another chief.

As a result every game I have played on your java program ends up being decided by which side captures the other side's princess first. As I said: this surely is not what the author of the game intended.

Also, you have described the move of the thoat piece as being able to jump over intervening pieces but, as I seem to remember, Burroughs specifically says that this piece could NOT jump. Why did you therefore say that it could ? Steve [email protected]

I am sorry Steve didn't enjoy his visit, but I'm pleased that chess variants can arouse such passion. I was following the outline of the rules cited on the Chessvariants website, to which I'd already linked, and have referred my correspondent to these.