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This page is written by the game's inventor, Charles Gilman.

Gnu Qi

This variant is intended to fill in a gap between relatively simple variants - Wayne Schmittberger's Wildebeest Chess and my own Anglis Qi - and more complex multiplayer and mixed-move-piece variants of mine - Caliph Qi and Tor Qi, 125% Xiang Qi, and the Pass Variants. The name puns on Newquay, a town on the least sheltered part of England's coast and therefore a surfing resort. Newquay is in an adjoining county to Torquay, after which I named the 7-file Caliph Qi subvariant Tor Qi, and the river Tamar forms most of the county boundary, tying in with both variants using Rivers.


As with many 9-file 2-player standard and variant games, the latter mostly my own, I have devised a 4-player 125% version of this on a cross of 5 5x5 supersquares.


This the same array as the Bishogi subvariant Wildebishogi, except that the borders between ranks 3/4 and between ranks 6/7 are Rivers.


The array comprises FIDE pieces plus the 3:1 leaping CAMEL which is the Knight's colourbound counterpart and the compound of Knight and Camel the GNU. A Pawn crossing the far River becomes a WAZIR, which moves one step in any orthogonal direction, whether or not capturing, and remains a Wazir if it retreats back across that River or even across the near one.


Pawns have no initial double-step move but are promoted on crossing the far River.

Castling may be Bishopside or Camelside, to the same rules as FIDE Queenside.

The King, Queen, and Gnu may not cross the far River. Bishops and Camels may cross the far River only with a move not starting or ending beside the River, although they may move to or from a square bordering that River by a move not crossing the River. There are no restrictions on crossing the near River. This means that all pieces can interact on the middle ranks of the board and allows the same one-way Check by a King as in Caliph Qi and Tor Qi.

Checkmate and Stalemate are as in FIDE Chess.


Physical representation can take at least two forms. One option is a Shogi set, with the same substitutions as in Wildebishogi. Another is two distinguishable FIDE sets - large back-rank pieces and small Pawns as themselves, small Queen as Gnu, small Bishops as Camels, large Pawns as Wazirs, inverted small Rook as ninth Pawn and righted again if promoted to Wazir.

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By Charles Gilman.
Web page created: 2006-04-21. Web page last updated: 2016-04-01