The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Joe Joyce.


Mini-Chieftain is a small step toward a chess version of a wargame. It is a deliberately simple game that introduces the concepts of "leaders" and "command control". These regulate the allowable pieces moved in a multimove turn. This game is a modest variant of Chieftain Chess. It is designed to introduce players to structure in multimove games. This game is being put out as a separate game page because it is the only "normal-sized" game in this series [so far] and so may actually garner a few players.


mini-Chieftain X

Click boards for presets



C - the Chieftain. This is the royal piece. It slides 1 or 2 squares. It may not jump. It may change direction during its move, but may not move back to the square it started from. It has the special power of activating pieces so they may move.

H - the Hero. It may move 1, 2, or 3 squares in a turn. This piece is a combination of wazir and dabbabah, able to move orthogonally only, in a straight line only, as either or both. When activated, it may slide 1; or jump 2; or slide 1 and jump 2; or jump 2 and slide 1, horizontally or vertically only.

S - the Shaman. This is the diagonal analog of the Hero. It slides 1 and/or jumps 2 in a diagonal line. This piece is a linear mover. It may not change directions during its move.

N - the standard chess kNight. It moves as in FIDE.

M - Man - the standard 1-step non-royal piece. It captures as it moves, 1 square all around.


Victory: The game ends when both Chieftains of one color are captured.

All pieces capture by replacement.


  • Each player may move several different pieces per turn.
  • A player may move as many pieces as that player has Chieftains.
  • No piece may move more than once in a turn.
    At least 1 piece must move each turn.
  • Pieces are moved sequentially, in the order listed by the player.
  • All moves must be legal when they are made.

  • Command Control: Pieces [except Chieftains] may not move under their own power. They must be activated by a Chieftain to move.

    • No piece may ever move unless it is activated by a chieftain which has to be within 3 squares of it at the start of its move. The chieftain that activates it may have been activated and moved to that spot earlier in the same turn.
    • An activated piece may move outside the 3-square activation range of the chief which activated it, or any other [friendly] chief.
    • Each chief may activate 1 piece per turn. It may activate itself or another chief.
    • No piece may be activated or move more than once per turn.
    • Once a piece has finished its move, it becomes inactive again. It cannot move in a subsequent turn without being re-activated by a chief.
    • Chiefs may activate only pieces of their own color.

    There is no castling, en passant, or promotion. Draws are allowed, half a point each in scoring.

    Playtesters: Erez Schatz, Uri Bruck, David Paulowich.


Rules for this series of games was developed HERE on the CVwiki. This game may be played with an ordinary set of chesspieces and the appropriate board. This series of games is obviously and easily multiplayer as well as multimove.



Click board for preset

New Pieces:
S - Silver. This is the standard shogi piece. It moves one square diagonally in any direction, or one square orthogonally forward.
G - Gold. This is the standard shogi piece, moving 1 square orthogonally in any direction, or one square diagonally forward.

The entire series of Chieftain games has the disadvantage that a boxing match does. If both sides defend, there is no match. Now, in most chess games, the forward-only pawn move forces some activity, unless both players just move their knights back and forth. With pawns replaced by guards, all the pieces in an army can move backwards and toward the middle, taking up a very strong defensive posture. The use of Gold and Silver in place of the Guards should reduce that backwards mobility a bit.

This game is set up as a transition between Chieftain Chess and standard western chess.

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 Joe Joyce.
Web page created: 2008-10-23. Web page last updated: 2008-10-23