The Chess Variant Pages

Abecedarian Big Chess (ABChess): Setup

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Pieces: A-F
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Rules and Stuff

Setup diagram

Each side starts with one King and 11 Yeomen as pictured.
Each side also buys 10 more pieces, set up in the ? spaces.

The board is 11 by 11 squares. On each player's side of the board, the center 3X3 square area at that player's edge is their fortress. Fortresses affect the moves of the King and Teleporter. The middle rank of the board is the river. Crossing the river gives Yeomen increased movement, and allows them to promote.

Each player's King starts in the center of the player's back rank. Each player's Yeomen start across the player's third rank.


King icon
King moves

King: start with one
From orthodox chess

The King may move one space in any direction. As in most forms of chess, the King may not move to a square that is attacked by an enemy, and must not be left in a position where it is being attacked by an enemy.

ABChess borrows two limits on the King from Xiangqi. First, the King is restricted to the nine squares of his fortress. Second, the Kings may never face each other on the same file, with no pieces in between them.

In the diagram, spaces marked 1 would be legal King moves but for the fortress rule. Spaces marked 2 would be legal King moves but for the rule about opposing Kings on a file with nothing between them.



Yeoman icon
Yeoman moves

Yeoman: start with 11
Chinese+Western+Japanese pawn

(Center example) The Yeoman is a combination of traditional pawns. On its own side of the river, it moves one square forward (as in Xiangqi). This includes captures.

(Left example) A Yeoman on its starting square may move two spaces forward instead of one, but only if both are vacant (as in orthodox chess).

(Right example) A Yeoman which has crossed the river can move or capture one square sideways as well as forward (also as in Xiangqi).

A Yeoman which moves to any space on the opponent's side of the river may, as part of that move, promote (similar to Shogi). A Yeoman may choose not to promote, but must move again in order to promote later. A Yeoman may promote to any piece already lost by its side this game.

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Written by Glenn Overby II.
WWW page created: November 5, 2002.