8x8 Variants

Recent discussions at chessvariants.org have considered the future of chess and the viability of the 8x8 board. Most see a future chess game on a larger board with FIDE pieces basically intact, either added to by FIDE-like pieces or with [possibly slightlty augmented] FIDEs and a new piece [or two].
This page looks at a different approach.

This pair of variants takes a short range approach to chess.

ShortChess and Falcon King Chess




King wking.gif
This is the standard chess king,moving 1 space in any direction.

Falcon bbird.gif
This is George W. Duke's piece, introduced in his patented game Falcon Chess. Any use of this piece is subject to applicable patent law. The Falcon is a 3-square slider; it must end its move 3 squares from where it started. It moves either twice as a wazir and once as a ferz, or twice as a ferz and once as a wazir. These three 1-square moves may be in any order. The two similar moves, whether wazir or ferz, must be in the same direction. A more complete description of the Falcon and its moves may be found on Mr. Duke's Falcon Chess page, located at [http://www.chessvariants.org/large.dir/falcon.html].

Bishopy wonediamondbishop.gif
This piece moves as a 4-square bishop or a dabbabah. It slides up to 4 squares diagonally, or leaps to the second square orthogonally, jumping over the first orthogonal square and any piece that may be in that square. In Betza's funny notation, it would be a B4D.

Rookish bonediamondrook.gif
This piece moves as a 4-square rook or an alfil. It slides up to 4 squares orthogonally, or leaps to the second square diagonally, jumping over the first diagonal square and any piece that may be in that square. In Betza's funny notation, it would be an AR4.

Hero [bent] wlemurianwarmachinewazir.gif
This is a far more powerful version of the knight. It combines the moves of the Dabbabah and Wazir, able to move as either or both, in either order, and change direction while moving. It may slide 1 square orthogonally, or leap 2 squares orthogonally, or slide 1 then leap 2 squares orthogonally, or leap 2 then slide 1 more square orthogonally. If it both leaps and slides [or slides and leaps] in one turn, it may change directions between the first and second legs of the move. In Joe's strange notation, it's a D+/-W.

Pawn bpawn.gif
This is the standard chess pawn, moving 1 square orthogonally forward and capturing one square diagonally forward. This is a modern pawn, which means it's first move may be a double step, and it may capture other pawns en passant.


All rules of FIDE chess are in effect except where otherwise noted.
In ShortChess, standard FIDE castling is allowed with the King and either Rookish.
In Falcon King Chess, to win you must capture one Falcon and checkmate the other.
In Falcon King Chess, there are two castling posibilities:

  1. Falcons cannot castle; or
  2. Each Falcon can castle to its near side only.

Falcon King Chess is a nice-looking game, and obviously highly experimental. That's why there are two versions: ShortChess, the plain vanilla [king] version; and Falcon King, the rocky road chocolate raspberry with sprinkles version.

Peter Aronson posted the game Horus on 3/27/04. It uses 3 Falcons as royal pieces, and, while I was unaware of this game until 8/11/08, it anticipates the heck out of my games here.

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