Initial setup

e1, e8: King
d1, d8: Queen
a1, a8, h1, h8: Rook
c1, c8, f1, f8: Bishop
b1, b8, g1, g8: Knight
a2-h2, a7-h7: Pawns

Moves at a Glance

Click on a piece below to see its moves

Sliding capture or non-capture,
can be blocked on any square along the ray

Unblockable leap (capture or non-capture)
Non-capture only
Capture only


Piece ID value Moves (Betza notation) Remarks
King K - K Can castle with Rook, moving 2 steps towards it
Queen Q 9.5 RB or Q
Rook R 5 R
Bishop B 3.25 B Color-bound
Knight N 3.25 N
Pawn P 1 mfWcfF Promotes to Q, R, B, or N on reaching last rank

Pawn peculiarities


A King that has not moved before can move two squares in the direction of a Rook that has not moved before, in which case that Rook is moved to the square the King skipped over. This is only allowed if all squares between King and Rook are empty, when the King is not in check on the square it came from, and would not be in check on any of the squares it skipped over.

General rules

XBoard interface issues

Pieces obtained by promotions are indicated by slightly modified versions of the conventional piece symbols. (E.g. the Rook has a pointy roof, the Knight a blind-fold, etc.) If you don't want that, start XBoard with the option -disguisePromoted true. You can drop pieces by dragging them onto the board from the holdings displayed beside the board.

Differences with FIDE

Captured pieces can later be dropped to augment the army of their capturer.

Strategy issues

Because pieces are dropped back, there will not be a traditional end-game. Trading material does not constitute progress towards winning, even when you are ahead.

Because pieces obtained through promotion revert to Pawns on capture, they are really different piece types from the primordial pieces that move the same. They are in fact more valuable: it is much better to lose a Queen that gives the opponent a Pawn in hand, than to lose a Queen that gives him a Queen in hand.