Byzantine Chess


Byzantine chess was developed from the Persian version of the original Indian game. It is played on a round, unchequered, board (arranged as shown right) and was popular in the 10th century AD.


Click on the image for an enlarged view of the setup or here for a printable version.


The traditional rules are as follows (although there is also a modern version of the game):

Pawns move outwards from the row behind them, one square ahead per move - potentially all the way around the board. They attack diagonally as  in modern chess.  If two pawns meet head-on both are removed from play. 


The king may move one square in any direction and is checked as in the modern game with the normal rule for checkmate applying.

The queen can only do so along a diagonal. The queen being the most powerful piece on the chess board is a more modern innovation, as mentioned here.


Rooks and knights both move as their modern counterparts do. There is no castling in Byzantine Chess.


Bishops move two squares along a diagonal, however, in another variant of the traditional game they jump the first square to land on the second.


A player is beaten either through checkmate or by being reduced to having only their king remaining - a bare king. The only exception to this is if their bare king will take their opponent's only other remaining piece in the next move in which case the result is a stalemate. Stalemates are counted as a victory for the player who caused it.


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