chess variant needs more play testing. It may evolve
Even bigger ! This is a chess variant with
24 different pieces on a 14 x 14 board: such a board was used by
some Maharajas in ancient India. There are 196 squares and 48
pieces per side which gives almost the same density than for
In Gigachess one will find again 24 kinds of chessmen encountered
in Shako , Tamerlane
2000, Metamachy. Zanzibar
and Teramachy, completed with the
The first Gigachess has been designed in 2001 and found a certain
- It has been included in the second version of Jocly, which is
now no more supported, but it remains possible to play it on
this link (Thanks to Ed Trice).
- It got a page in the chessvariants.com
website where a preset has been written which allows on-line
games between players.
- In 2013, the rule for promotion of short-range pieces had been
If you come here for this 2001/2013 version, you will find it at
the bottom of this page.
In 2020, Gigachess has evolved to Gigachess II in order to be
consistent with my other chess variants. Several changes have been
made. The Corporal and the Ship are no more used. On the opposite
other pieces which are found in my smaller large chess have been
added. The full line-up has been re-optimized.
The board is a 14 x 14 checkered squares with a white one at the
right end of each player.
There are 48 pieces per side.
The pieces are:
- 1 Amazon, 1 Centaur, 2 Crocodiles, 1 Rhinoceros, 1 Buffalo, 2
Squirrels, 2 Giraffes, 2 Camels and 2 Cannons on 1st row,
- 1 King, 1 Queen, 1 Missionary, 1 Admiral, 2 Machines, 2
Bishops, 2 Knights, 2 Rooks and 2 Elephants on 2nd row,
- 1 Marshal, 1 Cardinal, 1 Lion, 1 Eagle and 2 Princes on 3nd
- 14 Pawns on 3rd and 4th rows.
The white King is placed on the center of the second row on a
black square, the black King being on a white square. The Queen is
also placed on the center, beside the King.
Moves And Captures
In Gigachess, Pawns and also Princes, Centaurs, Squirrels,
Elephants, Machines, Knights, Camels, Giraffes are promoted when
they get to the opposite side of the board (on their last row).
This applies to the Pawn and to 16 other pieces!
- Knight: he moves exactly as in usual
Chess and is promoted to a Buffalo on the last row.
- Rook:it moves exactly as in usual
Chess, except there is no castling at Gigachess.
- Pawn:it moves as in Metamachy,
not as is usual Chess. It can move straight forward one or two
square from any position on the board, without capturing. It
captures one square diagonally forward. When it reaches the
last row it promotes to a Queen, and nothing else.
- Prince: as in Metamachy.
He moves and captures one square in any direction like a King,
but without being hindered by check. Like the Pawn, he can also
move without capturing to the second square straight ahead from
any position on the board. When he reaches the last row it
promotes to an Amazon, and nothing else.
- Elephant: as in Shako
and Metamachy. It moves one or two
squares diagonally. When an Elephant moves two squares, no
matter what intermediate squares contain. Note that it always
stays on the same color of square. When it reaches the last
row it promotes to a Lion.
- Camel: as in Metamachy.
It jumps to the opposite square of a 2x4 rectangle, like an
extended Knight. No matter what intermediate squares contain. It
is also described as a (3,1) leaper. Note that it always stays
on the same color of square. When it reaches the last row it
promotes to a Buffalo.
- Giraffe:as in Zanzibar.
It jumps to the opposite square of a 3x4 rectangle, like an
extended Knight. No matter what intermediate squares contain. It
is also described as a (3,2) leaper. Note that it always changes
the same color of its square. Under the name of Zebra, it is
also a fairy piece used by problemists for compositions. When
it reaches the last row it promotes to a Buffalo.
- Machine: as in Zanzibar.
It as it moves one or two squares on the rows or the columns.
When an Elephant moves two squares, no matter what intermediate
squares contain. When it reaches the last row it promotes to
- Cannon:exactly as in in Xiangqi.
Also in Shako and Metamachy.
It moves without taking like a Rook, but it takes by going in a
straight horizontal and vertical line and jumping over exactly
one piece. When a Cannon takes a piece, there must be exactly
one piece between the original and final square of the Cannon's
move - this piece may be of either color.
- Lion: exactly as in Metamachy.
It moves as a King (a single step move in any direction), or may
jump to a position two squares away, jumping in any orthogonal
or diagonal direction, or jumping as a Knight.
- Eagle: exactly as in Metamachy.
It moves one square diagonally and then, slides away of an
indefinite number of squares vertically or horizontally. It is
authorized to go only one square diagonal. It can not jump and
the unobstructed path must start with the diagonal movement.
- Rhinoceros:as in Zanzibar.
It moves one square vertically or horizontally and then, slides
away of an indefinite number of squares diagonally. It is
authorized to go only one square in line or column. It can not
jump and the unobstructed path must start with the orthogonal
movement. It is a counterpart of the Eagle.
- Buffalo: as in Zanzibar.
It combines the leaps of the Knight (2,1 leaper), the Camel (3,1
leaper) and the Giraffe (3,2 leaper).
- Crocodile: as in Zanzibar.
It is the diagonal counterpart of the Chinese Cannon. It moves
like a Bishop and needs an intermediate piece between itself and
its victim to capture it. The Crocodile jumps the intermediate
and takes the victim on its square. The intermediate is left
unaffected. Also known as Vao by problemists.
- Marshal:it combines the move of Rook and
- Cardinal: it combines the move of Bishop and
- Amazon: it combines the move of Queen and
Knight. An old idea, used by Russians instead of the Queen in
the 18th century.
- Centaur: it is another compound piece that
moves as a Knight or a non-royal King. Being a short-range
piece, it promotes to a Lion when it reaches the last row.
- Admiral: it is another compound piece that
moves as a Rook or a non-royal King. That means that it is a
Rook that can also step one space diagonally. It corresponds to
the Dragon King that is found in Shogi.
- Missionary: it is another compound piece that
moves as a Bishop or a non-royal King. That means that it is a
Bishop that can also step one space orthogonally. It corresponds
to the Dragon Horse that is found in Shogi.
- Squirrel: also a compound piece that jumps as a
Knight or jumps at 2 squares, diagonally (a move called Alfil)
or orthogonally (a move called Dabbaba). It promotes
to a Lion when it reaches the last row. (The Squirrel
has been introduced instead of the Troll in May 2021)
Promotions: summary table
A piece obtains a promotion when reaching the farthest row.
Promotion is compulsory and cannot be refused.
Castling: there is no
castling in Gigachess.
End Of Game:
Victory is obtained when the opposite
King is checkmated. All other types of endgame (pat, perpetual
check,...) are classic.
Gigachess-I (now obsolete)
Some of the pieces that were used for Gigachess-I have been given
a new name in Gigachess-II in order to cope with a consistent
system along with the other chessvariants of this author.
- originally the Eagle was called a Gryphon. This piece's move
remains the same.
- originally the Crocodile was called a Bow or a Crosbow. This
piece's move remains the same.
In addition, Gigachess-I had two pieces that have been withdrawn
- Corporal: an extended Pawn. He can advance
one or two square from any position on the board and its
capturing move is one square diagonally forward. The improvement
is that the Corporal can also advance 1 step diagonally forward.
(So, with or without capturing). The Corporal can take
en-passant every time an opposite Pawn or Corporal or Prince has
advanced two squares. Promotes to Queen on last row.
- Ship: originally invented for Tamerlane
2000, it moves one square diagonally and then, goes away
of an indefinite number of squares vertically, never
horizontally. It can move one square diagonally only. It can not
jump and must begin its move with the diagonal step. The Ship is
more limited than the Eagle (which can move horizontally). When
the Ship reaches the last row it promotes to an Eagle.
Another piece tested then abandoned
on Gigachess-II was the Troll:
- Troll: jumps 3 steps orthogonally or
diagonally. No matter what intermediate squares contain. In
addition, it moves and captures like a Pawn. This permits the
Troll to reach any square on the board. No e.p. It promotes to
a Queen if it reaches the back row of the opponent with a
"Pawn" move, i.e. not by jumping. It does not promote by
reaching the opponent's back row with a jump.
Find Gigachess in the Chess
There is a preset
to play it there.
Zillions gives these average values, normalized to 5 for the Rook
Pawn: 0.6, Camel: 2, Elephant: 2.2, Knight: 2.2,
Machine: 2.5, Prince: 2.6, Crocodile: 3.3, Bishop: 3.4,
Squirrel: 4.3, Centaur:4.6, Missionary:4.6, Cannon: 4.9, Rook:
5, Cardinal: 5.5, Buffalo: 6, Rhinoceros: 6.1, Admiral; 6.1,
Lion: 6.7, Marshal: 7.1, Eagle: 8.1, Queen: 8.3, Amazon: 10.4
These values are just given for a very rough
estimate. A lot of players would disagree and give less or more
points to several piece. Never mind, make your own scale.
"Giga" c'est vraiment très grand. D'accord, on n'utilise pas ici
un milliard de pièces ni même un milliard de cases, mais ce jeu
d'échecs est quand même géant. L'échiquier présente 14 x 14 cases
et il y a 48 pièces par joueur.
Il y a 24 types de pièces différents: les 6 classiques et 18
nouvelles choisies parmi les meilleures des meilleures variantes
échiquéennes comme la redoutable Amazone.
Il n'y a pas que les puissants qui comptent et à côté du modeste
Pion classique on trouve aussi des pièces à portée limitée qui
peuvent prétendre à une promotion. Toutes ces nouvelles pièces
sont faciles à se remémorer et ne posent aucun problème au joueur
classique qui voudra s'amuser.
La densité (nombre de pièces / nombre de cases) est de
pratiquement 1/2 comme pour les échecs orthodoxes.