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Even bigger ! This is a chess variant with 20 different pieces on a 14 x 14 board: such a board was used by some Maharajahs in old India. There are 196 cases and 48 pieces per side which gives almost the same density than for Orthodox Chess.

In Gigachess one will find again all 13 kinds of pieces encountered in Shako , Tamerlane 2000, Metamachy. Newcomers are the Corporal (a super-Pawn), the Machine (orthogonal dual of the Elephant), the Bow (diagonal dual of the Cannon), the Amazon (Queen+Knight), the Marshall (Rook+Knight) and the Cardinal (Bishop+Knight) so often used in chess variants, and the Buffalo, a terrific leaper combining the powers of Knight, Camel and more.


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:

  • 2 Bows, 2 Cannons, 2 Camels, 2 Ships, 1 Buffalo, 1 Lion, 1 Eagle, 1 Amazon, 1 Marshall, 1 Cardinal on 1st row,
  • 1 King, 1 Queen, 2 Princes, 2 Bishops, 2 Knights, 2 Rooks, 2 Elephants, 2 Machines on 2nd row,
  • 6 Corporals on 3rd row and 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. The Amazon is just behind the King. On the 1st row there is the "animal side" with Eagle, Lion, Buffalo from inside to outside, and the "knighted side" with Amazon, Marshall and Cardinal in this order. On 3rd row, Corporals occupy the six central columns. 

All short-range pieces (and the Ship as well) promote.

Moves And Captures

King: exactly as in usual Chess.

Queen: exactly as in usual Chess.

Bishop: exactly as in usual Chess.

Knight: moves as in usual Chess. In addition, when a Knight reaches the last row it promotes to a Buffalo.

Rook: exactly as in usual Chess.

Pawn: the Pawn is almost similar to usual Chess. There is a difference: it can advance one or two square from ANY position on the board. However, its capturing move is unchanged: one square diagonally forward. As a consequence, the en-passant capture is possible every time the opposite Pawn or Corporal or Prince has advanced two squares. When the Pawn reaches the last row it promotes to a Queen.

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.

Prince: this piece is simply a non-royal King combined with a Pawn. It can be found in Metamachy and has been inspired by medieval games like the Courier chess , an old chess variant, played in Germany, where it is called "Man". It moves one square in an arbitrary direction, like the King, but without being hindered by check. Here, like the Pawn, he can move without capturing to the second square straight ahead. When the Prince reaches the last row it promotes to an Amazon.

Elephant: as in Shako. In this game, when the Elephant reaches the last row it promotes to a Lion.

Machine: it is an orthogonal counterpart of the Elephant as it moves 1 or 2 cases orthogonally, jumping over the first case if it is occupied. Then, it combines the moves of old Dabbaba and Wazir found in ancient Muslim Chess variants. In this game, when the Machine reaches the last row it promotes to a Lion.

Camel: as in Metamachy, a well known piece from medieval Muslim great Chess like Tamerlane's Chess. It jumps to the opposite case of a 2x4 rectangle, like an extended Knight. No matter what intermediate cases contain. Note that it always stays on the same color of square. When a Camel reaches the last row it promotes to a Buffalo.

Buffalo: combines the leaps of the Knight (3x2), the Camel (4x2) and the Bull (see Terachess) (4x3).

Lion: as in Metamachy, inspired (although with some simplification) by Chu Shogi, the most popular variant of the Japanese Chess. Here the Lion may move as a King (a single step move in any direction), or it may jump to a position two squares away, jumping in any orthogonal or diagonal direction, or alternatively jumping as a Knight in usual Chess. (Then this Lion has the same range but is more restricted than the Lion in Chu Shogi which can move two times in a turn).


Eagle: as in Metamachy, moves one square diagonally and then, goes away of an indefinite number of cases 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. This piece is almost as powerful as the Queen and is inspired by the Giraffe from Tamerlane's Chess and the Aanca from Alfonso X's Grande Acedrex.


Ship: originally invented for Tamerlane 2000, it moves one square diagonally and then, goes away of an indefinite number of cases 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). Nevertheless its move power is comparable to the Rook and the Bishop. When the Ship reaches the last row it promotes to an Eagle.

Cannon: as in Xiangqi, in Shako and in Metamachy. (Also known as Pao by problemists).

Bow: 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 Bow jumps the intermediate and takes the victim on its square. The intermediate is left unaffected. (Also known as Vao by problemists).

Marshall: it combines the move of Rook and Knight. It can be found in many, many chess variants since Carrera, Bird, Capablanca and many others like Grand Chess or Gothic Chess. (under many other names: Champion, Guard, Empress, Concubine, Chancellor, etc. The later is sometimes preferred, however it is confusing since Capablanca used it once for R+N and once for B+N. It is an Elephant in Seirawan Chess).

Cardinal: it combines the move of Bishop and Knight. It can be found in many, many chess variants since Carrera, Bird, Capablanca, Modern and many others like Grand Chess or Gothic Chess. (under many other names: Centaur, Minister, Equerry, Janus, Archbishop, Princess, Chancellor, etc. It is a Hawk in Seirawan Chess).

Amazon: strongest piece on the board, it combines the move of Queen and Knight. It was used in the Turkish-Indian Grand Chess (as a Giraffe).

Promotions: summary table

A piece obtains a promotion when reaching the farthest row. Promotion is compulsory and cannot be refused.



promotion to


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.

Pieces Value

Zillions gives these average values, normalized to 5 for the Rook :

Pawn: 0.6, Corporal: 0.9, Camel: 2, Elephant: 2.2, Knight: 2.2, Machine: 2.4
Prince: 2.5, Bow: 3.3, Bishop: 3.4, Ship: 4.5, Cannon: 4.9, Rook: 5
Cardinal: 5.5, Buffalo: 5.9, Lion: 6.7, Marshall: 7.1, Eagle: 8.1, Queen: 8.3
Amazon: 10.4

Find the rules in the Chess Variant Pages

"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 20 types de pièces différents: les 6 classiques et 14 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 un Caporal, qui représente une intéressante nouveauté. 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 pièce / nombre de cases) est de pratiquement 1/2 comme pour les échecs orthodoxes.

Vous pouvez jouer aux Giga-échecs si vous possédez Zillions-of-Games en téléchargeant le fichier suivant:

You can play Gigachess if you own Z-o-G. Download this zip-file: (updated file with promotions)

The Amazon


(modifié le 16/06/2017)