Toulousain Chess

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Notice: this variant is now surpassed by METAMACHY


This game is a chess variant on a red and black 12 x 12 board with 12 types of different pieces. Considering that orthochess is a very well balanced game, this is an (other) attempt to construct a similarly balanced game but on a large sized board.

  • With a total of 2x36 pieces, the piece density is 0.5 as for usual Chess.
  • There are as many types of riders (Queen, Rook, Bishop, Gryphon) as leapers (Knight, Camel, Elephant, Lion).

Toulousain Chess is a variant of Perfect 12, introducing a new piece, a kind of super-Pawn: the Corporal.

The Corporal is nothing more than a slightly augmented Pawn. But, that makes a big difference. Like a Pawn, it moves but cannot capture forward and gets a promotion on reaching the last row. Its difference is that it can move diagonally forward, advancing or capturing.

This game is dedicated to Toulouse, the city of South-West of France, capital of aeronautics and new technologies, where I live for 25 years now. Toulouse is also the capital of rugby of France (and four-times winner of European Championship!). The Toulouse squad plays in red-and-black which has inspired the color of the board here. Toulousain Chess is quite a furious scrum as well!

Toulousain Chess has an entry in D.B.Pritchard's "The Classified Encyclopedia of Chess Variants" (2007).


The white King is placed on the center of the second row on a black square, the black King beeing on a white (or red) square. The Queen is placed beside of the King in the center. The Gryphon is at King's side and the Lion is at Queen's side.

There are:

  • 3 Supreme pieces, 1 of each : Queen, Gryphon, Lion with about the same value
  • 6 Major pieces, 2 of each :
    • Rook and Cannon are orthogonal
    • Bishop and Elephant are diagonal
    • Knight and Camel are hippogonal (the word is from David Parlett!)
  • 2 Minor pieces : 12 Pawns (augmented to take into account the large size of the board) and 8 Corporals.  

Moves , Captures and other Rules

  • All pieces moving like in Perfect 12. The new piece is:
  • Corporal: the Corporal is an improved Pawn:
    It 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 has advanced two squares.
    When the Corporal reaches the last row it promotes to one of the three major pieces: Queen, Lion or Gryphon.

Castling: like in Perfect 12.

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: 0.8, Corporal: 1.2, Camel: 2.1, Elephant: 2.3,
Knight: 2.4, Bishop: 3.4, Cannon: 4.9, Rook: 5,
Lion: 7.4, Gryphon: 7.9, Queen: 8.2 .

Find the rules in the Chess Variant Pages

On emploie un échiquier rouge et noir de 12 x 12 cases avec 36 pièces par joueur.

Considérant que les Échecs orthodoxes approchent de la perfection, cette variante est une tentative (supplémentaire) pour retrouver cet équilibre sur un grand échiquier (comme dirait Jacques Chancel).

Il y a 12 types de pièces différents: les 6 classiques et 6 nouvelles choisies parmi les meilleures des variantes asiatiques et historiques.
Il y a autant de "coureurs" que de "sauteurs".
La densité (nombre de pièce / nombre de cases) est de 1/2 exactement comme aux Echecs orthodoxes.

Le Caporal n'est qu'un Pion augmenté, et cela fait une grande différence.

Ce jeu est dédié à Toulouse, la fière cité du Sud-Ouest de la France, capitale de l'aéronautique et des nouvelles technologies, où je réside depuis 1981. Toulouse est aussi la capitale française (et européenne !) du rugby. Le Stade Toulousain joue en rouge et noir, ce que rappelle les couleurs du plateau retenu pour ce jeu. Les Échecs Toulousains sont aussi une sacrée mêlée !

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

You can play Toulousain Chess if you own Z-o-G. Download this zip-file: (in the Perfect12  zrf file)

Toulousain Chess is presented in D.B.Pritchard's "The Classified Encyclopedia of Chess Variants"(2007)

Toulouse welcomes Stade Toulousain, her rugby team, after a winning a new championship