
A video on Zanzibar board
and pieces
Presentation
These two chess variants were
elaborated during the design phase of Zanzibar  XXL. They
have been published on the chessvariants.com
pages and some players enjoy playing them. They are
both simpler that the final ZanzibarXXL and they
represent an intermediate stage between the later and Metamachy.
Two Zanzibar games are proposed. ZanzibarXL is the is
largest version of both. ZanzibarS
is the smallest version and is detailed on the bottom of
this webpage.
ZanzibarXL
has 80 pieces of 19 different types, 40 for each player: 1
King, 1 Queen, 1 Eagle, 1 Lion, 1 Duchess, 1 Sorceress, 1
Rhinoceros, 1 Buffalo, 2 Princes, 2 Bishops, 2 Knights, 2
Camels, 2 Rooks, 2 Cannons, 2 Elephants, 2 Giraffes, 2
Crocodiles, 2 Machines and 12 Pawns. The Soldiers are not
present here.
There is a choice of 288 different
starting setups. Black chooses the setup and White makes
the first move.
The goal is to checkmate the opposing
King.
Setup rules
At the beginning Pawns, and all pieces
which come as pairs (Elephants, Cannons, Rooks, Camels,
Knights, Giraffes, Bishops, Crocodiles, Princes, Machines)
are placed on the board as follows for each player:

1st row: Cannon / Camel / Giraffe /
Crocodile / . / . / . / . / Crocodile / Giraffe /
Camel / Cannon

2nd row: Elephant / Rook / Knight /
Bishop / . / . / . / . / Bishop / Knight / Rook /
Elephant

3rd row: 4 x Pawn / Prince /
Machine / Machine / Prince / 4 x Pawn

4th row: 4 Pawn on columns e, f, g,
h.
Setup of fixed starting pieces at
ZanzibarXL
Then, Black freely
decides where to place his King, Queen, Eagle and Lion
on squares f11, g11, f12 and g12. After this, Black
decides where to place his Duchess, Sorceress,
Rhinoceros and Buffalo on squares e11, h11, e12 and h12.
Then, White put his
pieces symmetrically in mirror (if Black King is on f12,
White King goes on f1) and makes the first move.
1 of the 288 possible starting
positions for ZanzibarXL
As pieces are
placed in mirror symmetry, positions of Kings on f
squares are exactly equivalent of positions of King on g
squares. Then, it can be demonstrated that it exists 288
different starting positions:

The King can be on f11 or
f12: 2 choices

Then, the Queen has a
choice of 3 positions: beside the King, beneath
the King or diagonal to the King.

Then, the Eagle has a
choice of 2 remaining positions.

Then, the left place in
the center is for the Lion.

Then, the Duchess has a
choice of 4 positions.

Then, the Sorceress has a
choice of 3 remaining positions

Then, the Rhinoceros has
a choice of 2 remaining positions.

Then, the left place is
for the Buffalo.

2x3x2x4x3x2x
= 288
(Pieces were not tainted yet. Also in video here)
ZanzibarXL
Moves
Pieces from Metamachy

King: moves 1 step in
every (8) directions on a not attacked square. The
King is in check if it is attacked by one or several
enemy pieces. It is forbidden to play a move letting
his King in check. There is no castling in
Zanzibar.
At his first move, the King may jump to a free
square at two squares' distance. For instance, from
f2, it can jump to d1, d2, d3, d4, e4, f4, g4, h4, h3,
h2 or h1). It does not matter if the square jumped
over is occupied or not; however, the jump is
forbidden if that intermediate square is threatened by
an enemy piece. When jumping like a Knight, at least
one of the two intermediate squares must be free of
threat (e.g., if jumping from f2 to h3, either g2 or
g3 must not be under attack). The King's jump is not
permitted if the King is in check. This rule, which
was once prevalent in medieval European chess,
replaces castling.

Eagle: 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. This piece is
almost as powerful as the Queen and is inspired by the
Giraffe from Tamerlane's
Chess and the Aanca (a mythical giant bird
praying elephants, mistaken for a gryphon) from
Alfonso X's Grande Acedrex.
This piece is also known as Gryphon in many chess
variants.

Lion: 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.
(Inspired by Chu
Shogi, the most popular variant of the
Japanese Chess, where the Lion has the same range but
is more dreadful as it can move twice in a turn).

Camel: 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. A well known
piece from medieval Muslim great Chess like Tamerlane's Chess.

Cannon: exactly as in
Shako, it is borrowed
from Xiangqi. 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.

Elephant: exactly as
in Shako. 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. The Elephant moves as the combined Alfil
and Firzan (Ferz) from Shatranj,
two pieces which were also present in medieval Chess
and have disappeared with the birth of modern moves
for the Bishop and the Queen.

Prince: a nonroyal
King who moves and captures one square in any
direction, but without being hindered by check. It has
been inspired by medieval games like the Courier chess , an old
chess variant, played in Germany, where it is called
"Man". Like the Pawn, he can also move without
capturing to the second square straight ahead from
any position on the board.
Pieces specific
to Zanzibar (and beyond)

Giraffe: 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.
That piece is found in Alfonso X's Grant Acedrex. The same
pattern, but without jumping, is found in Janggi, Korean Chess, for the
Elephant. Under the name of Zebra, it is also a fairy
piece used by problemists for compositions.

Crocodile:
it is the diagonal counterpart of the Chinese
Cannon. It moves like a Bishop (which was named
Crocodile in Grant Acedrex)
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.

Machine: it is an
orthogonal counterpart of the Elephant as it moves one
or two squares orthogonally, jumping over the first
square if it is occupied. Then, it combines the moves
of old Dabbaba and Wazir found in ancient Muslim Chess
variants. The word Dabbaba designated a siege machine
at war in Arabic, hence the name given for this piece.

Duchess: it moves as
a limited Queen, one, two or three squares in any
straight directions. When moving two or three squares,
it may jump and it does not matter what intermediate
squares contain.

Rhinoceros: 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. This piece is inspired
by the Unicorn of medieval Grant
Acedrex. It is a counterpart of the Eagle. It is
called Manticore on the Chess
Variants Pages.

Buffalo: combines the
leaps of the Knight (2,1 leaper), the Camel (3,1
leaper) and the Giraffe (3,2 leaper).
Other rules
 Pawn and Prince Promotion: A Pawn or a
Prince reaching the last rank of the board is
immediately replaced by an "chief" piece: Queen,
Eagle, Lion, Duchess, Sorceress, Rhinoceros or
Buffalo. Promotion to any other type of piece is not
allowed. It is permitted to promote a Pawn or Prince
to a type of piece already present on the same side;
however; it is considered "good etiquette" to avoid
choosing a piece which is not captured yet, if
possible. Note that a side Pawn must take at least
five moves to reach promotion by taking double steps
(rows 3  5  7  9  11  12), which is the same
number of moves required for a pawn in standard chess
(rows 2  4  5  6  7  8). A central Pawn could
even be promoted in four steps (rows 4  6  8  10
12).
 En Passant capture: Any time a Pawn
or Prince takes a double step and passes through the
capture square of an opposing Pawn, that Pawn may
capture the Pawn or Prince as if it had only moved one
square. This en passant capture must be made
in the immediate move following the double step. Only
a Pawn may capture en passant; the Prince does
not have this option.

End Of Game: The
endofgame rules, checkmate, stalemate, etc., are
identical to standard chess.
ZanzibarS
There is also a moderate version named
ZanzibarS.
Here, there are only (!) 72 pieces of 17
different types, 36 for each player: 1 King, 1 Queen, 1
Eagle, 1 Lion, 1 Rhinoceros, 1 Buffalo, 2 Princes, 2
Bishops, 2 Knights, 2 Camels, 2 Rooks, 2 Cannons, 2
Elephants, 2 Giraffes, 2 Crocodiles, 2 Machines and 10
Pawns.
In ZanzibarS there is no Duchess and
Sorceress
Pawns can only promote to Queen, Eagle,
Lion, Rhinoceros or Buffalo when reaching the opposite
side of the board.
Like for the XL version, Black chooses
the setup and White makes the first move.
ZanzibarS setup
At the beginning Pawns, and all pieces
which come as pairs (Elephants, Cannons, Rooks, Camels,
Knights, Giraffes, Bishops, Crocodiles, Machines and
Princes) are placed on the board as follow for each
player:

1st row: Cannon / Camel / Giraffe /
Crocodile / . / . / . / . / Crocodile / Giraffe /
Camel / Cannon

2nd row: Elephant / Rook / Knight /
Bishop / Machine / . / . / Machine / Bishop / Knight /
Rook / Elephant

3rd row: 4 x Pawn / Prince / Pawn /
Pawn / Prince / 4 x Pawn
Setup of fixed starting pieces at
ZanzibarS
Then, Black freely decides where to place
his King, Queen, Eagle and Lion on squares f1, g1, f2 and
g2.
After this, Black decides where to place
his Rhinoceros and Buffalo on squares e1 and h1.
Then, White put his pieces symmetrically
in mirror (if Black King is on f1, White King goes on f12)
and makes the first move.
As pieces are placed in mirror symmetry,
positions of Kings on f squares are exactly equivalent of
positions of King on g squares. Then, it can be
demonstrated that it exists 24 different starting
positions:

The King can be on f1 or f2: 2 choices

Then, the Queen has a choice of 3 positions:
beside the King, beneath the King or diagonal to
the King.

Then, the Eagle has a choice of 2 remaining
positions.

Then, the left place is for the Lion.

Then, the Rhinoceros has a choice of 2
remaining positions.

Then, the left place is for the Buffalo.

2x3x2x2 = 24.
1 of the 24 possible starting positions
for ZanzibarS
ZanzibarS ready to play
Pieces Value
Zillions gives these average values,
normalized to 5 for the Rook :
Pawn: 1.1 ; Giraffe:2 ; Camel:
2.2 ; Elephant: 2.4 ; Knight: 2.5 ; Machine: 2.8 ;
Crocodile: 3.3 ; Bishop: 3.4 ; Prince: 3.7 ;
Cannon: 4.9 ; Rook: 5 ; Rhinoceros: 6 ; Buffalo:
6.7 ; Duchess: 7.4 ; Lion: 7.6 ; Eagle: 7.8 ;
Sorceress: 8 ; Queen: 8.2
A maybe more realistic estimate would be:
Pawn: 1 ; Giraffe: 2 ; Camel: 2 ;
Elephant: 2.5 ; Knight: 2.5 ; Machine: 3 ;
Crocodile: 3 ; Prince: 3.5; Bishop: 3.5
; Cannon: 4 ; Rook: 5 ; Rhinoceros: 6 ;
Sorceress: 6.5 ; Buffalo: 7 ; Duchess: 7.5 ;
Lion: 7.5 ; Eagle: 8 ; Queen: 9
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 and be the Sultan of Zanzibar.
You can play ZanzibarXL and S if you
own ZillionsofGames.
Download this zipfile: cazauxchess.zip
There are presets to play
ZanzibarXL and ZanzibarS there.
Un
tablier de 12 x 12 cases.
Un
total de 72 à 80 pièces, de 16 à 19 types
différents :
Rois,
Dames, Fous, Cavaliers, Tours, Pions mais
aussi Aigles,
Lions, Chameaux, Éléphants, Princes, Canons,
Cardinaux, Maréchaux, mais encore Girafes,
Crocodiles, Machines, Buffles et Rhinoceros.
288
manières différentes de les disposer au
départ !

Diagrams made with the
fantastic Chess Board Painting Tools provided by Musketeer Chess
