
A
new video on Zanzibar board and pieces
Presentation
These two chess variants were elaborated during the design phase of
Zanzibar  Maasai Chess. They have
been published on the chessvariants.com pages (CVP) and some players
enjoy playing them. They are both simpler that the final
ZanzibarMaasai Chess and they represent an intermediate stage
between the later and Metamachy.
Two Zanzibar games are proposed. ZanzibarXL
is the is full version. ZanzibarS
is the smallest version and is detailed on the bottom of this
webpage.
ZanzibarXL is a
real challenge. There are 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.
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.
 Queen: slides to any square along the
file, the rank or a diagonal on which it stands.
 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).
 Rook: moves to any square along the file or the
rank on which it stands.
 Bishop: slides to any square along a diagonal on
which it stands. Note that it always stays on the same color of
square.
 Knight: jumps to the opposite square of
a 2x3 rectangle. No matter what the intermediate square
contains. Note that it always change the color of square at
every move.
 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.
 Pawn: can move straight forward one or
two square from any position on the board, without
capturing. It captures one square diagonally forward.
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.
 Sorceress: it moves like a Queen and
needs an intermediate piece between itself and its victim to
capture it. The Sorceress jumps the intermediate and takes the
victim on its square. The intermediate is left unaffected. Like
the Queen is Bishop + Rook, the Sorceress is Cannon + Crocodile.
 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 now called Manticore
on the chessvariants 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
For those who are frightened by the complexity of
Zanzibar in its XL version, there is 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
Find ZanzibarXL
and ZanzibarS
in the Chessvariants pages
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
