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Great Shatranj
Great Shatranj
by (Web published) (2006)
Player Count

Player Ages

Playing Time
1 hour
  • Abstract Strategy
  • Designers
  • Joe Joyce
  • Family
  • Player Count: Two Player Only Games
  • Components: 8 x 10 Grids
  • Rating: 0/10 from 0 users


    As chess evolved from shatranj in the West, pieces gained power by becoming long-range sliders, producing an abstract game where most pieces can cross an open board in a single turn. Eastern variants stay closer to the beginnings of the game, which featured a number of short-range sliders and leapers, but the power pieces still seem to be long-range. What if long-range pieces did not come to be so dominant? Suppose the short-range pieces of chess' infancy became more powerful by gaining additional short-range moves? Great Shatranj examines some potentials of these pieces, offering 5 different pieces that slide 1 square or jump 2 squares. Each player has up to 8 leapers on the board, giving the game a noticeably different flavor.

    The game is played on an 8x10 board and is played with standard chess rules, except as modified by the specific piece movement rules. Great Shatranj is a short-range Capablanca [actually Carrera] Chess variant. Kings, knights and pawns are the usual pieces, but bishops, rooks and all the pieces that use them as components have been replaced by analogs that step 1 square or leap 2 squares, only, in the bishop or rook directions. This is the second game in a series of shatranj variants offering an alternate history for chess. It may be played with a standard 8x10 Capablanca Chess set.

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