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'your soldiers never go AWOL'

'your soldiers never go AWOL'

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Start Positions

Games and Rules


are descendants of the 1500 year old East Indian game CHATURANGA CHESS.

You can play both WESTERN CHESS and GREAT CHESS on a Chess2100 set.


Common Chess

WESTERN  CHESS has been around for about 500 years and is the most common version of chess in the 'western' world.


Interestingly, the Japanese game SHOGI CHESS is the most complex of all the major chess games and XIANGQI CHESS from China is 2000 years old and is played by more people than any other form of chess, dwarfing WESTERN CHESS in popularity.


WESTERN CHESS differs from most other versions of chess,

due to it's removal, centuries ago, of a number of traditional 'leapers'. The result was, that although Western Chess became a great game, it could have become an even greater game.


Something Old - Something New

GREAT CHESS is the 'new-old' Chess for the 21st century, With the re-introduction of two historical 'leapers' and some move changes, GREAT CHESS is a fast, action packed game, with a myriad of new tactical possibilities.


Built on the foundations of arguably the most important historic chess game of them all - 800 year old TAMERLANE CHESS - and retaining the familiarity of WESTERN CHESS - Great Chess also draws inspiration from game concepts found in Courier Chess, Capablanca Chess, Turkish Great Chess, Grand Chess and Omega Chess.

Playing Pieces and Moves
Click on each combatants head to see how it moves.
King Head.jpg
Queen Head.jpg
Tower Head.jpg
Bishop Head.jpg
Soldier Head.jpg
Knight Head.jpg
Wolf Head.jpg
Hawk Head.jpg

  KING                      QUEEN                     TOWER                    BISHOP                   SOLDIER                   KNIGHT                     WOLF                       HAWK

The Objective of the Game

Victory is yours if you capture the opposing King (checkmate) or destroy his army.


When a King is directly threatened by an opponent's piece, the King is in check. The player in check must respond in one of three ways. He must either;

  1. Capture the threatening piece,

  2. Block the path of the threatening piece or,

  3. Move the King to an un-threatened square.


Checkmate occurs when a player's King is in check and the player has no way to get out of check on the next move. This ends the game with the capturing player as the clear winner.


Destroy the enemies army. If a player captures every enemy combatant except for the King, then that player is the winner. Great Chess. If a Wolf and/or Hawk is still on its corner citadel, it is not counted as a combatant.


A game of Chess can also end in a draw in which there is no clear winner. A draw may occur one of five ways:

  1. Stalemate: A stalemate occurs if a player who is not in check cannot move any piece, including the King, without placing their King in check.

  2. Insufficient Mating Material: When neither player has the pieces needed to checkmate the other player. eg. Bishop and King vs. King.

  3. Threefold Repetition of Position: The game is drawn if the same position (with the same person on move) has appeared on the Chessboard three times.

  4. 50 Moves Rule: If there have been 50 consecutive moves of White and Black without any piece capture.

  5. Draw: If both players feel that nether side can win, they may agree to a draw.



If a player feels that their position is hopeless, the player may end the game by conceding to the other player.

How The Pieces Move and Capture

Before the start of the game, the players must decide which colour pieces they will play.

In Western Chess the lighter colour makes the first move.

In Great Chess either colour can start first, to be decided on the toss of a coin or other method.


Position the board so that a light corner square is on the right hand side of each player.

The starting positions are as illustrated above.

If you are playing Great Chess, the the Wolf and Hawk are non-combatants and can be considered statues.


Moving is compulsory; it is illegal to skip a turn, even when having to move is detrimental. A player may not make any move that would put or leave the player's own king in check. If the player to move has no legal move, the game is over; the result is either checkmate (a loss for the player with no legal move) if the king is in check, or stalemate (a draw) if the king is not in check.

All Chess pieces (including the two new Great Chess pieces) capture an opponent's piece by landing on the square occupied by the opponent's piece, except the Soldier (Pawn) in En Passant (in-passing).

Sliders - The King, Queen, Towers, Bishops and Soldiers are sliders. They move along an unobstructed path diagonally and/or orthogonally.

Leapers - The Knights and the new Great Chess Wolf and Hawk are leapers. They don’t require an unobstructed path to move along, as they can jump over other pieces.

The moves of each playing piece are illustrated by clicking on the heads of the playing pieces above.

Western Chess


Castling is a strategic action in Western Chess where the King moves towards a Towers location and that Tower moves to cover the King. This move involves the King and either of the Towers.

A player can castle provided that:
1.The King is not in check.
2.The King and the castling Tower have not been moved during the game.
3.All the squares between the King and the castling Tower are unoccupied.

4.The King would not be moving through or landing on a square under threat.

When castling, the King either moves two squares towards the King's Tower, or the King move two squares towards the Queen's Tower. The King's Tower or Queen's Tower then moves to the square on the other side of the King.


Any Soldier (Pawn) that reaches the last row, can be promoted to any power piece (normally the Queen).

En Passant

If a pawn takes a double step from its starting position and lands directly beside an opposing pawn, then on the next move only, the opposing pawn may take the first pawn by moving diagonally behind it as though it had only advanced a single square. This unusual form of capture is known as the en-passant rule (taking 'on the way past')

En Passant

Great Chess

GREAT CHESS is played on an 8 x 8 square board with the addition of 4 corner Citadels.

Starting positions are as in Western Chess with the two new leapers in each army placed in the Citadels.

In Great Chess the King, Queen, Tower, Bishop and Knight move and capture in the same way as in Western Chess.

With these pieces almost nothing about Western Chess has changed in Great Chess.

The Soldier however has a new move and two new leapers have joined the fight.

The moves of each playing piece are illustrated by clicking on the heads of the playing pieces above.

New Fighters

Great Chess incorporates all the traditional Western Chess pieces and moves, but also includes the addition of the new "Wolf" and "Hawk". These new fighters are leapers - like the Knights - and were created to balance the number of jumping pieces (leapers) with sliding pieces.


The Wolf and Hawk start from the Citadels - the corner post circles. The Citadels are NOT playing squares. No playing piece can occupy a Citadel, except for the Wolf and Hawk prior to their first move. The Wolf and Hawk are not classified as combatants until they exit the Citadel and enter the battle. They cannot be threatened or captured whilst residing in a Citadel.​


The Wolves (or Berserker's), are the army's 'shock and awe' warriors. Their ability to move in a similar way to a regular Knight, but in a more powerful way, make them devastatingly capable in close combat.


Hawks are warmongers and assassins and are a vital part of any battle. Their ability to leap over other combatants in any direction will take the enemy by surprise.


The Great Chess Soldiers (Pawns) also gain new powers. The Soldier moves and captures in the same way as the Pawn does in Western Chess. However the Western Chess pawn denies the player the ability to fall back or retreat. Soldiers in a real battle can fall back and re-group to shore up their position. Great Chess Soldiers can move directly backwards to one empty square per move. They cannot capture on this move.

The Great Chess Soldiers can also move one or two squares forward on their first move, as in Western Chess.


Any Soldier that reaches the last row, can be promoted to any power piece that has already been captured by the enemy.



In the heat of a real world battle, a stronger or more capable combatant will step into one of their own Soldiers battles to save them or press home an otherwise unsuccessful attack. Western Chess denies the player this capability.


In Great Chess the Queen, Tower, Bishop, Knight, Wolf and Hawk have the power to move (any number of times) in their normal way into one of their own Soldiers (Pawns) positions and permanently retire that Soldier from the battlefield.


This strategic action can be executed at any time. For example this move might be used to strategically re-positioning a power piece, or bring a power piece into a confrontation initiated by the less powerful Soldier who was unable to take full advantage of his situation.


This move introduces some realistic, unpredictable and much needed battle mayhem that is missing in Western Chess.

Rapid deployment

Western Chess suffers from constricted deployment of power pieces early in the game.


In a real battle the power combatants would often emerge from behind the rank and file Soldiers and lead the charge. They could also quickly re-deploy behind their army.


The addition of two new leapers lets these power combatants enter the battle immediately, just like the Knights.

Dynamic battles

Western Chess has a slow and frustrating mid-game with deployed Soldiers (pawns) blocking avenues of attack. In a real battle the power combatants would simply move forward through the ranks to press home their attack.


This issue has been rectified in Great Chess with the addition of more leapers - the "Wolf" and the "Hawk", that can jump over the ranks and engage the enemy. The ability for Soldiers to retreat backwards to open up lines of attack and the power pieces ability to retire a Soldier of his own army from the battle and occupy that Soldiers space contributes to this new dynamic.​

KING                          QUEEN                     TOWER                     BISHOP                   HAWK                    WOLF                 KNIGHT             SOLDIER

Chess2100 Army 2022.jpg

Battlefield area 8 x 8 sqs = 64 sqs

Playing squares 75 x 75mm each

Battlefield area 600 x 600mm square


King 127mm high x 35mm diameter

Knight 80mm high x 35mm diameter

Pawn 63mm high x 30mm diameter

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