Re: Chess variants 14th/15th century

I searched for a Queen in Eastern chess variants cause ...


Tamerlane chess has 2 "queens" with different movement
general or counsellor (ferz) – Moves one square diagonally
vizier or governor (wazir) – Moves one square horizontally or vertically

Japanese Shogi has 2 golden generals (1-step-moves in 6 directions, cannot go diagonal backwards) and 2 silver generals (1-step-moves in 5 directions, 4 diagonal moves and forwards)

Chinese Chess (Xiangqi)
The King is understood as a general, the 2 "Queens" are considered to be guards.

Chaturanga (India)
Mantri (minister or counsellor); also known as Senapati (general): moves one step diagonally in any direction, like the fers in shatranj.

Shatranj (Persia)
"Ferz ("counselor"; also spelled fers; Arabic firz, from Persian فرزين farzīn) moves exactly one square diagonally, which makes it a rather weak piece. It was renamed "queen" in Europe. Even today, the word for the queen piece is ферзь (ferz`) in Russian, vezér in Hungarian, vezir in Turkish, vazīr in Persian and wazīr in Arabic. It has analogue to the guards in xiangqi."

Shatar (Mongolian chess)
"The piece which corresponds to our chess king – Noyon – is usually depicted by a prince seated on a throne. But the queen – Bers, meaning “snow panther” – may be depicted as a mythical lion, a tiger, a snow panther or a bull."


.... no success so far

Re: Chess variants 14th/15th century

Have you come across a rule promoting the pawn to a powerful piece when reaching the deepest rank of the opponent?

Well, in Xiangqi the Soldier can move sideways, so a special rule for this accomplishment -

"Soldiers cannot move backward, and therefore cannot retreat; after advancing to the last rank of the board, however, a soldier may still move sideways at the enemy's edge."

Re: Chess variants 14th/15th century

Ross Caldwell wrote: 16 May 2022, 14:07 Have you come across a rule promoting the pawn to a powerful piece when reaching the deepest rank of the opponent?
I think, that it is a relative common rule.
Definitely Tamerlane chess has a very interesting rule with this function.
Upon reaching the last rank on the board, a pawn is promoted to its corresponding piece. Thus, the pawn of giraffes becomes a giraffe, etc. Exceptions to this are the pawn of kings and pawn of pawns.

A pawn of kings becomes a prince. It moves as a king. If both a prince and a king exist simultaneously on the board, one of the two must be captured [like a regular piece] before the other can be checked/checkmated or stalemated to win the game.[a]

When the pawn of pawns reaches the last rank, it stays there and cannot be taken. As soon as a situation develops where the opponent cannot escape losing a piece to a pawn, or where a pawn may attack two opposing units simultaneously (forked), the player must move his/her pawn to that location. It moves to this location even if the square is occupied, either by an allied or opposing piece. The piece occupying the square is removed from the board. On the pawn's next move, it may capture any piece it is attacking. It then continues forward on the board as a pawn. Upon the second promotion of this pawn, it moves to the starting point of the pawn of king. Upon the third promotion it becomes an adventitious king, which has the moves of the king, with one special exception as described in the next section. If an adventitious king exists on the board simultaneously with a prince and/or a king, they must be captured like a regular piece until only one remains, which must then be checkmated or stalemated to win.[7]
That's rather complex and complicated, especially the rule of the pawn of pawns. Shogi has also a rather complex promotion. Chinese chess promotion is relative simple. The European promotion seems to be the most simple form.

For Chinese Chess the promotion line is "behind the river", it is not the last line.
Similar it is in Shogi, the last 3 lines can cause the promotion. But not only pawns can promote.
A player's promotion zone consists of the furthest one-third of the board – the three ranks occupied by the opponent's pieces at setup. The zone is typically delineated on shogi boards by two inscribed dots. When a piece is moved, if part of the piece's path lies within the promotion zone (that is, if the piece moves into, out of, or wholly within the zone; but not if it is dropped into the zone – see Drops), then the player has the option to promote the piece at the end of the turn. Promotion is indicated by turning the piece over after it moves, revealing the character of the promoted piece.

If a pawn or lance is moved to the furthest rank, or a knight is moved to either of the two furthest ranks, that piece must promote (otherwise, it would have no legal move on subsequent turns). A silver general is never required to promote, and it is often advantageous to keep a silver general unpromoted. (It is easier, for example, to extract an unpromoted silver from behind enemy lines; whereas a promoted silver, with only one line of retreat, can be easily blocked.) A rook, bishop, or pawn is almost always promoted, unless there is a problem due to "mate with a dropped pawn".

Promoting a piece changes the way it moves. The various pieces promote as follows:

A silver general, knight, lance, or pawn has its normal power of movement replaced by that of a gold general.
A rook or bishop keeps its original movement and gains the power to move one square in any direction (like a king). For a promoted bishop, this means it is able to reach any square on the board, given enough moves.
A king or a gold general does not promote; nor can a piece that is already promoted.
When captured, a piece loses its promoted status. Otherwise promotion is permanent.
Shogi is rather complicated in this question.


I imagine, that Cessolis, who invented the individuality of the pawn (8 professions), had information about Tamerlane Chess. Cessolis lived in Genova, and the city had trade contacts to the Black Sea.
Marco Polo had been prisoner in Genoa in 1298/99.
Jacobus of Cessolis probably came from Lombardy, the details of his life are not exactly known. From 1317 to 1322 he is mentioned as a member of the Dominican convent of Genoa in connection with the Inquisition in Genoa. Likely Cessolis had also knowledge of this text and other material from the East.

Chess variants .... Christoph Weickhmanns Königsspiel

New-erfundenes grosses Königs-Spiel, welches sich zwar mit dem ... Schach-Spiel in etwas vergleichet, jedoch aber ... auch selbst dritt, Vierdt, Sechst und selbst Acht ... kan gespielet werden (etc.)
by Christoph Weickhmann
Kühne, 1664 ... navlinks_s

A World of Chess: Its Development and Variations through Centuries and Civilizations
by Jean-Louis Cazaux, Rick Knowlton
McFarland, 03.10.2017 - 408 pages ... ch&f=false

Franco Pratesi: Il grande gioco reale di Weickhmann (1992)

Handbuch des Schachspiels - Seite 706
Paul Rudolph von Bilguer, ‎Emil Schallopp · 1891 ... ch&f=false

Schachgeschichte ... l-1742.htm



Re: Chess variants 14th/15th century

Ross Caldwell wrote: 20 Dec 2022, 09:01 Have you ever seen one of these games played?
No, I only detected it this morning and noted, that Franco Pratesi once had written about it. I think, there is a description inside of the book for the various variants, how to play the different games.
One text says, that there was an additional large page, with the different game boards. I didn`t find it in the book, but I looked not very carefully.
Actually there are lots of Chess variants, but most are very modern, so not really of interest.

Re: Chess variants 14th/15th century

In the city Marostica (close to Vicenza) exists a modern chess festival with living persons as chess figures. The story of it is related to a possibly legendary event in the year 1454. ... the city ... Start of the English version
The story of the festival ... ... toria.html

,,,, :-) ... there is a considerable number of webpages, which report this event.
It's a love story with happy end in contrast to the tragedy of Romeo and Julia in Verona (which isn't too far from Marostica), ... 459624!3e2