Byzantine Chess

Byzantine ChessCircular Chess

Players | 2


  • Game board made of 4 rings of 16 squares each
  • Two sets of chess pieces

Piece Number of pieces Moving
King 1 One space per move any direction – just as in modern chess
General (Queen) 1 One diagonal space per move
Rook (castle) 2 Any number of spaces in a straight line – just as in modern chess. A rook cannot end on the same space where it started.
Elephant (bishop) 2 Exactly 2 diagonal squares and can jump the intervening square
Knight (horse) 2 3×2 L shape – just as in modern chess
Pawn (soldier) 8 One open space forward or take an opponent on a diagonal space – just as in modern chess. Pawns can only move in one direction. Pawns are promoted to generals when they reach the opposite of the board (the squares where the major pieces of the opponent start the game. When two pawns of a player going in different directions meet on opposing squares, thus blocking both of them, the opponent can remove both of them – this does not count as a move.

The Goal

The game is won by a player mating or stalemating his opponent.


All pieces are placed on the board before game play begins.

 Yes, these are just the starter rules – There are literally hundreds of books about strategies and how best to win… There isn’t space to even start that here. Go forth and have fun playing a game – don’t fret about winning or losing, just play.

Icon of Byzantine Chess Byzantine Chess (55.5 KiB)