I am looking for a certain chess variant played on a circular board.

The variant is played with the usual chess pieces (no fairies involved) on a peculiar circular board. The central part of the board is filled with triangles (alternating black and white) and is part of the playing field. The outer rings are made of only slightly deformed squares. The board was checkered (alternating black and white fields).

A particular feature of the Chess Variant I'm looking for is the movements of the bishop: It changes colour when moving across the centre of the board (a diagonal step is analysed as one step forward followed by one step orthogonally sidewards). Also the Knight has very peculiar moves in the centre of the board.

I remember to have seen a description of this Chess Variant in a German student's newspaper in the 1980s (probably issued by Fachschaft Physik at Ruhr-Universität Bochum). I was not able to retrieve this variant anywhere, it is AFAIK not in the "circular board" category at http://www.chessvariants.org

EDIT: it is a two-player variant (I thought of this as a default and didn't mention it explicitly). The rooks moved either radially or orbiting around the circles.

I'd like to know: Name of the variant, name of the inventor and date of first publication, full ruleset (initial position, exact board and rules).

EDIT2: The number of the triangles in the central disk must be divisible by 4 (it's probably 16) because triangles of the same colour face each other. Another feature of the bishop's movement I remember again now: A bishop crossing the centre can actually choose two different continuations because the diagonal movement can be achieved following two different "staircases" of alternating orthogonal moves.

  • I found centre chess, but there are no rules that I can see. Does the board look like that? Perhaps like hyperchess, this is just ordinary chess on a board that obscures the ordinary spatial relations but does not actually change them.
    – hkBst
    Feb 11, 2016 at 9:16
  • @hkBst: Yes, the overall look of the board is like that. The description I remember was in black and white, so there were no fancy coloured boundary squares. Centre Chess is different from the variant I remember in the feature, that in the centre triangles of different colour face each other, where in the variant I am looking for triangles of the same colour faced each other. Feb 11, 2016 at 9:59
  • What stops the rooks from just starting to take pieces on move 1 ? Feb 16, 2020 at 19:15
  • 1
    @edwinaoliver I do not remember that detail, unfortunately Feb 16, 2020 at 20:01

4 Answers 4


A few suggestions:

This looks sufficiently circular and weird, though I didn't find the rules.

For three people.

And there is apparently a circular citadel chess, with triangles in the middle.

  • Nice suggestions, but none of the boards look even closely like the one I have in mind. It was a two-player variant (I have clarified this now). The central disk consists of 16 (not sure about the exact number) alternating black and white triangular segments. May 26, 2015 at 9:32
  • Similar to this? Not circular, but the bishop moves change color. abstractstrategygames.blogspot.de/2010/10/diamond-chess.html May 26, 2015 at 9:49
  • No, not similar. The outer rings of the variant I'm looking for are just made of trapezoids (only slightly deformed squares). May 26, 2015 at 9:54
  • Hyperchess (the first link in this answer) appears to be exactly the same as chess, except that it is more challenging to interpret valid moves, because the board is distorted (but not different). It is thus just a visual gimmick.
    – hkBst
    Feb 11, 2016 at 9:13
  • Really? I would have thought that you can move your rook in a circle around the whole board, certainly not something you can do in normal chess. Feb 11, 2016 at 9:30

Take a look at Diplomat Chess https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomat_chess

  • 1
    Welcome to Chess Stack Exchange. We generally don't like link-only answers; you could improve your answer by citing / summarizing so that it's valuable even if the link might break.
    – Glorfindel
    Jan 15, 2018 at 11:41
  • That one is pretty similar with respect to the bishops, but not yet the variant I am still searching for—it lacks the segmentation of the central field. It is also too young. Jan 15, 2018 at 13:11

I think I found the variant or at least some variant that is pretty similar to the variant I remember: It is Nadvorney's Spherical Chess. The picture on chessvariants.com does not use triangular fields around the pole, but the piece movement is in the way I remember it, including the color switch of the bishop crossing the pole and the special movements of the knight.


I happened upon this old thread by chance, I think it might be interesting to look at this:


Sure, if it doesn't help right away, but you can search among similar patents :-)


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