Circular Chess is a game for two players, "White" and "Black." The players control the same number and kinds of pieces that are used in traditional Chess. All of the rules of Circular Chess are as like to traditional Chess as the board allows.
For players already familiar with Chess, the first section of this document provides a brief summary of the differences that arise due to the new board geometry. For players new to Chess, the remaining sections provide a complete explanation of all rules governing the play of Circular Chess.
For Experienced Chess Players
- The Board and Set Up
The Circular Chessboard should be placed between the two players so that the void spaces at the outer perimeter of the circle are the same distance from both players. During the course of a game, pieces are not permitted to occupy the center-circle or void spaces.
The starting positions of White's pieces are the same as in traditional Chess. The board must be oriented so that White's King Rook is located on a light-colored space to White's right. Unlike a square Chessboard, there is only one orientation of a Circular Chessboard that meets this requirement.
The starting positions of Black's pieces are placed in a mirror image of the arrangement used in traditional Chess with Black's King Rook located on a dark space to Black's right. This retains the feature of traditional Chess that places Black's Queen on the same file as White's Queen and Black's King on the same file as White's King.
- Movement and Capture of Pieces
The movements of all pieces on the Circular Chessboard are analogous to their movements on a traditional Chessboard. For Rook-like movements, spaces that lie along circle diameters act as files while spaces that lie along complete circles and circular segments act as ranks. Arcs of same-color spaces that lie along inward and outward curving diagonals act as the diagonal paths along which Bishop-like movements are made.
When the movement path of a piece encounters the center-circle of the Circular Chessboard, movement continues across the center in the spirit of the movement made approaching the center. A Rook-like movement continues to the opposite-color space directly across the center. A Bishop-like movement curving left continues to the same-color space just to the left of the space directly across the center and then onward to the left. Movements of Kings, Knights, and Pawns that cross the center-circle can be easily determined if the player keeps in mind that spaces directly across the center-circle from one another are considered adjacent spaces that are in the same file. The center-circle is not considered a space and it cannot be occupied by a piece. S
While pieces are permitted to pass through the center-circle, they may NOT move across void spaces. This applies to Knights as well as all other pieces.
A Rook or Queen may not make a move that returns it to the space from which it started.
In Circular Chess, all pieces capture in the same manner as in traditional Chess while observing the movement differences described in the previous paragraphs.
- Pawn Promotion
Just as in traditional Chess, when a Pawn reaches its opponent's first rank, it may be promoted to another piece of higher value. In Circular Chess it is possible for a Pawn to reach its own first rank. Depending on its starting position and the number and direction of captures it makes during the course of a game, it may end up moving "forward" toward its own side of the board. In this case, the Pawn may also be promoted.