Hexagonal Chess

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The game is played on a 91-hex board (6 hexes on a side) with the starting position as shown: The board is colored using three colors. The choice of colors varies, but it is best if one is white. (In all of the boards I have made, the center hex is white.) As the above photo shows, there are 31 hexes of the center hex's color, and there are only 30 hexes of each of the other two colors.

Board and initial setup

The Orthodox Chess pieces (with an extra Bishop and Pawn for each player) are used. "Hex pieces" move differently than those of Orthodox Chess, but their moves are arguably similar.
Hexagonal Chess somewhat strains the familiar concepts of orthogonal and diagonal moves.
  • orthogonal move - A move wherein a line piece exits one hex and enters another by crossing a common border. Orthogonal moves are never colorbound.
  • diagonal move - A move wherein a line piece exits one hex and enters another by following the line which connects their nearest corners.* Diagonal moves are always colorbound.
This move is not incumbered by pieces lying to the right or the left of the thin line of travel. Pieces crowding the line are simply passed over.

The pieces move 


As in orthodox chess, pawns move without taking straight forward and take diagonally forward (see above.)

All pawns, except the center pawn, may move 2 hexes (straight forward) on their first move. The center pawn is excluded in order to prevent White from being able to grab the center hex on the first turn. Of course, White can still get the center hex if he really wants it (in 2 moves), but then, at least, Black has made 1 move of development, which should equalize things somewhat. This rule about the center pawn is the only "arbitrary" rule that has no equivalent in real chess, but at least the rule stems from a desire to equalize the two sides.
En-passant is also possible using the same logic as in real chess: If a pawn makes a 2-hex move that crosses the attack square of an opposing pawn, then that opposing pawn may capture the pawn by moving to the attacked square that was crossed. Such a capture may only be made on the immediately-following move.
Pawns promote upon reaching any of the 11 hexes on the opponent's side of the board. A pawn may promote to a queen, rook, bishop, or knight, regardless of the number of such pieces still on the board. There is no castling rule.
Checkmate and stalemate are defined as in real chess, and the same outcomes apply: Checkmate is 1-0, and stalemate is 1/2-1/2.

The "diagonal" move, which can be made by the bishop, queen, and king, and by the pawn when capturing, requires further clarification: Such a move is never blocked by occupied hexes that are not on the diagonal itself. The only thing that blocks a diagonal move is an occupied hex that is on the diagonal itself and between the piece and its destination. Thus, a one-step move along a diagonal can never be blocked. For example, the pawn's capture and the king's diagonal move are never blocked.
A knight's move may never be blocked. It "jumps" from hex to hex as in real chess.

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