Introduction to Gliński’s Hexagonal Chess (Chess Variant)

When it comes to the world of chess variants, Gliński’s Hexagonal Chess stands out as a captivating and complex example.

Conceived by Władysław Gliński in 1936, this variant transforms the classic 8×8 square chessboard into a mesmerizing 91-cell hexagonal grid, where pieces move and interact in strikingly novel ways.

Gliński’s Hexagonal Chess not only challenges traditional chess strategies but also extends the depth and breadth of gameplay, requiring players to harness their cognitive abilities and creativity at an entirely new level.

Board and Setup

The hexagonal board of Gliński’s Chess consists of three colors, each color being allocated to one of the six sides of the board.

The game commences with each player controlling an army of 19 pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two bishops, two knights, and eleven pawns.

The setup somewhat resembles that of traditional chess, with the pieces on the back row and pawns on the front, albeit on a hexagonal grid.

How to play Glinski’s Hexagonal Chess

The Movements: A New Dimension to Chess

In Gliński’s Hexagonal Chess, the traditional chess pieces gain new movement capabilities.

The rook, for instance, can move any distance along the rank, file, or either of the two diagonals stemming from its hexagon, giving it six directions of movement instead of the classic four.

The bishop has three possible directions, moving along any of the three diagonals extending from its position.

Knights leap to any of the twelve cells three steps away, maintaining the traditional L-shape pattern.

The queen, being a combination of a rook and a bishop, has a staggering nine directions of movement.

This makes her an incredibly powerful piece on the hexagonal board.

The king moves one step in any of the six directions, akin to a rook, maintaining its vital role as the piece to be protected.

The pawns also have intriguing movement rules.

They move forwards (towards the opponent’s side of the board) and may capture diagonally forward in any of the two directions.

They can also execute a double-step move from their original positions, and en passant captures are allowed.

Strategic Intricacies and Tactical Possibilities

The complex interactions among pieces on a hexagonal chessboard lead to a plethora of strategic possibilities.

With more directions of movement, Gliński’s Chess offers greater tactical depth and complexity than traditional chess.

For instance, checkmating patterns are remarkably intricate due to the king’s six potential escape routes.

The game also offers a wider battlefield, leading to lengthier battles.

It’s common for players to develop strategies that capitalize on the flexibility of the pieces and the vastness of the board.

Notably, the presence of eleven pawns and three colored cells necessitates ingenious pawn structure strategies.

Gliński’s Hexagonal Chess – Chess Variants Ep. 124


Gliński’s Hexagonal Chess stands as a testament to the adaptability and expansiveness of the game of chess.

Its unique rules and the wider battlefield offer an enriching and challenging experience to those who dare to venture beyond the traditional 8×8 board.

As with any chess variant, a grasp of Gliński’s Hexagonal Chess not only expands one’s understanding of chess itself but also hones their strategic thinking and decision-making skills.

Whether you are a casual player or a chess enthusiast, Gliński’s Hexagonal Chess is a fascinating variant that promises hours of intellectual engagement and amusement.

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