The rules are very similar to those of orthodox chess, adapting the movements to the hexagonal board (a hextilled chequerboard). It is also true that there are some differences and new pieces, but this summary briefly synthesizes the movements on the hexagonal board, the new elements, and other specific differences.

Hexagonal chess was invented by Władysław Gliński in 1936, although it uses a smaller board and the rules are somewhat different from those of C'escacs. It was very popular in the 1970s and 1980s in the UK and Poland.

Initial setup

The board forms a regular hexagon with eight hexes on each side, and has three different colours: white, black and coloured, with the central hex coloured.

The white king and queen take positions in white hexes, and the black king and queen take positions in black hexes. The kings are positioned opposite each other, on the G column: the white king on his right, and the black king on his left.

The pieces

Some languages keep the name Elephant for the Bishop. In those languages, Halberdier is used to name the C'escacs's Elephant piece.
initial array

Relative Value

Pawn Pawn1
Elephant Elephant2
Bishop Bishop3
Knight Knight4
Pegasus Pegasus8
Rook Rook10
Wyvern (Dragon) Wyvern (Dragon)15
Queen Queen16
An additional point is awarded when the player is in possession of all three bishops. In total, at the start of the game, each player has 104 points: 51 from major pieces, 16 from medium pieces, 18 from minor pieces and 19 from the troop.

First impressions

  • It is a large board with 169 hexes. They come in three different colours, and three bishops are required.

    • The power of the bishop decreases markedly compared to orthodox chess.

  • It incorporates the Wyvern (Dragon), which combines the moves of the Rook and Knight, and two Pegasus, which combine the moves of the Bishop and Knight.

  • It increases the mobility of the pawns, but, even so, their power decreases compared to orthodox chess.

    • The loss of pawn power is due to the inefficiency of pawn structures in hexagonal chess.

    • The Elephant piece is incorporated to support the pawn structures.

  • Initially the pieces are protected, with the exception of the two rooks and the two flank pawns.

Movements: orthogonal, diagonal and knight moves

File: orthogonal direction Rook

Directions of the Files in an hexagonal board.

A line which exits one hex and enters another by crossing a common border. Orthogonal moves are never colourbound, as adjacent hexes are of different colour.

Each hex belongs to three different files: A lengthwise file (referred to as column) and two oblique files. There are six different orthogonal directions, two on each file.

The orthogonal directions are the directions of the rook moves.

Line: diagonal direction Bishop

Direction of lines in an hexagonal board.

A line which exits one hex and enters another by following the line which connects their nearest corners.

All the hexes on the same line are the same color, so, diagonal moves are always colourbound, but unlike the square board, the vertices of the hexes of a line do not touch.

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.

Each hexe belongs to three diferent lines, each one crossing in a stright line the hex at two of its corners: two oblique lines and one transversal line (referred to as cross-line). There are six different directions, two on each line.

Diagonal directions are the directions of the bishop moves; there are three different colors, so, there are three bishops, one for each color.

Knight jump Knight Cavall Cavall

Knight moves
Knight jumps
  • Knight jump is the combination of one diagonal hex move and one orthogonal hex move; each diagonal direction allows two orthogonal diferent final positions; there are a total of twelve legal moves.
  • A knight jump can't be prevented positioning a piece in the path of the knight; it is said that knight jumps.
  • The color of the destination hex always is different from color of the hex where the move is originated.
  • The knight jump can be made by the following pieces: Knight, Pegasus and the Wivern (Dragon).

Ride Knight

Ride moves
A ride is the repetition of the knight move.

The intermediate hexes, which must be empty to move, are shown.

  • C'escacs ride move is a doble knight jump (only twice), without capture.
  • The second jump must be done just the same way as the first one: same diagonal direction and same orthogonal direction. So, it is defined by the initial jump; there is only one possible ride for each knight move.
  • The destination hex must be free, as it this move doesn't allow capturing opponent pieces.
  • The intermediate hex chaining both jumps must also be free.
  • The color of the destination hex always is different from color of the hex where the move is originated.
  • The Ride move can only be done by the Knight.

Piece movements



A draw, or a tie between the two contestants, in a tournament represents 1 point for each player, and occurs:

  • By mutual agreement between the opponents, or if the players have no pawns and the material is insufficient to checkmate the opponent.
  • When the same position is repeated five times, not necessarily consecutively. The case of perpetual check generally falls under this assumption.

    A player can demand a draw if the same position is repeated three times.

  • By exhaustion of moves: After 75 consecutive half-moves by each player (seventy-five full-moves) without any captures or pawn moves.

    A player can demand a draw if there are 50 consecutive moves moves without any captures or pawn moves.

Draw and the stalemate win

Stalemate is not draw in C'escacs, but a win by the slightest. So, in chess tournament:

  • Victory awards 3 points to the winner.
  • Draw award 1 point for each player.
  • A player who stalemates the other player will get 2 points, and the player left without legal moves, 1 point.

However, stalemate is a very strange case in C'escacs.

General rules

A player, having the move, who deliberately touches a piece on the board must move or capture that piece if it is legal to do so.
A player who lets go of a piece after making a legal move cannot retract the move, but an invalid or illegal move has to be rectified immediately.
Conditions that cause a player to lose the game:
Disarranges the position of the playing pieces on the board.
It does not agree to resume an interrupted game within a reasonable time.
When a watch is used and exceeds the time.
When it fails to comply with a legal requirement of the opponent.
Refuses to abide by the rules.


Additional information on endings

  • A King and a Rook beat a King and a Bishop or a King and a Knight.
  • The King and a Queen beat a King and a Pegasus.
  • The Wyvern (Dragon) and the Queen have approximately the same power. The Queen is preferable against the Pegasus, but the Wyvern (Dragon) is much better against the Rook.
  • The King and a Queen do not beat a King with a Rook.
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