Republican Chess

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Also known as the "People's Chess", "Field Game", "Little War" and as "Jeu de Drapeau-tombe" [Game of Flag-fall] in Louisianne, republican chess is a variant of the traditional boardgame commonly played in western countries.

Beginning placement of pieces at republican chess

It was invented in France after the 1789 revolution as a way to lessen the monarchist side of that most popular of game. At first, Its instigator (Guillaume Yurgelevich, a Russian republican expatriate), wanted to change only the name of pieces and a few game terms. With time however, new rules were devised by its enthusiasts in an attempt to make a more enjoyable experience by bringing it in-line with modern warfare. After the declaration of the Empire, a disappointed Yurgelevich moved to Louisianne and managed to propagate the idea there.

For the next century, Republican Chess remained solely a Louisiannan pastime with only the odd foreigner coming to the largest tournaments. This changed in the early 20th century when Louisiannan diplomats introduced the game to some anti-monarchists countries who took to its revolutionary spirit. To play the game became not only a novel pastime but in a way, a statement of political belief. The game became identified so much with revolutionaries that it was banned in some countries along with with other public expression of discontent.

Nevertheless, the game became widespread enough for international tournaments of Republican Chess to be organized. Starting in the 1960s, the CSDS became a fertile ground for Grand Masters and a strong rivalry developed between Danubian and Louisiannan players.


movements of game pieces
  • Each sides have 24 pieces (1 flag, 1 mongolfiere, 1 canon, 2 dragoons, 2 grenadier, 2 voltigeurs, & 15 soldiers).
  • The game is played on a board divided into 128 squares. They are arranged as a 12 x 12 grid with the 4 squares in each corner missing.
  • the object of the game is the take the opponent's flag
  • When the flag is in danger of been taken, the attacker says "Au drapeau" [To the Flag]. When the game is won, "Le drapeau tombe" [the flag fall]. If the flag is immobilized, the player says "blocus" [blockade].
  • When a soldier reaches the other side of the field, the player calls "sacrifice" and removes both it and any one of his opponent's pieces (except for the flag).
  • The white side is always the "aggressor" (starts first).
  • The square-less space in the four corners of the board are considered blocked and cannot be passed over.

Game pieces

Both sides have an identical set of pieces. One set is blue and the other white, however some sets produced in ex-CSDS countries replaced the blue set with a red one.

Piece Movement
Flag moves one square in any direction and can capture the same way.
Mongolfière moves any number of square in any direction. can also jump over one friendly piece per turn.
Canon moves one or 2 squares in any direction.
Grenadier can either move or capture but not both. Moves one square in any direction or capture an adversary piece situated less than 5 squares in front of it. Can shoot through piece from own side but not ennemy ones.
Voltigeur can either move or capture but not both. Moves one square in any direction or captures an adversary piece situated less than 3 squares in any direction. It cannot shoot through other pieces from either side.
Dragoon can move 1 square horizontally or vertically then 2 in the other direction, 1 square horizontally or vertically then 3 in the other direction or move 2 squares horizontally or vertically then 3 in the other direction. It can move over friendly pieces but not those of the adversary.
Soldier move one square in any directions when on a blue square. The soldier may move either 1 or 2 squares when on a white one. Can only capture when moving one square laterally or forward.


One interesting innovation is the introduction of a rule called "Interdits" (forbiddances). In an attempt to simulate real-life, some pieces cannot be captured by certain others:

Pieces Cannot be captured by
Mongolfière Cuirassier or Dragoon
Cannon Voltigeur, Dragoon or Soldier
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