Wildebeest chess starting setup. For this diagram, camels are represented by horizontal knights; wildebeests by inverted knights. In this position the white camel on h1 can move to g4 or i4; the white wildebeest can move to f3, f4, h3, or h4.

Wildebeest chess is a chess variant created by R. Wayne Schmittberger in 1987.[1][2][3] The Wildebeest board is 11×10 squares. Besides the standard chess pieces, each side has two camels and one "wildebeest" - a piece which may move as either a camel or a knight.

The inventor's intent was "to balance the number of 'riders'—pieces that move along open lines—with the number of 'leapers'—pieces that jump". (So for each side, two knights, two camels, and a wildebeest balance two rooks, two bishops, and a queen.)

The game was played regularly in the (now defunct) correspondence game club NOST.[a]

Game rules

Pieces and pawns move and capture the same as they do in standard chess, except for two new pieces, and the pawn's ability to advance to the players' fifth ranks in a single move from either their second or third ranks. Wildebeest chess differs from the standard game in that a win can be achieved either by checkmate or stalemate. In both cases the losing side has no legal moves.


The camel is a (1,3)-leaper fairy chess piece. It moves and captures like an elongated move of a chess knight – jumping in a 2×4 (squares) rectangular pattern over any intervening men. Each camel is thus limited to squares of one color.


The wildebeest moves and captures as a camel and a chess knight.



Normal conventions apply when castling, with the only difference that the castling player can choose to slide his king one, two, three, or four squares. As in chess, the castling rook finishes on the opposite side of the king on the square adjacent.

See also


  1. ^ NOST (kNights of the Square Table), formed in 1960 by Bob Lauzon and Jim France, held an annual convention and enjoyed several hundred active members.[4]


  1. ^ Pritchard (1994), pp. 341–42
  2. ^ Pritchard (2007), pp. 134–35
  3. ^ Schmittberger (1992), p. 206
  4. ^ Pritchard (1994), p. 210