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Enter a magical world that’s exactly like chess.

Tishai is a chess variant that James Ernest designed in high school. It’s from an unpublished fantasy novel with wizards, swords, demons, and a board game. It’s a popular Cheapass classic, now available in a full-color PDF.

Players take the roles of two kingdoms at war, duh. The game is played on a 7×7 board and the pieces move somewhat like those in chess, but not exactly. Wizards (bishops) gain strength from captured Pawns, and the goal is to capture both of your opponent’s Towers.

If you like chess and you’re looking for a serious changeup, check this one out.

Here are the files you will need to create your own copy of Tishai:

Along with the two files above, you will also need the pieces from a chess set. You can play the game without printing the boards, but it’s nicer to have the 7×7 board rather than ignoring 15 spaces on a regular¬†8×8 board.

The "Tishai" badge features a photo of plain brown Chess castle piece.