KLIN ZHA, Klingon Chess

Admiral Keve epetai-K'elland

[reprinted with permission from The Destroyer, newsletter of the Klingons of Louisiana]
Game Rules
Flat board Klin Zha is played on a triangular grid made up of eighty-one smaller triangles. All pieces are moved one per turn as in Human Chess. Moves are described in ascending order of the pieces' value.
  1. The BLOCKADER can be moved to any unoccupied board position. This is a special piece that cannot kill other pieces, and the BLOCKADER itself cannot be killed. It is used for strategic blocking purposes only.
  2. The VANGUARD moves a maximum of two spaces along parallel lines only, as shown in Fig. 1 It can make kills only within its range.
  3. The FLIER jumps over two spaces and kills on the third, like the knight in Human Chess. See Fig. 2.
  4. The LANCER moves and kills along parallel lines. Fig. 3.
  5. The SWIFT moves and kills along the diagonal. Fig. 4
  6. The FENCER has the moves of both the LANCER and the SWIFT.
  7. The GOAL has no move of its own, but is carried by one of the three guard pieces, the FENCER, the LANCER or the SWIFT. The GOAL can never be left without a carrier piece.

The game is won when the GOAL is captured and the carrier piece killed, or when a player cannot legally move.


The two players choose their colors, either GREEN or GOLD. The color to make the first move is chosen randomly. The first move consists of placing all one's pieces on the board in such a manner as to allow them to protect one another and still leave room for attack. The other color does likewise. Then the game begins. The first to place his pieces is first to move as well. A simplified set-up is shown in Fig. 5.

[Let me anticipate those who will notice contradictions among the different Klin Zha rules offered in this pamphlet. For instance, Keve requires that the GOAL always be with a carrier piece, while Korath allows it to rest unaccompanied. Keve has opponents using not just the corners but also the sides of the board for initial placement of pieces, while Korath instructs players to start by deploying their pieces within one of the board's "points." Hey. It's a big Empire. Lots of ways to play this game. Try the various versions. See which style works best for you. ‘Shin]