MLP Chess
Setup MLP Chess
A physical initial setup.
Vital statistics
Players 2
Ranks 8
Files 12
Levels 1
Total squares 96
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My Little Pony (Friendship is Magic) Chess, shortened and crpytised into MLP Chess. A wonderfully scary combination of too little sleep and too much mixing in the bowl. It is also known as MilpFim Chess,[1] Mulpec,[2] and some others.[3]


This is a courier chess board, 12 × 8 with the long side facing the player. There are no other trappings; it's a regular board.

Setup boardsEdit

MLPC Alfaerie Setup

Graphical chess board with descriptive chess pieces

 8 ║ a │▓r▓│ f │▓π▓│ i │▓t▓│ c │▓i▓│ π │▓f▓│ r │▓a▓║
 7 ║▓p▓│ p │▓p▓│ p │▓p▓│ p │▓p▓│ p │▓p▓│ p │▓p▓│ p ║
 6 ║   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓║
 5 ║▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   ║
 4 ║   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓║
 3 ║▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   ║
 2 ║ P │▓P▓│ P │▓P▓│ P │▓P▓│ P │▓P▓│ P │▓P▓│ P │▓P▓║
 1 ║▓A▓│ R │▓F▓│ Π │▓I▓│ T │▓C▓│ I │▓Π▓│ F │▓R▓│ A ║
     a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j   k   l
Piece names, letters and pictures
Name Letter Symbol Justification for Symbol
Celestia C Equus Rex Is the only royal, and has a Horse-type move
Twilight Sparkle T Princess Is a limited Queen
Rarity I Zebra with moon Has a very complex Zebra move[4] in addition to its more mundane moves.
Pinkie Pie Π Dabbabah with Ferz Closest image available.
Rainbow Dash R Knight + Camel Perfect match of moves
Applejack A Chancellor 2 A Zebra technically moves hippogonally; add a Rook and you'd have the closest equivalent.
Fluttershy F Zebra + Ferz The design for Zebra is close to the Horses', the one I'm trying to replicate. The only other horse was with a star.


This is a Casablanca-esque game, thus there are seven pieces.

Piece setup
  1. Celestia: g1
  2. Twilight Sparkle: f1
  3. Rarity: e1, h1
  4. Pinkie Pie: d1, i1
  5. Fluttershy: c1, j1
  6. Rainbow Dash: b1, k1
  7. Applejack: a1, l1
  8. Pawn: a2, b2, c2, d2, e2, f2, g2, h2, i2, j2, k2, l2
  1. Celestia: g8
  2. Twilight Sparkle: f8
  3. Rarity: e8, h8
  4. Pinkie Pie: d8, i8
  5. Fluttershy: c8, j8
  6. Rainbow Dash: b8, k8
  7. Applejack: a8, l8
  8. Pawn: a7, b7, c7, d7, e7, f7, g7, h7, i7, j7, k7, l7

Words in gold indicate a royal piece. · View Template Page

Royal piece: Celestia (C)Edit


Moveset of Celestia

Celestia starts the game at g1/g8, the center of the board. She starts on the opposite-color square as her side.

Celestia moves one square orthogonally, and if that can occur she must continue with a one-square diagonal move in the same general direction. Put another way, she moves like a Knight, one square forward and one square diagonally, but then she must not jump any piece at the "one square forward" phase. Or put yet another way, it's a Chinese Chess Horse, which most of us call a Ma, but here in chess variant parlance we call a Mao.

This move will perhaps be better described by the folks of

The Mao is similar to the chess Knight - it ends up the same distance away, but it can not jump over intervening pieces like the chess Knight. Rather, the Mao is considered to move first one space orthogonally, and then one space diagonally (away from the starting square) to its destination. The intermediate square must be empty.

Note that this makes it possible for the mao to pin pieces, and it is possible for a Mao to attack an opposing Mao without that Mao attacking back.

Source: the Mao

Queen-type: Twilight Sparkle (T)Edit


Moveset of Twilight Sparkle

Twilight is the only free-range rider in this game. She moves like a Queen, but is limited to a range of three squares in any direction except sideways. Its Betza Funny notation is Q3rlR*. Its Bensaħas notation is "(3, 245)! (n, 10)!"

Being the only free-range rider, she has massive value; first estimates put her at $6.25, more than a Rook but much less than a Queen. It's for certain that Twilight + Applejack + Celestia vs. Celestia is forced win, and I have about 60% confidence that Twilight + Applejack vs. Celestia is a win.

The Iodine: Rarity (I)Edit


Moveset of Rarity

Rarity is an insane piece a very difficult piece to explain, being a simultaneously long and short-range piece. There is no other reason why her title is "Iodine".[5]

Rarity can always move one square diagonally, or two squares straight up or down. When jumping two squares, she may ignore intervening pieces, e.g. she can get from, in the starting position, e1 to e3, without caring about the Pawn at e2.

A more complex part about Rarity's move is that she can jump like a Zebra (2,3) (blue squares in diagram), only when there is an intervening piece. Or, if she, during three squares one way and two squares the other, ever encounters a piece, then that move is legal, and she can land there. In this regard she is much like the Celestia, except in reverse.

Please see this diagram for a more concrete example:

Rarity Move Expl1

The two Zebra paths.

Rarity always has two paths to a target Zebra square. They form a rectangle, as in the example above. The path marked with blue dots is the called the x move, because Rarity moves horizontally first, then vertically. The path marked with red dots is called the y move by exactly the same logic.

Put in this way, Rarity can move to the banner if and only if there are pieces on any one of the dots.

Now let's see this move in action.

 8 ║   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓║
 7 ║▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   ║
 6 ║   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│ * │▓*▓│ * │▓p▓│   │▓▓▓║
 5 ║▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓*▓│   │▓▓▓│ * │▓▓▓│   ║
 4 ║   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│ # │▓#▓│ I │▓*▓│ * │▓*▓│   │▓▓▓║
 3 ║▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓a▓│   │▓#▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   ║
 2 ║   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│ # │▓▓▓│ # │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓║
 1 ║▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓c▓│ # │▓#▓│   │▓▓▓│   │▓▓▓│   ║
     a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j   k   l

In this diagram: Rarity is not threatening the Pawn, because neither string of *s are broken.

On the other hand, Rarity is checking the Celestia through the x move of the #s. Notice that the #s cross an Applejack, and that's why there's a check going on there. If black plays 1... Ad3, then the check will be alleviated, because there no longer is a broken chain of #s.

The Near-Bishop: Pinkie Pie (Π)Edit

Pinkie Pi

Moveset of Pinkie Pie

Pinkie Pie is the one piece with a Greek symbol Π. In most cases a regular P may be used, but the problem is that the same letter is used for Pawns in diagrams. For sake of clarity I shall use Pi in all cases.

The Pinkie Pie moves as a Ferz and a Dabbabah; one square diagonally and two squares orthogonally. Again, like Rarity, when jumping two squares there is no concern on what piece (if any) was jumped over.

These moves make Pinkie Pie get locked to one square in two, like the Bishop in FIDE, so we'll add a single, backwards orthogonal move. This clears the colorboundedness, but does not make Pinkie any less awkward to use, which is one of her hallmarks anyway, being the unpredictable.

The Chancellor: Fluttershy (F)Edit


Moveset of Fluttershy

Fluttershy combines the moves of Celestia and the Ferz. In other words, one square diagonally, or the Mao. Nice and straightforward.

It's probably worth as much as a Knight, because a) it's not colorswitching and b) there's a nice flexible short-range move always available. Because of that, itś probably only worth very slightly less than a Knight at worst, and usually much more.

A Fluttershy is a very good piece to checkmate with. I'm almost sure two Fluttershies + Celestia vs. Celestia will be a win.

The Knight: Rainbow Dash (R)Edit

Rainbow Dash

Moveset of Rainbow Dash

Rainbow Dash is a very simple compound: Knight + Camel. Or, a (2, 1) leap or by a (3, 1) leap.

This is an extremely powerful piece, and deathly fast, crossing the board in two moves at the fastest. It may be advantageous to play 1. e4 ... 2. Re2 just to get it safe, yet still centralized.

The Rook: Applejack (A)Edit


Moveset of Applejack

Applejack is the only other rider in this game, and it is limited range.

It's a short Rook, able to slid up to four spaces, but to balance that it has a forward Zebra jump, as seen in the diagram at left. This makes Applejack worth significantly more than a Rook in the opening, but the difference diminishes. Unlike Rarity, there need not be a piece to jump over for Applejack to perform a Zebra move.


Below is a table giving quick reference to pieces, names, moves and values.

Piece name Piece symbol Move Approximated Value
Celestia C nN* $1,000,000.00
Twilight Sparkle T Q3rlR* $6.25
Applejack A R4fJ* $5.00
Rainbow Dash R NL* $4.00
Pinkie Pie Π FDbW* $3.50
Fluttershy F nNF* $3.25
Rarity I FfbDpJ* $3.25
Pawn P Same as FIDE[6]$1.00

Sample GameEdit

For sample games, please see the appropriate subpages:

Full GamesEdit

Endgame studiesEdit

Currently none


Rule Zero applies in all cases, except in the following:

  • Free Castling applies. That means a Celestia and an Applejack can exchange places at any point of time, given that neither piece has ever moved before. In other words, a castling can be:
    • Twilightside, where Celestia castles with the a-Applejack. Possible results are:
      • Cf1, Ag1 (O-O-Of)
      • Ce1, Af1 (O-O-Oe)
      • Cd1, Ae1 (O-O-Od)
      • Cc1, Ad1 (O-O-Oc)
      • Cb1, Ac1 (O-O-Ob)
      • Ca1, Ab1 (O-O-Oa)
    • Celestiaside, where Celestia castles with the k-Applejack. Possible results are:
      • Ch1, Ag1 (O-Oh)
      • Ci1, Ah1 (O-Oi)
      • Cj1, Ai1 (O-Oj)
      • Ck1, Aj1 (O-Ok)
    • Replace all 1s with 8s for Black's move.
    • Forwards, a special case. When the g-pawn promotes to Applejack at the eighth rank, and Celestia has still not moved, there could be a vertical castling. In this case, move Celestia any number of squares forwards, and put the promoted Applejack one square behind Celestia. The notation for this is O-O-O-O#, where # is the rank number where Celestia landed. (This is a just-in-case rule; it covers a rare situation that you may never see in a year.)
    • However, other rules on castling still applies: you may not castle through or into check, etc.
  • You may win by checkmate, stalemate or by removing the last non-Celestia piece on the board.


Refers to moving towards the a-file.
Refers to moving towards the k-file.
Refers to moving towards the enemy.
Refers to moving away from the enemy.


The following is me doing my best to explain the mechanics of this game.

Video:My Little Pony Chess 1.0 An aural-visual representation


  1. After MLPFIM, the abbreviation of the full name of the series
  2. Comes from MLPC, putting Chess together with the acronym
  3. For example: DYHUPJ: WIRIMS IAEOTSOSWSITSOAT TARTALTOTLOP Chess, Wirims Jaeot Soswhes Sits Oat Tartal Totlop Chess, Mulpfimca, Pony Chess, Grand Jumper Chess and Game 13.
  4. If Zecora was in the game (s)he'd be a regular Zebra.
  5. Actually, there's deeper meaning to this. As everyone knows, iodine is purple. It just so happens that Rarity is purple. Because R and A is already taken, I is used, which is such a beautiful coincidence.
  6. It's such a hard-to-describe piece, and hard to translate into Betza code.