An Ordinary Variant
On this page, an enlarged variant of Chess is proposed that
attempts to add quite a bit to the complexity of the game for the
amount that it enlarges the board.
The board is enlarged to ten ranks and twelve files.
Each player has three rows of pieces. The third row from the back
contains only four pieces, which, for want of a more appropriate name,
I will simply call Checkers, although their move is not quite that of
a piece in that game.
Their arrangement, as seen in the diagram, is
-- Ch -- -- Ch -- -- Ch -- -- Ch --
where an empty square, whether white or black, is represented by two
- When they are not capturing, they move like the King, one space in
any diagonal or orthogonal direction. To capture, they move two spaces
in those same directions, both in the same direction, jumping over an
enemy piece on the intervening square, which is captured.
- As they can move and jump backwards, they do not promote.
- If one of a player's Checkers, or one of that player's Pawns,
can capture a Checker without exposing its own King to check or leaving
the King in check, it is compulsory to capture that Checker, although it
is not necessary to do so with a Checker or a Pawn if another piece can
also capture that same Checker. If multiple such
captures are available, it is compulsory to capture any one of the Checkers so exposed
to capture by a Checker or Pawn, but the choice of which one is at the player's
- If a player's King is in check, even when there is a capture of an opposing
Checker by a Pawn or Checker available, that player's next move must be one
which moves his King out of check. If one or more captures of an opposing Checker
that is en prise from a Pawn or Checker, either by that Pawn or Checker or
by another piece, is among the moves by which escape from
check is possible, then one of those moves must be taken.
- If a player's King is not in check, but there are captures of a Checker
by Pawns or Checkers available, all of which would expose that player's King
to check, that player is required, if such a move is
possible, to move so that this situation ceases to exist. This can be
done by any means, including moving so that an alternative Pawn or Checker capture
of a Checker, which does not involve moving into check, becomes available. But
if such a move is not possible, that player then must make a different move.
This situation does not constitute any form of mate.
- A Checker may make multiple capturing jumps in the same or different directions,
as in Checkers, one after the other in a single move. It is not compelled to make
a capturing move that includes capturing an enemy Checker when the first piece
captured is not a Checker.
- A Checker in this game has the additional power of jumping over an allied
piece without capturing it to extend its move; these jumps can also be multiple.
As well, one or more consecutive non-capturing jumps over allied pieces may be
followed by one or more consecutive capturing jumps over enemy pieces. This
move may of course be familiar to some readers as the Knight's Charge from the
commercial games Chivalry and Camelot by Parker Brothers.
- As with a capturing
move that does not capture a Checker as its first step, this move is not
compulsory even when it would capture a Checker.
- A series of jumps does not need to be completed, but if it is possible to
jump over and capture one of the opponent's Checkers on the next step, that next
jump must be included in the series if the preceding jump bringing the Checker
to that position is made.
It may be noted that even with the limitations noted above, the compulsory nature
of capturing a Checker provides that piece with an immense power, since it can
break up Pawn formations.
The second rank from the back contains twelve Pawns. Despite the enlarged board,
on their first move they only have the privilege of moving two squares forwards,
subject to en passant capture, not three. In this game, a Pawn may be taken
en passant by one of the opponent's Checkers as well as by one of the
opponent's Pawns; the Checker would jump over the intervening square the Pawn passed
through on its two-square move, to an empty space beyond, and capture the Pawn
The back rank contains the array:
Rook, Knight, Bishop, Tiger, Queen, Man, Leo, King, Tiger, Bishop, Knight, Rook.
- The Man is an ordinary chess piece that moves, like the King, one space
in any orthogonal or diagonal direction, but which has no special moves or
- The King, when Castling either to Kingside or Queenside, moves exactly
three spaces; otherwise, its move is exactly the same as in normal Chess (except
for the conditions on compulsory Checker capture noted above).
- Neither of the two squares the King moves through when Castling may be
under attack (even though the King does not have the option of a two-square
- The Tiger is a piece described on earlier pages; it moves as a Bishop,
but captures as a Knight. When one has Tigers of opposite colors, a capture
has the cost of placing both Tigers on the same color; this long-term
consequence of a capture adds another element of complexity to the game.
- And then there is the Leo, represented by a cannon symbol. It moves almost
as the Cannon or Pao in Chinese Chess, or Hsiang Ch'i, but on Queen lines
instead of Rook lines; thus, it is a combined Pao plus Vao, which is known
in Fairy Chess as the Leo. When not capturing, it moves as the Queen; when
capturing, it moves on Queen lines, passing over exactly one man of either
color to capture the next piece beyond (which, of course, must belong to the
Games are scored by means of Dynamic Scoring, allowing a partial win by
stalemate, bare king, or perpetual check.
Note that the extensions of either Spectral Realm Chess or Antimatter
Universe Chess can be combined with it as they can to ordinary Chess.
In the case of the Checker, there are some important considerations
which apply to its move. In the case of Spectral Realm Chess, a Checker can
move a half-step diagonally to enter the alternate board, or make a jump
of two diagonal half-steps to move one square diagonally on one board,
capturing the intervening piece on the other board. In the case of Antimatter
Universe Chess, a Checker also can move one square diagonally on one board,
capturing the piece on the intervening square on the other board, but this
is now a move, rather than a jump, and so multiple steps of this type in a
single move are not possible.
Note also that, in Spectral Realm Chess, a series of multiple jumps must all
be made in either the normal board of squares, the normal board of points, or the
compound board. However, a series of jumps may mix orthogonal and diagonal
jumps, and an orthogonal jump on either normal board is also a diagonal jump on
the compound board, therefore, orthogonal jumps on one normal board may be mixed
with either diagonal half-step jumps, which are orthogonal jumps on the compound
board, or with diagonal jumps on that normal board, but not both.