The Chess Variant Pages

spIndecision Beryl

The initial board setup, which we may hope will make more sense after reading these rules:

After coming up with an interesting board to use for the 39-square chess variant design competition, I proceeded to create a fairly simple and elegant translation of the game of chess onto that board.

This is not that game.

The trilateral symmetry of the board cried out for a third army to be placed in the remaining corner. But in order to submit the game for the contest, there could only be two players. Therefore I needed a silly rule that would allow two players to play with three armies.

Silly rule I: The object of spIndecision for the first player is to capture a King belonging to the army that begins directly clockwise from the army of the capturing piece. The second player wins by capturing a King from an army that begins directly counter-clockwise from that of the capturing piece. Players alternate turns; turns consist of moving a piece belonging to an army that the other player did not use in the previous turn. (Fine Print: it is illegal to capture a King in the wrong direction, that is, one for which its capture does not bring victory.)

This left a small problem in making the opening setup; the starting positions of the armies need to be made symmetrical in such a way that neither player has an advantage. The solution to this is the Schrödinger King, another silly rule.

Silly rule II: Before any event occurs to differentiate them, the king and the bishop are collectively known as the Schrödinger King. When a player wishes to move a component of the Schrödinger King, e must decide whether the piece being moved is a bishop or king before moving it. The other piece then becomes the piece not chosen-- that is, if the piece moved was chosen to be the bishop, the other piece becomes a King, and vice versa. When a player captures a component of the Schrödinger King, e must decide whether the captured component is a king or a bishop; if it is a bishop, the other component immediately becomes a king. (If a king is chosen, the game is over.) In the above diagram, the Schrödinger Kings are represented by "ö".

All pieces move as in Beryl Chess. The restriction on capturing pawns in that game does not apply to spIndecision Beryl.

I suspect that most three player chess variants could be fitted with the spIndecision silly rules to make an interesting game, and probably a more sane one than this.

Written by Alexandre Muñiz. Send comments to (email removed contact us for address)
This is a submission for the contest to design a chess variant on a board with 39 squares.
WWW page created: November 30, 1998.