The Chess Variant Pages




In January 2000, J. Mark Thompson wrote:

Hello everyone,

Cuarenta is my submission to the contest to design a chess variant on a board of 40 squares. A .zip file is attached which contains cuarenta.zrf and the bitmaps needed to play this game on Zillions; you will need to create a directory \images\cuarenta for the bitmaps. The rules follow:

Cuarenta, by J. Mark Thompson

Cuarenta is played on the light-colored squares on a 9x9 board (in which the corner squares are dark). The dark squares do not exist for this game: for example, squares e4 and e6 are adjacent (orthogonally). The pieces are the King (K), Bishop (B), Vao (V), Guard (G), Camel (C), Frog (F), and Pawn (P). The initial setup is as follows:

  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
9 |###| c |###| f |###| f |###| b |###| 
  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
8 | v |###| g |###| k |###| g |###| v |
  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
7 |###| p |###| p |###| p |###| p |###| 
  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
6 |   |###|   |###|   |###|   |###|   |
  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
5 |###|   |###|   |###|   |###|   |###| 
  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
4 |   |###|   |###|   |###|   |###|   |
  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
3 |###| P |###| P |###| P |###| P |###| 
  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
2 | V |###| G |###| K |###| G |###| V |
  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
1 |###| B |###| F |###| F |###| C |###|
  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
    a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i

White begins with: King, e2; Bishop, b1; Vao, a2, i2; Camel, h1; Frog, d1, f1; Guard, c2, g2; Pawn, b3, d3, f3, h3.
Black begins with: King, e8; Bishop, h9; Vao, a8, i8; Camel, b9; Frog, d9, f9; Guard, c8, g8; Pawn, b7, d7, f7, h7.

The object is to checkmate the enemy King.

The Pieces

King: The King moves or captures to any diagonally adjacent square, or moves (WITHOUT capturing) to the adjacent (light colored) square forward or backward. Moves/captures *, move only +:
  +---+---+---+---+---+
  |   |###| + |###|   |
  +---+---+---+---+---+
  |###| * |###| * |###| 
  +---+---+---+---+---+
  |   |###| K |###|   |
  +---+---+---+---+---+
  |###| * |###| * |###| 
  +---+---+---+---+---+
  |   |###| + |###|   |
  +---+---+---+---+---+ 

Bishop: The Bishop moves and captures as in chess, diagonally any number of squares without jumping over a piece.

Vao: The Vao moves as a Bishop, but captures by jumping over exactly one piece, called the "screen," onto an enemy piece which is the first piece beyond the screen in a diagonal direction. The screen can belong to either army, and need not be on a square adjacent to the Vao's starting square.

Frog: The Frog can move to any orthogonally-adjacent square.

  +---+---+---+---+---+
  |   |###| * |###|   |
  +---+---+---+---+---+
  |###|   |###|   |###| 
  +---+---+---+---+---+
  | * |###| F |###| * |
  +---+---+---+---+---+
  |###|   |###|   |###| 
  +---+---+---+---+---+
  |   |###| * |###|   |
  +---+---+---+---+---+

But the Frog can also jump over a line of friendly pieces in any orthogonal or diagonal direction: for example, the Frog on d1 at the start of the game could move to a4, d5, or g4. A Frog cannot jump over enemy pieces. Note that the Frog cannot move to a diagonally-adjacent square; it can only jump friendly pieces in the diagonal directions. It captures in the same way that it moves, by occupying the enemy piece's square.

Guard: The Guard moves or captures to the first or second square in a diagonal direction. In moving or capturing the the second square in a diagonal direction, the Guard leaps and is not blocked by any piece that might be on the first square.

  +---+---+---+---+---+
  | * |###|   |###| * |
  +---+---+---+---+---+
  |###| * |###| * |###| 
  +---+---+---+---+---+
  |   |###| G |###|   |
  +---+---+---+---+---+
  |###| * |###| * |###| 
  +---+---+---+---+---+
  | * |###|   |###| * |
  +---+---+---+---+---+

Camel: The Camel moves to the square at the opposite corner of a 2x4 rectangle, i.e. it moves "3 squares orthogonally and 1 square at right angles" (the conventional Camel move).

Pawn: The Pawn moves and captures either forward-diagonally or to either side (to the next light colored square). However, Pawns cannot take other Pawns! When a pawn reaches the last three rows of the board it can promote to a Camel, or when it reaches the last rank it can promote to any friendly piece except a King. A Pawn reaching the last rank may continue unpromoted, and may promote on a later move (since as a Pawn it still can move to the side).

  +---+---+---+---+---+
  |   |###|   |###|   |
  +---+---+---+---+---+
  |###| * |###| * |###| 
  +---+---+---+---+---+
  | * |###| P |###| * |
  +---+---+---+---+---+
  |###|   |###|   |###| 
  +---+---+---+---+---+
  |   |###|   |###|   |
  +---+---+---+---+---+

Special rules

Castling: If a player's King and (unpromoted) Camel have not yet moved, they may trade positions. For example, White may move his Camel to e2 and his King to h1. A player may even Castle when in check, unlike in orthodox chess. However, in Cuarenta Black enjoys the right of castling first: White may not castle until Black has either castled, or forfeited his right to castle by moving his Camel or King.

Draws: A draw is declared if 40 moves pass without a piece being captured or a Pawn being promoted, or if neither side has sufficient material left to give checkmate, or if a player is stalemated, or if both players agree to a draw.

Play It!

Use Zillions of Games to play this game! If you have Zillions of Games installed, you can download this game and play it.
Written by J. Mark Thompson.
This is an entry in the contest to design a chess variant on a board with 40 squares.
WWW page created: January 10, 2000.