The Chess Variant Pages

Subway Chess

by Francois Tremblay, November 2000

This variant was made for the "design a 41-squares variant" contest. Trying to imagine how to make everything fit while remaning playable, I found the concept of the moving "subway train", from which one can mount sudden attacks, to be original (as far as I know) and interesting. Hence, the Subway Chess variant.

Starting positions in Subway Chess Normal rules apply, except for the following exceptions.

The goal is to capture the opposing king (no check, checkmate and stalemate rules apply).
The game is played on the two first and last rows of a 7-columns board, and one middle, horizontally-movable block composed of 13 squares, the "subway". The starting position is as illustrated here (normal deployments with the queen's column removed).
Note that both fools of the same side are on the same colour. This is not as important as it would be in normal chess because the train can stop at any square and colour.

A turn is composed of two phases :
* Moving the train (optional).
* Moving a piece.

The movement of the train is simple : a player may move the train by a horizontal translation, to any position where
1. The squares of the board and the train are aligned (colour alignment is not relevant).
2. At least one square of the train makes direct orthogonal contact with a square of the board.
As you can see, the train's center square can go from the two columns to the left of A, to two columns to the right of H.
One may move the train even if such a move puts the king in danger, or even one's own king in danger.

Pieces cannot jump over chasms, except the knight (only its destination square must be solid). Pawns cannot promote to queen but only castle, knight or fool. Pawns may not double-move.

If you play a game, please send me an email at (email removed contact us for address) to tell me how it went.

Written by Francois Tremblay.
WWW page created: November 2, 2000. Last modified: November 3, 2000.