The Chess Variant Pages

Taratibu

Ten pieces - ten years
By Glenn Overby (2005)

Introduction

Taratibu was created for the 10th anniversary celebration of the Chess Variant Pages. It is a small game, reflecting a current design interest in games smaller than orthochess. It is also a quick game, a form of progressive chess.

The object in Taratibu is twofold:

The contest theme ("10") is reflected in several ways.

The name Taratibu is Swahili for order, or method. It refers to the organization of the pieces.

Setup

Diagram is a low-resolution GIF of a Zillions of Games screenshot.
Graphics and ZRF by Glenn Overby.
White Pieces Order 1 Order 2 Black
11 Sphinx winged quadruped 77
21 Elk basic quadruped 67
31 Bird winged basic 57
41 Angel winged human 47
51 Fish aquatic basic 37
61 Man human basic 27
71 Duck winged aquatic 17
52 Captain human aquatic 36
62 Turtle aquatic quadruped 26
72 Hero human quadruped 16

    10  20  30  40  50  60  70
  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
7 | d | m | f | a | b | e | s | 7
  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
6 | h | t | c |   |   |   |   | 6
  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
5 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 5
  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
4 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 4
  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
3 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 3
  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
2 |   |   |   |   | C | T | H | 2
  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
1 | S | E | B | A | F | M | D | 1
  +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
    10  20  30  40  50  60  70

Rules

  1. There are two players, White and Black. White moves first.
  2. On the first turn, White makes one move. Black responds with two moves. White then makes three moves on the second turn, Black responds with four, and so on.
  3. A piece may move more than once on a turn. But a piece which captures may not move again that turn.
  4. Each piece has a distinctive pattern of allowed moves, given at Pieces below.
  5. All pieces which have a two-square move may leap over intervening pieces when moving two squares.
  6. Pieces may not move onto squares occupied by friendly pieces.
  7. Pieces which move onto the square of an opposing piece capture that piece and remove it from the game.
  8. A player wins by capturing the opponent's Man, which is the basic human piece, and capturing all of the opponent's pieces from one of the other three Orders (aquatic, quadruped, or winged).
  9. The game is drawn if no player has won after 10 turns (five by each player, ending with Black making 10 moves).

Pieces

Angel
Angel pictures
Angel moves

The Angel is a human, winged piece.

Human pieces can move one square horizontally or vertically.

Winged pieces can leap exactly two squares diagonally.

Bird
Bird pictures
Bird moves

The Bird is the basic winged piece.

Basic pieces can move one square diagonally.

Winged pieces can leap exactly two squares diagonally.

Captain
Captain pictures
Captain moves

The Captain is an aquatic, human piece.

Aquatic pieces can leap exactly two squares horizontally or vertically.

Human pieces can move one square horizontally or vertically.

Duck
Duck pictures
Duck moves

The Duck is an aquatic, winged piece.

Aquatic pieces can leap exactly two squares horizontally or vertically.

Winged pieces can leap exactly two squares diagonally.

Elk
Elk pictures
Elk moves

The Elk is the basic quadruped piece.

Basic pieces can move one square diagonally.

Quadruped pieces can leap exactly two squares like an orthodox chess knight.

Fish
Fish pictures
Fish moves

The Fish is the basic aquatic piece.

Basic pieces can move one square diagonally.

Aquatic pieces can leap exactly two squares horizontally or vertically.

Hero
Hero pictures
Hero moves

The Hero is a human, quadruped piece.

Quadruped pieces can leap exactly two squares like an orthodox chess knight.

Human pieces can move one square horizontally or vertically.

Man
Man pictures
Man moves

The Man is the basic human piece.

Basic pieces can move one square diagonally.

Human pieces can move one square horizontally or vertically.

Sphinx
Sphinx pictures
Sphinx moves

The Sphinx is a quadruped, winged piece.

Quadruped pieces can leap exactly two squares like an orthodox chess knight.

Winged pieces can leap exactly two squares diagonally.

Turtle
Turtle pictures
Turtle moves

The Turtle is an aquatic, quadruped piece.

Aquatic pieces can leap exactly two squares horizontally or vertically.

Quadruped pieces can leap exactly two squares like an orthodox chess knight.

Comments

Background

The victory method of annihilating a type of piece comes from R. Wayne Schmittberger's distinguished Extinction Chess. In Taratibu, extinction has been combined with the traditional object of capturing the "king".

The style of progressive chess used was inspired by João Pedro Neto's Portuguese Progressive Chess. Neto's game restricts each piece to one move per turn. A one capture per piece per turn limit was found to be more practical with nothing but short-range pieces.

Writing down a game

Standard Taratibu notation records every move as a four-digit number. The first two digits are the square of origin, the last two the square of destination.

Playing Tips

Computer Play

If you have Zillions of Games installed on your computer, you can play this game. Download file: taratibuzog.zip.

A Game Courier preset is under construction.

Sample Game

Turn White Black Position Comments
1 7264   Position after turn 1 White chooses to expose the Hero first. The Hero is, in isolation, the strongest piece, and seems a curious choice.
2   4765
6564
Position after turn 2 Black grabs the piece exposed by White, which is a fairly standard second turn.
3 3153
5364
5232
  Position after turn 3 White plays here to keep a material balance with minimal exposure of pieces.
4   1735
7765
3533
3311
Position after turn 4 Exposing the Duck to quick capture will prove to be bad for Black. Several other pieces might have been used to target the Sphinx (the Captain, Fish, Hero, and Turtle can all get there). A double-edged alternative is to send the Elk after the White Man.
5 4163
6345
4527
5131
3111
  Position after turn 5 The White Angel's three-move capture of the Man (4163-6345-4527) is one expression of a common theme. Two recurring strategic questions are how quickly to pounce on the Man, and what to expose in doing so.

After this turn, note that although Black has lost only three pieces, they are all from a single winning set (Angel-Duck-Man). On White's next turn, there will be seven moves to hunt down just two pieces.

6   6543
6755
4321
5564
2647
4727
Position after turn 6 Black was a computer player, and realized the position was lost midway through the turn.
7 3231
3121
7153
5335
3557
(1:0)
  Final position  


Written by Glenn Overby II.
WWW page created: April 29, 2005.