The Chess Variant Pages




TireBiter Chess

A Pizza with Anchovies

The Firesign Theater asks, "How can you be in two places at once, when you're not anywhere at all?"

This game attempts to answer the question.

The Rules of Tirebiter Chess

  • The rules of FIDE Chess apply except as follows.
  • Every piece has two possible states of existence: the normal state and the Tirebiter state.
  • A piece is in its normal state of existence when it occupies only one square.
  • A Tirebiter piece occupies more than one square.
  • When a normal piece makes a capture, if it has more than one legal capture it must make them all. Because a capture involves replacing the captured piece with the piece that is capturing, at the end of the capture the piece that made the capture exists on more than one square at the same time, thus becoming a Tirebiter piece.
  • In order for a Tirebiter piece to move or capture, it must either make the same move from all locations or move to the same square from all locations. Of course, all the moves must be legal, and when a Tirebiter piece moves to the same square from all locations it becomes a normal piece again.
  • Clarification: to "make the same move from all locations" means to move or capture the same distance in the same direction, and either all the moves must be captures or all the moves must be non-capturing moves.
  • Clarification: a Tirebiter piece does not give check unless it can legally capture the enemy King.
  • When a Tirebiter piece is captured on any location, it is removed from all locations. See the example that follows for one special situation that would take too many words to describe.
  • The author would prefer that you play this game with different armies.
  • Clarification: A normal piece captures from one square in many directions to become a Tirebiter piece; a Tirebiter piece moves or captures from many squares in the same direction and remains a Tirebiter piece; a Tirebiter piece moves from many squares in different directions to one square to become a normal piece.
  • Clarification: Yes, Kings and Pawns can be Tirebiter pieces.
  • A Tirebiter Pawn can only be promoted to a Tirebiter piece: all of its locations must promote at once, to the same type of piece, which are merely separate locations of a new Tirebiter piece.

Tirebiter Chess Sample Game for Rules

1. Ng1-f3 h7-h6 2. Nf3-e5 f7-f6 3. Ne5-g4 e7-e5 4. Ng4:e5,f6,h6+

 r n b q k b n r
 p p p p . . p .
 . . . . . N . N
 . . . . N . . .
 . . . . . . . .
 . . . . . . . .
 P P P P P P P P
 R N B Q K B . R
One White Knight occupies the three squares e5, f6, and h6.

This is check because 5. Ne5,f6,h6:d7,e8,g8 is legal.

Black can legally repy 4...Ng8-e7: because Nh6-g8 is not a capture, the move 5. Ne5,f6,h6:d7,e8,g8 is no longer legal, and therefore Black's King is not in check.

In response to 4...Ng8-e7 White can play (in addition to all the normal legal moves) either 5.Ne5,f6,h6-g4 becoming a normal Knight again or 5. Ne5,f6,h6-d3,e4,g4 remaining a Tirebiter Knight.

If Black captures with 4...Rh8:h6(:f6,e5) the squares f6 and e5 are simply empty squares.

If Black captures with 4...Ng8:f6,h6(:e5) the square e5 is simply empty, and the squares f6 and h6 are both occupied by the Black Knight which has become a Tirebiter Knight. This is the special situation that would take too many words to describe.

Remarks About Tirebiter Chess

A Tirebiter piece is dreadfully vulnerable, and limited in its moves; this is the payment you make for the opportunity of capturing several pieces with a single move.

This tradeoff between risk and opportunity is the key to making this game playable, interesting, and good.

A Simple Tirebiter Problem

 . . . . . . k .
 . . . . . R . R
 . . . . . K . K
 . . . . . P P .
 . . . . . . . .
 . . . . . . . .
 . . . . . . . .
 . . . . . . . .
White has one Tirebiter King, one Tirebiter Rook, and one Tirebiter Pawn. White makes a move and says that it's mate next move, but Black's reply checkmates White! What are the moves?

Use your Captain Midnight Secret Decoder Ring to find the answer: (ROT13) Juvgr zbirf gur Ebbxf sbejneqf, Oynpx zbirf gur Xvat gb u7. Juvgr rkcrpgrq Oynpx gb pncgher gur Ebbx, nyybjvat Juvgr gb znxr n abezny Xvat ng t7, purpxzngr.

Nick Danger Chess

Nick Danger Chess would follow the same rules as Tirebiter Chess, but would also allow pieces to move to multiple squares without capturing.

You would rarely want to split a piece, so this rule would not do much unless you were forced to split.

Therefore, the rule should be "whenever a normal piece moves, if it can move the same distance in more than one direction it must do so". For example, some legal moves are

1. e4 e5 2. Qd1-h5 Nb8-c6,a6 3. Qh5-f5,h3,f3

Notice that the Pawns never split by moving, the Queen didn't have to split when going to h5, the Knight had no choice but to split, and the Queen moving two squares had to split three ways but did not have to split onto h6 or g6.

Nick Danger Chess has received a bit less thought than Tirebiter Chess. I'm pretty sure that Tirebiter Chess is good, interesting, playable, and more, but I don't know if Nick Danger Chess is good.


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