The Chess Variant Pages

Contrast Chess

Contrast Chess was invented in 1997 by David Howe.

Description

This chess variant can be used at two different levels. In the more general sense, it can be used as a modifier to any other chess variant in that "Strong" pieces (ie. pieces that are on squares which correspond most closely to the color of the piece) are given enhanced capabilities, and "Weak" pieces (ie. pieces that are on squares which differ most from the color of the piece) are given decreased capabilities. To the extent that the variant uses normal chess pieces and board, this modifier can be applied at the more detailed level of exactly how each piece's capabilities are modified.

General Rules

  1. A piece is considered to be Strong if it is a White (or lighter colored) piece on a light (or lighter) colored square, or if it is a Black (or darker colored) piece on a dark (or darker) colored square.
  2. A piece is considered to be Weak if it is a White (or lighter colored) piece on a dark (or darker) colored square or if it is a Black (or darker colored) piece on a light (or lighter) colored sqaure.
  3. Strong pieces have enhanced capabilities (ie. normal chess moves, plus some extra capability). Weak pieces have decreased capabilities. The particular Strong and Weak capabilities depend on the particular variant that one is modifying. If the variant is sufficiently close to normal chess, the rules specified in the next section may be applied.

Rules for modification of normal chess

Text Version

Piece Strong Weak

King

Normal move plus:
Two squares in any direction (same as a weak Queen).
   +---+---+---+---+---+
   | * |   | * |   | * |
   +---\---+-|-+---/---+
   |   | * | * | * |   |
   +---+---\-|-/---+---+
   | * - * - K - * - * |
   +---+---/-|-\---+---+
   |   | * | * | * |   |
   +---/---+-|-+---\---+
   | * |   | * |   | * |
   +---+---+---+---+---+
Normal move not allowed, but:
May move one square vertical or horizontal. May castle according to normal chess rules.
   +---+---+---+
   |   | * |   |
   +---+-|-+---+
   | *-- K --* |
   +---+-|-+---+
   |   | * |   |
   +---+---+---+
		

Queen

Normal move plus:
May capture any opponent's piece in an adjacent square without moving into that square.
   +---+---+---+
   | * | * | * |
   +---+---+---+
   | * | Q | * |
   +---+---+---+
   | * | * | * |
   +---+---+---+
		
Normal move except:
Range is limited to two squares (same as a strong King).
   +---+---+---+---+---+
   | * |   | * |   | * |
   +---\---+-|-+---/---+
   |   | * | * | * |   |
   +---+---\-|-/---+---+
   | *-|-*-|-Q-|-*-|-* |
   +---+---/-|-\---+---+
   |   | * | * | * |   |
   +---/---+-|-+---\---+
   | * |   | * |   | * |
   +---+---+---+---+---+
		

Rook

Normal move plus:
Has the move of a normal chess Knight.
   +---+---+---+---+---+
   |   | * |   | * |   |
   +---+---\---/---+---+
   | * |   |\ /|   | * |
   +---\---+-|-+---/---+
   |   | --- R --- |   |
   +---/---+-|-+---\---+
   | * |   |/ \|   | * |
   +---+---/---\---+---+
   |   | * |   | * |   |
   +---+---+---+---+---+
		
Normal move except:
Range is limited to two squares.
   +---+---+---+---+---+
   |   |   | * |   |   |
   +---+---+-|-+---+---+
   |   |   | * |   |   |
   +---+---+-|-+---+---+
   | *-|-*-|-R-|-*-|-* |
   +---+---+-|-+---+---+
   |   |   | * |   |   |
   +---+---+-|-+---+---+
   |   |   | * |   |   |
   +---+---+---+---+---+
		

Bishop

Normal move plus:
May move one square diagonally, then move one square diagonally at a 90 degree angle. May not jump a square.
   +---+---+---+---+---+
   |   |   | * |   |   |
   +---+---/---\---+---+
   |   | / |   | \ |   |
   +---/---\---/---\---+
   | * |   | B |   | * |
   +---\---/---\---/---+
   |   | \ |   | / |   |
   +---+---\---/---+---+
   |   |   | * |   |   |
   +---+---+---+---+---+
		
Normal move except:
Range is limited to two squares.
   +---+---+---+---+---+
   | * |   |   |   | * |
   +---\---+---+---/---+
   |   | * |   | * |   |
   +---+---\---/---+---+
   |   |   | B |   |   |
   +---+---/---\---+---+
   |   | * |   | * |   |
   +---/---+---+---\---+
   | * |   |   |   | * |
   +---+---+---+---+---+
		

Knight

Normal move plus:
Jump over one square in a diagonal direction.
   +---+---+---+---+---+
   | * |   |   |   | * |
   +---\---+---+---/---+
   |   | \ |   | / |   |
   +---+---\---/---+---+
   |   |   | N |   |   |
   +---+---/---\---+---+
   |   | / |   | \ |   |
   +---/---+---+---\---+
   | * |   |   |   | * |
   +---+---+---+---+---+
		
Normal move not allowed, but:
May move one square vertically or horizontally.
   +---+---+---+
   |   | * |   |
   +---+-|-+---+
   | *-- N --* |
   +---+-|-+---+
   |   | * |   |
   +---+---+---+
		

Pawn

Normal move plus:
May move one square diagonally forward without taking a piece, and may also move one square straight forward to take a piece.
   +---+---+---+
   | * | * | * |
   +---\-|-/---+
   |   | P |   |
   +---+---+---+
		
Normal move not allowed, but:
May move one square forward. May not capture a piece. May not have an initial move of two squares.
   +---+---+---+
   |   |   |   |
   +---+-|-+---+
   |   | P |   |
   +---+---+---+
		

Rules for modification of normal chess

Graphic Version

Strong Weak
Normal move plus:

Two squares in any direction (same as a weak Queen).
Normal move not allowed, but:

May move one square vertical or horizontal. May castle according to normal chess rules.
Normal move plus:

May capture any opponent's piece in an adjacent square without moving into that square.
Normal move except:

Range limited to two squares.
Normal move plus:

Has the move of a normal chess Knight.
Normal move except:

Range limited to two squares.
Normal move plus:

May move one square diagonally, then move one square diagonally at a 90 degree angle. May not jump a square.
Normal move except:

Range limited to two squares.
Normal move plus:

Jump over one square in a diagonal direction.
Normal move not allowed, but:

May move one square vertically or horizontally.
Normal move plus:

May move one square diagonally forward without taking a piece, and may also move one square straight forward to take a piece.
Normal move not allowed, but:

May move one square forward. May not capture a piece. May not have an initial move of two squares.


Written by David Howe. (The first line was written by Hans Bodlaender.)
WWW page created: May 6, 1997.