By Ralph Betza
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, or
so they say. In life, it may not be so, but in Greener Chess
the grass is indeed greener.
The Obvious Place
The obvious place for the Fence is between the 4th and 5th rank,
so that, for example, a Black piece moving from f6 to e4 would
be crossing to its greener side.
The game can also be played with the Fence between the e-file
and the d-file. Although I am only going to discuss games with the
fence in the obvious place, it is very possible that playing with
a vertical fence is an even better and more interesting game.
A piece which is on the greener side of the fence is
Augmented (two more
augmenters can be found
As per the standard rules, each player chooses an unaugmented army
from the well-known armies of Chess
with Different Armies, and then also chooses which augmenters to
use with each of his pieces (in other words, before the piece moves
from f6 to e4, both sides know what powers it will gain from that
A piece which retreats from the greener side of the fence to
the wrong side of the tracks loses its augmentation.
In Greener Chess, all Pawns can be augmented; they gain the power
of moving but not capturing sideways (for example, a White P on e5
could move to d5 or f5, but not capture there, and of course can
also make its normal Pawnish moves.
In Greener Chess, Kings can also be augmented, but only by
non-capturing Crab. Theoretically, they could be augmented by
one of the following special choices:
In practice, the Crab is (surprisingly!) weakest, and makes for a
- Non-capturing Alfil
- Non-capturing Dabbabah
- Non-capturing Crab
- Non-capturing Barc
Crossing the fence makes your pieces stronger, and the attack
is aways dangerous. The exciting possibility is for the King to run
from the attack and gain augmentation on the enemy side of the board!
Sample Endgame 1
Given a White Ka6, White Pb6, and Black King a8, with White to play,
we have what would be a draw in FIDE Chess -- but in Greener Chess,
the White King and White Pawn are on the other side of the fence
and therefore are augmented.
How does this change things? Naturally enough, it depends on what
augmentation the King has:
- If the WK is augmented by non-capturing Crab, the game is still
- Augmentation by non-capturing Barc allows Ka6-c7.
This is stalemate, so instead one jinks the K around to c6, with
the Black K on c8, and wins by Kc6-a7.
- Alfil is basically the same as Barc.
- Dababbah is simple: 1. b6-b7+ Ka8-b8 2. Ka6-c6 wins.
Sample Endgame 2
With a Black Ke1, White Ke3, and White Rook a2, Black to play,
what is the result for each possible augmentation?
Because the Ra2 automatically covers the retreating moves of the Crab,
I believe White wins.
With the Barc, 1...Ke1-d1 threatens Kd1-c3 escaping. Looks like a draw.
Alfil simply allows 1...Ke1-c3.
Dababbah, 1...Ke1-c1 2. Ke3-d3 Kc1-b1 3. Ra2-f2! Kb1-b3 4. Rh2-h4!!
Kb3-b1! (Kb3-b5 loses its augmentation and loses the game) 5. Rh4-e4!
Kb1-c1 and draws bespite White's best efforts.
Written by Ralph Betza.
WWW page created: January 17th, 2003.