The Chess Variant Pages

Lumberjack

Bruce Zimov wrote me about a chess variant, he invented in 1973. The game was played with much enthousiasm in Cincinnatti in a period where many chess variants were tried out there.

Rules

All pieces except pawns move according to the column they are on - following the movement of the type of piece that starts the game at that column in orthodox chess. So, a piece on the a-column or h-column moves as a rook; a piece on the b-column or g-column moves as a knight; a piece on the c-column or f-column moves as a bishop; a piece on the d-column moves as a queen; and a piece on the e-column moves as a king (but without the conditions on check), i.e., one square in an arbitrary direction.

Kings have their movement abilities affected, but not their `royalty'. So, for instance, a king on a4 moves as a rook, but still may not move to a square that is attacked by an opponents piece.

The purpose of the game is to check the king (so, not another piece on the e-column).

Pawns move as in orthodox chess.

Comments

A disadvantage of the game is that players will tend to have many pieces on the columns of queen and rooks (a, d, and h). Bruce Zimov wrote that the game becomes interesting when combined with another variant, like Alice.

Other popular variants of the inventor and friends were Lumberjack Giveaway (i.e., this game combined with Giveaway chess), and Lumberjack Putback Bingo, the rules of which will be described later this year on the Chess Variant pages.


Written by Hans Bodlaender, based on an email of Bruce Zimov.
WWW page created: June 2, 1997.