The Chess Variant Pages




Separate Realms Chess II

This is another variation on the theme of Separate Realms Chess. Characteristic for it are divergent pieces whose move without capture is restricted and who can reach only a limited realm of the chessboard without capture. A greater realm or the full board are reachable with capturing moves.

Introduction

In the beginning was an odd piece dreamt by Peter Aronson, now known as Separate Realms Rook. It characteristic features are the following. It can capture like a full Chess Rook, however its motion without capturing is restricted to a subset of the full movement. Without capturing it can only reach a part of the squares on the chessboard (in case of the Separate Realms Rook it is only one quarter. The weakness is partly compensated by the ability to jump pieces.

Mike Nelson joined the discussion and soon Peter and Mike designed an interesting chess variant around the theme above. I still kept on thinking about the theme and here I come up with a variation of Separate Realms Chess.

The Pieces

Pawns and King are the same as in FIDE Chess.

The Rook is the odd piece posted by Peter Aronson that started the creation of separate realms chess: The Separate Realms Rook, moving as a Dabbabah-Rider and capturing as a Rook.

On the Knights' positions: The Separate Realms Gnu, moving as a Camel ((1,3)-leaper), capturing as a Camel or a Knight.








 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:*:|   |:*:|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::| ! |:::| ! |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:*:| ! |:::|   |:::| ! |:*:|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:G:|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:*:| ! |:::|   |:::| ! |:*:|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::| ! |:::| ! |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:*:|   |:*:|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
The black circles/'*'s indicate where the Gnu can both move and capture, the red circles/'!'s indicate where it can only capture.

On the Bishops' positions: The Separate Realms Bishop, moving as an Alfil-Rider and capturing as a Bishop.

On the Queens' position: The Separate Realms II Queen, moving as a Separate Realms Rook or a FIDE Bishop and capturing as a Queen. It is different from the Separate Realms Queen which is a combination of Separate Realms Rook and Separate Realms Bishop.








 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:*:|   |:::|   |:*:|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:*:|   |:::| ! |:::|   |:*:|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:*:|   |:*:|   |:*:|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:*:| ! |:*:|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 | ! |:*:| ! |:Q:| ! |:*:| ! |:*:|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:*:| ! |:*:|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:*:|   |:*:|   |:*:|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:*:|   |:::| ! |:::|   |:*:|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
The black circles/'*'s indicate where the Queen can both move and capture, the red circles/'!'s indicate where it can only capture.

Aim of the Game

Checkmate the opponents' king. The usual FIDE Chess rules apply.

Notes

The SR Rook has the 'can mate'-property for most of the positions. It has a blind spot in one corner, where it cannot capture. A typical mating maneuver by the SR Rook look like:
        White: SRRg8, Kh7; Black Kf8.

        1. Kh8 Ke8 
        2. Kg8 Kd8 
        ... 
        5. ... Ka8
        6. Kc7! Ka7  
        7. SRRg5 Ka6 
        8. SRRe5 Ka7 
        9. SRRa5 #
The SRII Queen has a larger realm than the SR Rook without the blind spot.

I prefer the SR Gnu in the Knight's position because it has a fully symmetric move pattern. And, as a physicist, I love symmetries.

This army is not tuned for Chess with Different Armies -- it will very probably turn out too weak. Adding a little bit of strength (maybe mcA to the Rooks or mcD to the Bishops) may balance the game.

References:


Written by Jörg Knappen.
WWW page created: November 13th, 2002.