The Chess Variant Pages




Switching Realms Chess

by Jörg Knappen

Introduction

In Separate Realms Chess we find special pieces whose moves are limited to a certain realm of the full chessboard. They can change realms by capturing.

Switching Realms Chess reverses the theme of separate Realms Chess: The pieces are forced to make a realm change while moving, but they can stay in their realm by capturing.

The Pieces

Pawns and King are the same as in FIDE Chess. The Pawns can promote to any of the special pieces of Switching Realms Chess.

The other pieces in Switching Realms Chess have at least partly divergent moves, i. e. at least some of the time they capture differently than move without capturing. Slip movement means that this piece can move to the 1st, 3rd, 5th or 7th square in the given directions, provided that the odd squares it passes over are not occupied by any piece. It cannot be blocked by pieces on the even squares, it just jumps over them. In Ralph Betza's terminology, it is a kind of bent rider.

The Switching Realms Rook (SwRR) moves like a Panda (aka Slip Rook) and captures like a Rook.








 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:!:|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::| + |:::| ! |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:R:| + |:!:| + |:::| + |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::| + |:::| ! |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 | ! |:!:| ! |:R:| ! |:!:| ! |:!:|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::| + |:::| ! |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:!:|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::| + |:::| ! |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
The uppermost Rook is demonstrating the noncapturing moves, the lowermost the capturing moves. The green circles/'+'s indicate where the Rook can move without capturing, the red circles/'!'s indicate where it can capture.

The Switching Realms Gnu (SwRG) starts form the Knights' positions. It moves like a Knight and captures like a Gnu (aka Wildebeest).








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

The Switching Realms Bishop (SwRB) moves like a Slip Bishop and captures like a Bishop.








 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 | ! |:+:|   |:+:|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::| ! |:B:|   |:::|   |:::| ! |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:+:| ! |:+:|   |:::| ! |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::| ! |:::| ! |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::| B |:+:|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::| ! |:::| ! |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::| ! |:::|   |:::| ! |:+:|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::| ! |:::|   |:::|   |:::| ! |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
The uppermost Bishop is demonstrating the noncapturing moves, the lowermost the capturing moves. The green circles/'+'s indicate where the Bishop can move without capturing, the red circles/'!'s indicate where it can capture.

The Switching Realms Chancellor (SwRC) moves like a Genscher (combining the moves of Knight and Panda) and captures like a Chancellor (combining the moves of Knight and Rook).








 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:!:|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::| * |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::| * |:!:| * |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::| * |:::| * |:::| * |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 | * |:!:| * |:C:| * |:!:| * |:!:|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::| * |:::| * |:::| * |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::| * |:!:| * |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::| * |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
The black circles/'*'s indicate where the Chancellor 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 Switching Realms Rook and Bishop use a different path when moving back to the square they came from. This path can be blocked by another piece, beware!

The Switching Realms pieces are slightly more powerful than their Separate Realms counterparts. This is partly compensated by the fact, that their initial mobility is decreased.

This army was not designed for Chess with Different Armies, but by a ballpark estimate of its strength it may apply.

The Panda (Slip Rook), Slip Bishop, and Slip Queen are mentioned in G. P. Jelliss's A Guide to Variant Chess.

References:


Written by Jörg Knappen.
WWW page created: September 5th, 2002.