Autumn 1998, Andy Kurnia watched two people playing chess. Each player had one inverted rook.
Then he saw one of them moved a rook one square diagonally. Interested in
knowing further, he asked them what they were playing.
This variant starts with the normal chess configuration on a normal
chessboard, with the h-rooks inverted.
a b c d e f g h
8 |*M*|*N*|*B*|*A*|*K*|*B*|*N*|*T*| 8 Black
7 |*P*|*P*|*P*|*P*|*P*|*P*|*P*|*P*| 7
6 | |:::| |:::| |:::| |:::| 6
5 |:::| |:::| |:::| |:::| | 5
4 | |:::| |:::| |:::| |:::| 4
3 |:::| |:::| |:::| |:::| | 3
2 | P |:P:| P |:P:| P |:P:| P |:P:| 2
1 |:M:| N |:B:| A |:K:| B |:N:| T | 1 White
a b c d e f g h
Both players have the normal chess set army, with the h-rooks inverted.
While pawns, knights, bishops and the kings are as usual, instead of the
normal two rooks and a queen we have:
- The bomb,
denoted by M in the above diagram, is represented by a normal
standing rook. The bomb moves one kingstep at a time, i.e. one space in
any of the eight directions, like a King, but it cannot capture. Instead
of moving, it may blow up: the bomb and any pieces within one kingstep
from it are removed from the board. The bomb affects nine squares: the
square it is on and the eight squares one kingstep away from it. The bombs
are at a1 and a8 at the start of the game.
- The atomic bomb, denoted by A
in the above diagram, is represented by a
normal queen. The atomic bomb is identical in all respects to the bomb,
except that it affects two kingsteps: it affects twenty-five squares.
However, it still moves one kingstep at a time. The atomic bombs are at d1
and d8 at the start of the game.
- The tank, denoted by T
in the above diagram, is represented by an inverted
rook. It moves like the bomb, but it cannot blow up and cannot capture.
What it can do is to push pieces. No matter how many pieces it has to
push, as long as there are pieces of either color standing on the straight
line starting at where it moves to, it can push all of them one space. If
something at the end is pushed off the board, it is removed from the board
and never reenters. For example, White can move d2-d4, d4-d5, e2-e4,
f2-f3, and then push everything: h1-g2 pushing g2 to f3, f3 to e4, e4 to
d5, and d5 to c6. Since c6 is vacant, the push stops there. However, if
black had moved c7-c6, the move h1-g2 also pushes c6 to b7, b7 to a8, and
"captures" the black rook at a8. Altogether, there are eight possible push
directions. The tanks are at h1 and h8 at the start of the game.
The bombs (of either type) only explode when their owners decide them to,
and this uses up a move. In particular, there is no chain reaction when a
bomb explodes and takes out another bomb, when a bomb is pushed off the
board by a tank, or when the bomb is captured.
The game is played as if it were normal chess, except for the
modifications mentioned in this text.
Those are the surely-implemented rules. Some clarifications, which may
or may not be true:
- Pawns pushed to the first rank can move one space forward only.
Pawns at the second rank can always move two spaces forward, without
the ability to jump. Pawns pushed to the eighth rank promotes as per
normal, the pusher (or perhaps this should be the owner) decides its
- Pawns may promote, instead of to a knight or a bishop, to a bomb, an
atomic bomb, or a tank. There is no normal queens or rooks in this
- There is no castling.
- If tanks keep pushing each other, declare a draw. This is derived from
the three-moves draw rule in normal chess.
- If one king disappears, either because of a bomb explosion or a tank
push, the owner loses. If both kings explode at the same time, the
game is a draw.
- Checks and checkmates are as per normal. Mention check when it is
possible to eliminate the opponent's king at the next move. Mention
checkmate when it is check and it is impossible for the opponent to
A sample position
Black: Md3, Pf3, Kd7
Black can move Me2, checkmate. Because wherever the White King moves to,
the Black Bomb will simply explode.
Another sample position
White: Te5, Nf6, Ke4
White moves Tf6(Nf6-g7), check. Because after that White can move Tf6-g7,
pushing the Black King off the board. This is not a good move, since Kxg7
wins the White Knight.
Use Zillions of Games
to play this game! If you have Zillions of Games installed, you can
download this game and play it.
Written by Andy Kurnia. Minor editing by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: November 6, 1998. Last modified: July 10, 2000.