The Chess Variant Pages




Diamondback Chess

Mike Schneider ((email removed contact us for address) pam.visi.com) invented this chess variant.

Rules

The board looks as follows:

_________________________________________________
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |  P' |  R  |  Kn |  Q* |  K  |
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |  P~ |  P" |  B  |  B* |
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |  P  |  P" |  Kn |   
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|  P' |     |     |     |  P` |     |  P~ |  R  |
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|  R  |  P~ |     |  P` |     |     |     |  P' |  
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|  Kn |  P" |  P  |     |     |     |     |     | 
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|  B* |  B  |  P" |  P~ |     |     |     |     |
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|  K  |  Q* |  Kn |  R  |  P' |     |     |     |
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

Diamondback Chess is given its name for the diamondback rattlesnake pattern of the empty rows of squares (diamonds) between the contesting pieces.

P = Normal Pawn    K = King
P" = Guard Pawn    Q = Queen
P~ = Flank Pawn    B = Bishop
P' = Wing Pawn     Kn = Knight
P` = Scout Pawn    R = Rook

The board is arrayed as above, with the black corners pointed toward each player.

Prior to play, each player randomly determines the positions of his white bishop and queen (the game thus has four possible starting setups).

Unless specified, all pieces move and capture as they do in standard chess. Pawn movement and capturing possibilities change depending upon the pawn's position relative to the edge of the board on the controlling player's right or left, or proximity to the King's starting corner.

Rooks, Knights, Queens, Kings and Bishops move and capture as they do in standard Chess in all circumstances save castling (see below). The primary difference of Diamondback is in the movement and abilities of pawns.

There is no en-passant or two-space pawn-movement in Diamondback.

For examples below, the controlling player is to the lower left.
m = move only allowed, mc = move or capture allowed, c = capture only allowed

A space marked with a * indicates that any pawn in that square is a pawn of that ability.

Normal pawn movement and capturing:

|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|_____|_____|*____|*____|*____|*____|*____|*____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |  mc |  m  |     |     |     |
|_____|_____|*____|*____|*____|*____|*____|*____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |  P  |  mc |     |     |     |
|_____|_____|*____|*____|*____|*____|*____|*____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|  K  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

A "Normal" Pawn is any pawn which does not fit the criteria below. Any pawn more than two spaces from either edge of the controlling player's side of the board is a Normal Pawn. (Scout Pawns are Normal Pawns, merely named for starting at the head of the player's forces.)

Guard Pawns:

|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|*____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |  mc |  mc |  m  |     |     |     |     |
|_____|*____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |  P  |  mc |     |     |     |     |
|_____|_____|*____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|  K  |     |     |  mc |     |     |     |     |
|_____|_____|_____|*____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

A player begins with two "Guard" Pawns on his 4th horizontal diagonal. They have the ability to slide back and forth along it.

Flank Pawns:

|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|_____|*____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |  mc |  m  |     |     |
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |  P  |  mc |     |     |
|_____|_____|_____|*____|*____|*____|*____|*____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|  K  |     |     |     |     |  c  |     |     |
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

A "Flank" Pawn is any pawn two spaces from either edge of its controller's side of the board. It has the added ability to capture edgeward along its diagonal horizontal.

Wing Pawns:

|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     | mc  |  mc |     |     |
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|  K  |     |     |     |  P  |  mc |     |     |
|_____|_____|_____|_____|*____|*____|*____|*____|

A "Wing" Pawn is any pawn on the right or left edge of its controller's side of the board. It has the added ability to capture diagonally forward.

Pawn Promotion:

|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|Q____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|Q____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|Q____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|  K  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|V____|Q____|Q____|Q____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

An enemy pawn which reaches its opponent's King's Corner automatically wins the game (victory). The three spaces either side of it are Pawn Promotion spaces.

Castling:

A King in its corner and a Rook in its starting position may castle if the intervening spaces are empty. Important: Kings may castle out of or across check. Prior movement does not matter, so long as the King and castling Rook are in their starting positions. The King may either "short castle" by moving two spaces toward the Rook, with the Rook then moving to the other side of the King, or "long castle" by exchanging positions with the Rook.

Winning the Game:

  1. Traditional Checkmate
  2. Moving a Pawn to opponent's King's Corner.
  3. Moving a King to opponent's King's Corner.

Diamondback Chess -by- Mike Schneider, (email removed contact us for address) pam.visi.com


Written by Mike Schneider.
WWW page created: July 3, 1997. Last modified: July 9, 1997.