The Chess Variant Pages




Deneb

By Roberto Lavieri

Introduction

DENEB is the name of a bright star. Also is a game played on a 7x9 board. There are three types of special pieces in the game: The P32, the P43 and the STAR. These pieces are special because they are interchangeable. A stationary move allows a special piece to change its type to another type of special piece. This is an important move in this game, because you can win the game if you reduce to zero the number of a special type piece. All pieces (except the King) in this game are cannibals; they can take friendly pieces. This characteristic may be used in some situations, but it should be of great importance when a Soldier captures a friendly piece, because there is a rule that allows the cannibal Soldier to PROMOTE by COMPENSATION; the Soldier can promote to a SPECIAL PIECE in this way. You can win the game also if you CHECKMATE the opposite King.

There is a piece in this game that can't capture, this piece appears in DENEB and other astronomical games like ACHERNAR and ALTAIR: THE REDUCER. This is a piece that can REDUCE the abilities of adjacent pieces to only ONE-STEP movement according to the piece movement or method of capture. In this game, if the friendly Reducer is adjacent to a reduced piece, this piece recovers its abilities. A REDUCER CAN'T be CAPTURED by an enemy piece other than the King. There is no castling or en-passant movement. A SOLDIER promotes to a SPECIAL PIECE when it reaches the last file.

WIN CONDITIONS: Checkmate the opposite King, or reduce the number of a special type of pieces -- STAR, P32 or P43 -- to zero. 

Board and Set Up

 

 The Board is 7x9, there are seven SOLDIERS, three STARS, two P43, two P32, one QUEEN, one REDUCER and a KING per side.

Pieces

 

 

A Soldier moves without capturing one square Orthogonally forward, one square Diagonally forward or with the HORIZONTAL movement of a ROOK. It captures one square diagonally forward. If Reduced, it loses every movement of two or more squares. If the friendly Reducer is adjacent, it recovers its abilities. If in the THIRD (White) or SIXTH (Black) RANK, it can move two squares forward. In the last rank, it can promote to a SPECIAL PIECE: STAR, P32 or P43. When a Soldier captures a friend piece, it can promote by COMPENSATION to a SPECIAL PIECE. 

 

 

 

The Star moves orthogonally without capturing to any unoccupied square at a distance of four squares or less, or as a King without capturing. It takes by jumping (like piece of draughts, but in all directions). When jumping orthogonally, it can take successive pieces, enemies and/or friends, with successive orthogonal jumps. After the last orthogonal jump, it can make another and final STAR move or diagonal capturing jump. When reduced, it moves as a King without capture. A Star can be changed to P43 or P32 with a stationary move. If an enemy Reducer is adjacent, it can move only one square. If a friendly Reducer is adjacent, it recovers its abilities. If the number of Stars in your side is zero, you lose.

 

 

 

 

Queen: orthodox move. When reduced, it retains one-step capabilities. If the friendly Reducer is adjacent, the Queen recovers its abilities. It can't take the Reducer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P43: This piece with robotic name is a SPECIAL TYPE of piece. The other SPECIAL TYPE pieces are the P32 and the STAR. The P43 slides 4, leaps 3, or leaps 1 orthogonally. If reduced, it only leaps 1 orthogonally. Stationary movement: it can change to another type of special pieces: P32 or a STAR. If Reduced, it can move only one square. If a friendly Reducer is adjacent, it recovers its abilities. If the number of your P43s remaining is zero, you lose.

 

 

P32: This is another special piece. The P32 slides 3, leaps 2, or leaps 1 orthogonally. If reduced, it only leaps 1 orthogonally. If the friendly Reducer is adjacent, it recovers its abilities. Stationary movement: It can CHANGE to a P43 or a STAR. If the number of your P32s remaining is zero, you lose. 

 

 

 

A REDUCER moves as a FIDE Queen. It can't capture any piece. Instead of this, it has the ability of REDUCE the movement and capture abilities of adjacent enemy pieces. An enemy piece adjacent to the Reducer can only move or capture with ONE-STEP movement according to the piece capabilities. A Reducer can only be captured by the King. It can't be captured by another piece. If the Reducer is adjacent to a reduced piece of the same side, the piece recovers its abilities. It is a nice piece, and it is an important piece in the game.

 

 

 

 

King is the royal piece. King moves and capture with a single step in all eight directions with FIDE-KING movement. The King can capture and it is immune to the REDUCER.

 

 

 

Rules

Win condition: Checkmate the opposite King, or reduce the enemy number of a SPECIAL TYPE piece (P32, P43 or STAR) to zero.

 

Playing Tips

Use the Reducer well. It is a great piece although it can't capture. Special pieces have approximately the same value, but it depends strongly on position. The value of a Special piece is almost the same value of TWO Soldiers, so there is not an immediately great advantage to promoting by compensation. If you take a friendly Soldier, it should be made according to your position and purposes, because Soldiers are defensive pieces too. It would be healthy if you maintain a balanced number of special type pieces, but it is not necessarily the best strategy in every case. Nevertheless, evaluate the risk if you decide to break the balance. Be careful with the number of remaining pieces of each SPECIAL TYPE. Tricks and threats in this game are really cool in the end game. Enjoy.

Computer Play

Now you can play DENEB if you have installed on your computer a registered version of ZILLIONS OF GAMES. You can download the DENEB ZRF and graphics at the link below. (Author: Roberto Lavieri)

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