The Chess 
Variant Pages

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Chess

written by João Pedro Neto,
with Claude Chaunier's
invaluable contribution

Part II

The place seemed quiet. The rare night welcomed both moons. Xlior, the largest, shined with a confusing mixture of reds and yellows from both Grut the Old, and Hurt the New, the Suns of this binary system. Zork landed the spaceship very softly into the golden desert.

"Nice place!" - said Turn.

"Sort of..." - replied Zork.

"What do you mean?"

"Kind of dangerous, but don't worry... It's night!"

"Night!!!? What makes it dangerous?" - asked Turn with some anxiety.

"Little bugs! Crawl in you legs, and NAG!" - Zork said that with a strange noise directly from his two hidronoizels.

"And we are here!?!?! How long is a night?"

"Never know... Binary systems have confusing days and nights!" - said Zork very seriously.

"You are kidding me, right?"

"Right!" - and Zork smiled with Turn's relief.

Turn walked into the ship, took the xhe'noh projector and created a set of chess boards within the virtual field of that strange artifact.

"A game?" - asked Turn.

"Sure! But what game?"

"Chess, of course!"

Zork seemed a little confused.

"I suppose you wanted to ask what chess variant?"

"Right!"

"Anyone! I always saw myself as a meta chess player! Give me the rules, and let's move on!" - said Turn in an exciting mood - "Well, I remember when I showed you the Hitchhiker's Guide, we were playing TIDE chess."

"FIDE!"

"Yeah, yeah... FIDE Chess. What about something for a change?"

"Ok for me! What are your thoughts?"

"I always wanted to play some Space-Time variants, but never had the change for it!"

"Why? No opponent?"

"Nope... No Time!"


TIME

Time is not an arrow or a river that never flows backwards. Time is the maker of worlds and galaxies, Time is the impenetrable white core of all black holes, it's the entropy that flows in your body and mind. But Time is also the most powerful entity that accepts any credit card to change direction for a week or two.


"Most games start from the beginning, right?" - asked Turn.

"Right! What else?"

"Ï know one that does not!"


Progressive RetroChess            by the CV community

  1. White puts the white king on the initial empty board
  2. Black puts the black king in a legal position on the board
  3. White makes a legal FIDE unmove (with the white or black King), then Black makes two unmoves (alternating colors), then White makes 3 unmoves (alternating colors), then Black makes 4 and so on (like in Progressive Orthodox Chess)
    1. The first unmove should produce a position that does not belong to the class of final positions. A final position is a mate, a stalemate, or a draw because of insufficient mating material or a blocked position.
  4. The winner is the one who obtains the initial FIDE setup, and that means all pieces (black and white)
  5. A player loses if he puts the board into an impossible position.

"Wow! So you run faster and faster just to arrive at an initial setup?"

"Yes! It means twisting Time and making it go backwards!"

"Hmmm..."

"What?"

"Does that mean that Time Travel is possible?"

"Beats me, but the Guide should have something more to say about it!"

Time Travel is possible! Those who think that an impressive number of impossible paradoxes arise from that possibility are the same who thought that printing newspapers on strawberries was a ridiculous thing to do. They don't laugh now, after feeling the might of the Zillion Zorkmids of the Strawberry Industries and News (SIN) cartel.

[HG2C page -5]


The King's Time Escape            by Claude Chaunier

  1. The FIDE rules apply, except:
  2. Instead of moving in Space, a King may jump back in Time. To do so, he chooses an earlier board position that already occured in the game. The square he is currently standing on must have been / must be empty on that earlier board position or occupied by an opposing piece (in which case he captures it). He cannot move both in Space and in Time. The game then mysteriously goes on for the two players on that earlier board, with one more King on it.
  3. The advantage is that it provides a King with more escapes in case he is in check. The disadvantage is that the game will go on with one more King, the younger King already present on the earlier board and the time-travelling older King. In that way a player may well populate the board with further copies of her Kings if she wishes to do so. However, the game ends as soon as her opponent is able to capture whichever of those Kings.

"What does the introductory comment have to do with Chess or even Time Travel???" - asked Zork

"Oh... It's just a commercial banner from SIN! They do have a lot of money..."

Zork looked at his friend in surprise... Well, the Guide editors must make a living... - he thought

"Anyway," - he changed the subject - "are there other ways to see Time?"

"Sure!"

"How?"

"Well, Time is a kind of cake..."

"A Cake??"

"Well, kind of... It has layers... Time within Time within Time..."


Simulated Chess            by Claude Chaunier

  1. The FIDE rules apply, except:
  2. A game also describes the moves of a second, slower game. 
    1. Different parts of a player's four consecutive moves are used to make up one move in the slower game. 
    2. The origin column of White's 1st move, the origin row of White's 2nd move, the destination column of White's 3rd move and the destination row of White's 4th move make up White's first move in the slower game. 
    3. Similarly Black's 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th normal moves make up Black's second move in the slower game. 
    4. The slower game goes on with White's 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th moves in the base game, then Black's 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th moves, and so on.
  3. A player loses when she loses in the base game or in the slower game, or more generally when she cannot make up any valid move in both games by following the rules above - unless she has managed to be stalemated in both games at the same time, in which case she wins.

"And this can even go further!" -said Turn going to the next integer page.


Self-referential Chess            by Claude Chaunier

  1. The Simulated Chess rules apply, except:
  2. The whole base game and the beginning of the slower game must be the same.
  3. Hence if the base game starts with 1 Cf3 d5 for example, in other words 1 g1f3 d7d5, we already know parts of the next moves: 2 .1.. .... 3 ..f. .... 4 ...3 d... 5 .... .7... 6 .... ..d. 7 .... ...5

"That´s strange..."

"What? Time layers?"

"No, comparing it with a cake!" - said Zork

"It´s just a narrow way to see it! The Guide talks a bit about this..."

Time is usually seen as a straight arrow moving forward. This movement metaphor is poor, since it only brings to the curious mind, the opposite sense of travel back in Time. However, there are other ways, like turning right or left, even go up or down in Time. Time does not have one single dimension, It can flow in different orthogonal ways at "the same time". This is an active field of study at VariantsTown, where many new games are prepared to represent this temporal complexity. Variants where one player goes backward with the two colors and the other forward with the two colors; where both players change direction at their convenience; or where white pieces always go forward and black pieces backward - like anti-matter which can be seen just as matter going backward. Time is just like a Cake!

[HG2C page 324+6.2i]

"But there is also a definitive way to see Time!"

"Yes?"

"Not seeing Time!"


One Shot Chess                by João Pedro Neto

  1. The FIDE rules apply, except:
  2. Each player (secretly) writes a sequence of 40 moves.
  3. Each sequence is executed, alternating moves for both players (like in FIDE turns).
  4. Every opponent piece between the start and end square of a move is captured, except if there is a Knight in-between, then all pieces after the Knight and just before the end square are not captured. However, the Knight is captured. E.g., the White Rook moved Rc3-c8, capturing the black Pawn and the Queen. The black Rook was protected by the Knight.
    . . q . . . . .      . . R . . . . .
    . . r . . . . .      . . r . . . . .
    . . n . . . . .      . . n . . . . .
    . . p . . . . .      . . . . . . . .
    . . . . . . . .      . . . . . . . .
    . . R . . . . .      . . . . . . . .
    . . . . . . . .      . . . . . . . .
    . . . . . . . .      . . . . . . . .
  1. The Knight cannot capture pieces using rule 4.
  2. Pieces may not jump friendly pieces.
  3. The one capturing the King wins the game.
  4. If no one is able to capture the opponent King, then the game is a draw.

"Curious..." - commented Zork - "But, if we do not have Time, what else remains?"


SPACE

Space is not continuous. Early civilizations called quanta some discrete parts of space. Deeper scientific theories have found that each quantum is made of squara (or squares) forming nxn boards. A quantum's behavior is defined by chess rules and specific game dynamics within its core. Quanta close together have similar game dynamics, but the rules are basically the same. What nobody knows is which variant Nature plays.


"Can quanta be divided?" - asked Zork absent-mindedly.

"Into smaller quanta, you mean?"

"Yes..."

"Well, no, that's why they call them Quanta." - Turn claimed.

"Hmm..." - Zork didn't look convinced.

"But we can split Pieces!" - Turn quickly added.


Fractional Chess               by Claude Chaunier

  1. The FIDE rules hold, except:
  2. Each piece is allowed to split its presence into two or more locations. For example the White King can be half on e1 half on h1.
  3. Moving part of a piece costs the same fraction of a move. Before the opponent plays, a player must spend the exact amount of 1 move, possibly split among several fractions of pieces. For example White first move can be 1.(1/4)d4 (2/4)Nf3 (1/4)Nh4, resulting in the following board (where 1y means 1y/4):
    r n b q k b n r
    p p p p p p p p
    . . . . . . . .
    . . . . . . . .
    . . .1O . . .1N
    . . . . .1N . .
    O O O1O O O O O
    R N B Q K B N R
    
  4. A piece or part of a piece can land on a square already occupied by the same kind and color of piece, adding the moving fraction to the fraction already there.
  5. It is possible to collect a fraction of a piece bigger than 1 onto the same square.
  6. A piece or part of a piece can only land on an enemy piece or part of an enemy piece - and capture it - if the attacking fraction that is moving is bigger than or equal to the enemy's fraction.
  7. When several fractional moves contribute to a player's unit of move, they are most often described as an ordered sequence of consecutive fractional moves, but some of them may be achieved simultaneously, for example to achieve an attack that would not be possible sequentially.
  8. Beside, the FIDE rules hold as if there was no fraction. Therefore a square cannot contain parts of pieces of different kinds or colors. And fractional pieces are no ghosts -- they are obstacles like any complete piece.
  9. There is no Check, Checkmate and Stalemate rule. The goal is to capture all (the fractions of) the opponent's King.
  10. The players may decide in advance to restrict the set of available fractions, for example to {0, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1}.

Here is a small endgame example. White can win with the simultaneous B/2axc8 B/2dxc8:

.   .   k   .   .   .   .   .

.   .   .   B/2 .   .   .   .

B/2 .   .   .   K   .   .   .

.   .   .   .   B   .   .   .

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

If it is Black's turn however, Black may try to split and escape quickly, for example with K/8c7 K/8c6 K/8c5 K/8c4 K/8c3 K/8c2 K/8b8 K/8a8, but White can easily capture it all immediately. It seems better for the Black King to capture one half of a Bishop and to reunite itself with K/2xd5 K/2c8.

"So Space is not only about boards, it's also about objects!" - said Turn.

"Of course! But there are also a lot of variants dealing with N-dimensional topologies!"

"I think there is something about that in the Guide" - Turn looked into the dimensional chapters of the HG2C and selected one little passage:

The default Chess board limits itself into two dimensions, those called ranks and columns. However, since Space is multidimensional, there is also a set of Chess games with other connections made between the squares where pieces lies. A simple sample are those variants where a third dimension is added. Some ancient legends talk about a game, in the Onyx system, with 65536 dimensions and just a King on each side. The looser is the player who, after some finite turns, cannot find his King on the board.

[HG2C page 681]

"Nice one!" - Zork laughed - "But I don't like those, I prefer the variants that change the way squares behave!"

"How?"

"Two examples:"


Queue Chess                by João Pedro Neto

  1. The FIDE rules apply, except:
  2. A piece may move on top of another friendly piece.
    1. Only two pieces may be queued
    2. Only the upper piece may move off the queue
    3. The upper piece inherits the move/capture powers of the queued piece
    4. The two pieces can move together
  3. A piece that captures a queued piece captures both pieces
  4. If some pawn reaches the last rank, it is promoted (even if it belongs to a queue)
  5. A pawn on the first rank can move two squares ahead.
  6. A king cannot be queued

Transport Chess                by João Pedro Neto

  1. The FIDE rules apply, except:
  2. The board size is 18x18 (hint: use a Go board). The setup is as follows:
. . . . . . . . q k . . . . . . . .
p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O
. . . . . . . . Q K . . . . . . . .
  1. Any player also has 12 Rooks, 12 Bishops and 12 Knights. These pieces may be dropped anywhere onto the board, but they cannot check the opposing King. A drop counts as a move.
  2. A piece may transport any friendly piece at moving distance. The group moves the same number of squares. Any opposing piece standing on any destination square is captured. Any square crossed by any moving piece must be empty, unless the move is a Knight's jump as usual.

    E.g., the Knight transports the Q, R and the King with him. The Black rook is captured. The white pawn at b4 cannot be transported since there is another White piece on its destination square.
. . . . . . . .      . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .      . . . . . . . .
. . O . . . . .      . . O . . . . .
. . . . x . . .      . . . . N . . .
. O . . . . . .      . O Q . . . . .
. . . N . r . .      . . . K . R . .
. Q . . . . . .      . . . . . . . .
. . K . R . . .      . . . . . . . .

"So, you say that you redefine the squares, but what you are doing is changing the board topology into some invisible ways."

"I suppose, but many connections between things are invisible!"

"True, true!"

"But, check this one:"


Scaling Chess                by João Pedro Neto

  1. The FIDE rules apply, except:
  2. Each player, rather than move, may decide to scale one of its pieces. This scaling may be an expansion (the piece gets 4x bigger) or a contraction (4x smaller). Expansion is only possible if the necessary squares are empty. A contraction move must state to which square(s) the piece goes.
  3. A piece is captured if another piece lands into one of its squares
  4. A piece can only moves or captures if there is no friendly piece in-between. 
  5. An expanded piece can only move or capture if all its components make valid moves or captures.

    E.g., The Knight expansion creates a fork that threats the Black King and Rook. However if there was a White piece at e5, the Knight could not attack the King.
. . . . . . . .      . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .      . . . . . . . .
. . . . . k . .      . . . . . k . .
. . . . . . r .      . . . . . . r .
. . . . . . . .      . . . N-N . . .
. . . N . . . .      . . . N-N . . .
. K . . . . . .      . K . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .      . . . . . . . .

Some notes:


"Curious... Now, there is no strange topology, but a different way for the pieces themselves to see Space."

"Yes! On this game, the Universe stretches and shrinks upon request."

"Even the other pieces change sizes - from their point of view of course!"

"When speaking of Chess, that's all it matters!"

The Universe is a global entity that surrounds everything! In a sense, the Universe IS everything. But in the other sense (if there were just two senses...), the Universe is how YOU see it, nothing more, nothing less. So, in principle, the way you see it can change the Universe, if you know how. If not, you had better change the spaceship's trajectory when a massive meteor is coming your way!

[HG2C page 76576]

"But, the pieces can be just that, simple concepts that obey the rules of their strange Universe!"

"Sure! Read this text and this variant:"

Boards are the archetype of Space. Different boards reflect on different Universe topologies, and their connectivity induces the Laws that shape that Universe. Despite the fact that square boards are the best approximation to our daily life, galactic travels showed in practice that our own conceptual boards are not plane! After many theoretical efforts to explain this curvature in Space-Time, the only possible explanation surfaced the sky of VariantsTown - the curvature has its source in the overweight of the two fat Kings that are playing the game governing our entire Universe.

[HG2C page 365 1/4]


Rotating Chess                by João Pedro Neto and Claude Chaunier

  1. The FIDE rules apply, except:
  2. Every two moves, the board rotates 90 degrees counter-clockwise. The pieces moving direction doesn't rotate with the board.
   Eg,

    r . b q k b n r      r p . . . . O R       R Q B K Q B N R     |
    p p p p p p p p      . p . . . . O .       O . O O . O O O     v
    . . n . . . . .      b p n . . N O B       . . N . . . . .   black
    . . . . . . . .      k p . . . . O K       . . . . O . . .
    . . . O . . . .  =>  q p . . O . . Q   =>  . . . . . . . .
    . . . . . . . .      b p n . . . O B       . . n . . n . .   white 
    O O O . O O O O      . p . . . . O N       p p p p p p . p     ^
    R N B Q K B N R      r p . . . . O R       r . b k q b q r     |

    1. d4 Nc6  2. Nc3 Nf6  3. g1=Q b1=Q ...

Some notes:


"I suppose that if they were able to, all those pieces would get some odd laws of Nature to explain the behavior of their Universe!" - commented Zork.

"Is'n it exactly what we do?" - said Turn in a whisper - "And that reminds me of something else!"


PARADOX

A chess King read an old book, where a Red Queen, in order to exercise her mind, thought daily about a couple of impossible things just before breakfast. For his royal intellect, he thought, that would be easy to do and he started to create impossible games to see his servants play them. After some months of hard times trying to learn and waste time with those strange games, his Minister approached the King and said the following: "Your Majesty, I'm very happy about your ideas and wonderful games, but isn't that a trivial task for someone so wise and powerful? You, my Liege, could aim at higher goals!". The King was surprised. "What is more difficult than an impossible game?", he asked. "Creating a number of possible rules to achieve an impossible game is hard, but creating an impossible number of rules to achieve a possible game is even harder!", the Minister answered. "I have an idea", the King said, "I will create an impossible number of rules to define a possible game". "Magnificent idea, my King", the Minister said, "You are a true genius!", "I know, my honest Minister, I know...". Then the King went to his castle and stayed there until the brightest Sun of the System got old and red and hotter, expanded and consumed his world, the castle, the King and the fading memory of his wise Minister.

[HG2C page 3.14159265...]


"paradox?" - said Zork

"Paradox!"

"What?"

"You said Paradox with a lowercase p"

"Er... What do you mean by that?"

"Never mind!"

...

Sidestepping Chess             by Claude Chaunier

  1. The FIDE rules apply, except:
  2. The four central squares are replaced by a second 8x8 board.
  3. The four central squares of that second board are replaced by an access - a reference - to the first board.
  4. Instead of moving a piece normally on either board, a player may choose to move a piece from any board to the other board.
  5. Such a move to another board can only occur as a sidestep as follows:
    1. the player's piece must currently stand on one of the height squares adjacent to the four central squares that were removed
    2. and the destination square must be empty and one of the four squares on the adjacent edge of the other board (see picture).
  6. As a result, sidesteps always go 'inwards'. (If both ways were allowed, the Kings would be hard to trap.)
  7. Any move that would have normally stepped over a central square - either by stopping there or by going through - is not valid.


"That reminds me of an eternal cycle, a kind of perpetual momentum machine" - said Zork

"Indeed it does! Or an infinite hole, where pieces always return after falling!"

"Paradox!"

"You got it right, this time!"


The Looping Flow of Chess             by Claude Chaunier

  1. The Sidestepping Chess rules apply, except:
  2. There is now a huge given number N of boards instead of only two. Each board embeds the next board in place of its four central squares, as above. The last board embeds the first board.
  3. The game now starts with the FIDE initial setup on each board, resulting in a total amount of 32xN pieces at the beginning.
  4. The winner is the first player who mates one of the N opposing King - or checks several opposing Kings without any possibility for the opponent to go out of all the checks in the next move.

"These are weird games!" - commented Zork after trying to imagine how he may play them.

"You didn't see anything yet!"


The Infinite Array of Possible Pawns                by João Pedro Neto

  1. The FIDE rules apply, except:
  2. The board size is omega lines x omega columns
  3. The left columns are numbered with negative numbers (-1, -2, -3, ...) and the right columns with positive numbers. Both Kings stay at column Zero
  4. At each side, there is the following piece pattern:
. . . r n b r n b q k b n r b n r . . .
. . . p p p p p p p p p p p p p p . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

       infinite number of lines... 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . O O O O O O O O O O O O O O . . .
. . . R N B R N B Q K B N R B N R . . .
  1. The pawn at column n can advance |n| rows in its first move. All pawns after the 'last' column (i.e., after the omega column) may move to the other side of the board.
  2. Any piece may transport any friendly non royal piece.
    1. A piece A may transport a piece B, if B is in moving distance of A
    2. All transported pieces move the same number of squares as the main piece.

Some notes:


"This is getting too weird!" - said Zork.

"Well, and we just started..." - answered Turn moving his hand into the gold sand - "Have you ever wondered that an Holobook may always have a page between any two pages?"

"How is that?"

"Check this Guide section: Between pages 8201 and 8202, there is an addendum numbered 8201 1/2"

"Ok! And so what?"

"So, check what is on the left side of page 8201 1/2!"

Zork pressed the left button. Page 8201 appeared!

"No, no" - said Turn, "Use the Cantor left button. No... yes, that one!"

Page 8201 1/4 appeared.

"Now, once more!"

Page 8201 1/8.

"Now turn back a couple of times!"

Pages 8201 3/16, 8201 7/32 and 8201 15/64 showed their unique faces.

"What happened? From where all these pages came from?"

"Addendums of addendums of addendums... Don't worry, that's why there is the Natural forward and backward buttons in the Guide. If you only had the Cantor buttons, and started at page 1, you would never get to page 2."

"Is that true?"

"Well, you would need a pretty impressive number of eons to do that!" - said Turn in a grin. He opened his hand, dropping myriads of sand particles and returning them to the vast golden desert.


The Endless Fountain of Lost Columns                by João Pedro Neto

  1. The FIDE rules apply, except:
  2. The board size is 8 lines x 5 columns and the setup is as follows:
r n k q b
p p p p p
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
O O O O O
R N K Q B
  1. Any two adjacent friendly pieces in the same row may produce a new empty column. All squares on this new column surrounded by pieces of the same color get a new piece (equal to the lower piece of those two surrounding ones, using the K>Q>R>B=N relation).
. . . k .      . . . . k .
. r b . .      . r b b . .
. . . n .      . . . . n .
. . . . .      . . . . . .
. O p . .  =>  . O . p . .
. . . . .      . . . . . .
O . O . .      O . . O . .
. R K . .      . R R K . .
                   ^
  1. When a player moves a piece, this type of piece may not be used to duplicate for the next 2 moves (not turns!).

Variant:

Some notes:


"That's a melancholic-oriented game..." - added Turn.

"A what?"

"To those people that feel a deep melancholy about something in the past"

"That's a way to classify games?"

"Sure! Why not? Imagine: you can classify games by goal, by move attributes, by board topology, or even by color!"

"Color?"

"TrexMex Chess must be played with yellow Bishops, or else..."

"Don't tell me!"

"Right! Anyway, classifying games by your mental mood is a way to place the importance where it belongs: you!"

"I suppose there are games for love and for rage!"

"More for rage than for love..." - Turn looked into the dark sky - "but yes, there are!"

"Let me check the Guide!"


Clone and Destroy                by João Pedro Neto

  1. The FIDE rules apply, except:
  2. A piece may clone itself to any square where it can capture an opposing piece (and so capturing it)

note: The Knight is a very powerful piece in this variant


"Wanna play?" - asked Turn

"No! No!"- said Zork - "And what about love?"

"Here is a good example"


Romeo and Juliet                by João Pedro Neto

  1. The FIDE rules apply, except:
  2. Wins the player who:
    1. Places his Queen on a square adjacent to the opposing King, or
    2. Captures the opposing Queen.

"So, each Queen is in love with the other King?" - said Zork.

"I guess so! There is also a component of envy, but that always comes along with love..."

"Who are those guys?" - asked Zork.

"If I recall well, it's a story written by William Othello, who lived on Elsinore. These are two people that met and fall in love during a Tempest on a ship with a lot of mad and crooked Kings!"

"Oh, a Chess story!"

"What else?"

Turn switched on the mentu-arkanoid, the antigravitical auxiliar device, and the spaceship traveled in a complete silence through the empty darkness of the Planet. The wind welcomed their faces, and they felt the softness of the moment. After a while, Zork said:

"That method is interesting. See how you feel and pick the appropriate game!"

"There is always the possibility that your opponent mood is different from yours. That's why there are some games with different setups and rules for each player. Anyway, it's a price to pay for such an absorbing classification. Some games are hybrids, they fall into two categories of games."

"There are shades of gray between classes?"

"Sure! There are always enough shades to surprise anyone of us!"

Life does not fit on just Black and White. Since mixing is possible and often occurs, an infinite set of shades populate the Universe and Everything (and that means a lot of things!). Amazingly, this is a territory yet to be discovered on the world of CVs, just compared to the potential market for spherical bananas!

[HG2C page 10000]


Shades of Gray                by João Pedro Neto

  1. The FIDE rules apply, except:
  2. Each moved piece changes its color using the following order:
    1. White -> Light Gray -> Black -> Dark Gray -> White
  3. A gray piece cannot capture and can be moved by both players
  4. A player cannot move the last created gray piece.
  5. A player cannot do two consecutive moves with gray pieces.
  6. A King cannot capture gray pieces.

"Don't forget one thing!" - said Zork, after reading the rules.

"What?"

"Shadows!"


Light and Shadows                by João Pedro Neto

  1. The FIDE rules apply, except:
  2. White is the army of Light, and Black is the army of Shadows.
  3. Each square is attached with a Luminosity Value (LV). Their initial values are equal to zero.
  4. When a Light (Shadow) piece moves into a square, that square increases (decreases) its LV by 2 units, and the rookwise adjacent squares by 1 unit.
  5. The maximum absolute LV for every square is 8.
  6. When a Light (Shadow) piece moves into a negative (positive) LV square, its movements are limited.
    1. A limited Pawn cannot capture;
    2. A limited Knight cannot jump, so it behaves like the Xiang-Qi horsemen;
    3. A limited Bishop, Rook and Queen may only move/capture within the range of 8 minus the square's LV. So, one of these pieces in a square with -8 LV for White or 8 LV for Black, cannot move/capture.
    4. Kings are not limited in any way.

    note: Since Kings are not limited by dark/light forces, they may be useful to enlighten/darken nearby square areas.
    note: To play, you may use an extra chess board and a set of small numbered pieces of paper to record the square's LV.


"Shades are everywhere!" - said Zork seeing a thin horizontal line of light on the horizon

"The Candle or the Sun fighting darkness inside a circle of light!" - answered Turn with an ancient almost forgotten sentence

"Or the opposite!"

"How?"

"The Dark Matter that fights light inside a circle of darkness."

"Are you mentioning Black Holes?"

A Black Hole is a place where all the White squares has been removed from the local representational Chess board. That means that almost no Chess games can be represented, and so, almost all Laws of Nature collapse! By the Law of Symmetry, there must also be some places where no Black squares exist, creating White Holes. Some primitive civilizations thought that would be the Quasars, but that's not true! White Holes, for some unknown reason are not known in this Galaxy! This may be a fantastic statistical shift. Another theory says that White Holes may be inside Black ones, by some other force that needs to be explained or even found!

[HG2C page 999]


Relentless Black Hole Chess                by João Pedro Neto

  1. The FIDE rules apply, except:
  2. The board is 9x9, with 2 Queens around the King
  3. The central square is called Black Hole
  4. At each move, the Black Hole attracts a line of pieces (orthogonal or diagonal) one square closer to him
    1. The attraction changes direction once per move, starting south (White's point of view) and turning clockwise
    2. Any piece that enters the Black Hole is captured

"Captured by the Universe..."

"Well, Turn, remember when I said that I was kidding?"

"Yes?"

"I was kidding about not knowing when the night ended, not about the deadly crawling daylight bugs!"

Hurt's light started to appear in the southern horizon. The night was fading away...

End of Part II


See also Part I.
Written by João Pedro Neto.
WWW page created: November 23, 2001.