The Chess Variant Pages

Advanced Wizard Chess

Introduction

Advanced Wizard Chess is a three-dimensional version of our chess variant Wizard Chess which was an entry in the 84 Spaces Contest. (Originally both games were created to be played on square boards, but we modified the board shape of Wizard Chess to a 7 x 12 board for the 84 Spaces Contest.) Advanced Wizard Chess adds a "Sky" realm above the "Earth" board, adds new moves for some existing pieces and adds two new pieces: the Eagle and the Pegasus. Andrew and I hope that you enjoy playing it as much as we do.

Setup

The game board consists of two rectangular playing fields, each one a grid 9 squares wide x 9 squares long, which is not checkered. One board is the "Earth" and one board is the "Sky." The boards are meant to be one above the other. The boards are divided into two territories of four rows each, with the center row (Row 5) between them being a "No Man's Land." The first two rows on each side (Rows 1 and 2 and Rows 8 and 9) where the pieces are initially placed are their respective "camps." Each space in rows two and eight where a Warrior is initially placed is marked with an X. The starting space of the Eagles in Columns A, E, and I are marked with an X as well. The Sky board is visualized as being directly over the Earth board, so that Earth A5 (Ea5) is directly under Sky A5 (Sa5). The Initial setup of the pieces is as follows:
		Earth					Sky  
	
	 9 D P A G Z G A P D			9 E - E - E - E - E
	 8 H W W A G A W W H			8 - - - - - - - - - 
	 7 W - - - H - - - W			7 - - - - - - - - -
	 6 - - - - - - - - -			6 - - - - - - - - - 
	 5 - - - - - - - - -			5 - - - - - - - - - 
	 4 - - - - - - - - -			4 - - - - - - - - - 
	 3 W - - - H - - - W			3 - - - - - - - - - 
	 2 H W W A G A W W H			2 - - - - - - - - - 
	 1 D P A G Z G A P D			1 E - E - E - E - E 
	   A B C D E F G H I			  A B C D E F G H I

Pieces

In the movement diagrams below: x=capture square, m=movement only, o=other piece

Z - Wizard (or Wizard-King): The Wizard only moves on the Earth board. The Wizard is the King piece. The Wizard moves and captures exactly like a King in European Chess, except that the Wizard also has a special Teleportation Move. Once, and only once, during the game the Wizard can change places with any piece of his same color anywhere on the Earth board. This move can only be made when the Wizard is not in check. The Wizard can never move to a square that would put him in check.

	 xxx
	 xZx
	 xxx
D - Dragon: The Dragon can move on both the Earth board and the Sky board. On the Earth board it moves like a Queen when it is not capturing, any number of unoccupied squares in a straight line orthogonally or diagonally. To capture a piece, the Dragon must jump over one (and only one) intervening piece (it does not matter whose piece) in it's line of movement, like a Cannon in Chinese Chess. On the Earth board the Dragon cannot move and capture in the same turn. In the Sky the Dragon moves and captures like a Queen, without the need to jump over an intervening piece, but it's movement in the Sky is limited to a maximum of three squares per move.
	 Earth		  Sky  

	x  x  x		x  x  x
	 o o o		 x x x	
	  mmm		  xxx
	xomDmox		xxxDxxx
	  mmm		  xxx
	 o o o		 x x x
	x  x  x		x  x  x  
In this section we will explain the movement of the Dragon when moving between the Earth board and the Sky board. The Dragon "launches" itself into the Sky by moving to the square that is directly above it's current position or to one of the squares diagonally adjacent to the square directly above it's current position. The Dragon cannot capture when it is "launching" itself into the Sky, so it cannot move into a square in the Sky board that is already occupied. To either move or attack from the Sky board to the Earth board the Dragon drops down to the square directly below it's current position or to one of the squares diagonally adjacent to the square directly below it's current position.
	    Earth to Sky			   Sky to Earth 

    Sky     mmm m m         Sky      D     x x    
    Earth    D   D          Earth   xxx     D 
                m m                        x x
P - Pegasus: The Pegasus replaces the Chariot from regular Wizard chess. The Pegasus can move on both the Earth board and the Sky board. The Pegasus moves and captures exactly like a European Chess Rook or a Chinese Chess Chariot. On the Earth board the Pegasus can move any number of unoccupied squares, while on the Sky board the Pegasus is limited to a maximum of three squares.
     x
     x
     x  
  xxxCxxx
     x
     x
     x
In this section we will explain the movement of the Pegasus when moving between the Earth board and the Sky board. The best way to think of the Pegaus move is that it is exactly like a Chinese Chess Knight, but on the vertical axis. The Pegaus "launches" itself into the Sky by moving to the square that is orthogonally adjacent to it's current position on the Earth board and then to the square that is above the next square in the same direction of movement. The Pegasus cannot launch into the Sky if the square orthogonally adjacent to it on the Earth board is occupied. The Pegasus also cannot capture when it is "launching" itself into the Sky, so it cannot move into a square in the Sky board that is already occupied. To either move or attack from the Sky board to the Earth board the Pegasus moves to the square that is orthogonally adjacent to it's current position on the Sky board and then to the square that is below the next square in the same direction of movement. The Pegasus cannot land or attack if the square that is orthogonally adjacent to it on the Sky board is occupied.
        Earth to Sky             Sky to Earth

        Sky     m---m    m       Sky    --P--      x    
        Earth   --P--    -       Earth  m---m      -  
                       m-Po-                     x-Po-  
                         -                         -  
                         m                         x
 
A - Archer: The Archer only moves on the Earth board, but it can capture (or "kill") a piece on the Sky board. The Archer moves one or two squares orthogonally on the Earth board only. To capture the Archer does not move, therefore it is the only piece that captures without taking over the position of the piece it captures. The Archer can capture any piece that is one square away diagonally on the Sky board or two squares away diagonally on the Earth board. The Archer can capture whether or not a piece is between the Archer and the capture square on the Earth board (i.e he can shoot "over their heads"), however if there is a piece on the intervening Sky square the Archer cannot kill the piece on the Earth board (i.e. he cannot shoot "over the head" of the Earth board piece because he would hit the Sky piece). The Archer has to either move or capture, he cannot do both in the same turn.
        Earth       Sky            Side View

        x m x                       Sky    x o
         -mo         x x            Earth x A -
        mmAmm         A
         om-         x x 
        x m x
G - Giant: The Giant only moves on the Earth board. The giant moves and captures exactly like a King in European Chess, except that he can also move and capture two squares in any diagonal direction if he so chooses. The Giant cannot jump over another piece, so he can only make his two square diagonal "Giant Step" move if the intervening square is clear.
   x   -
    xxo
    xGx   
    xxx
   x   x
H - Hero: The Hero only moves on the Earth board. To move, the Hero moves one square diagonally only in any direction. The Hero can capture one square in any orthogonal direction only. The Hero cannot move and capture on the same turn.
   mxm
   xHx
   mxm

W - Warrior: The Warrior only moves on the Earth board. The Warrior moves one square diagonally forward, except on the first move, when it can move either one or two squares diagonally forward. On this first move the Warrior does not need to travel in a straight line. In other words, on the first move only, the Warrior may change direction with each square traveled (or zig-zag). The Warrior captures one square straight ahead only. The Warrior cannot move and capture on the same turn.
   mxm   
    W  
E - Eagle: The Eagle only moves on the Sky board, but it can capture on the Earth board using it's special "swooping capture" move. In the Sky the Eagle moves and captures like a Knight in Chinese Chess, which means that it's movement can be blocked if a piece is orthogonally adjacent to it. The Eagle captures on the Earth board by "swooping down and carrying off" a piece that is diagonally adjacent to the square immediately below it. After "swooping down" the Eagle ends a "swooping capture" move in the Sky square two diagonal spaces away from the square where it started, on the other side of the square where the capture was made. The Eagle cannot attack a piece on the Earth board if the square where it would end it's "swooping capture" is occupied by another piece. (In the Swooping diagrams below E=Eagle starting position and e=Eagle ending position.)
   Sky            Swooping

      x-x           e---o       Sky     E-e 
     x----           x-W        Earth   -x-
     --Eo-            E
     x----           x-x
      x-x           e---e 
 

Rules

  1. The object of the game is to check-mate the opponent's Wizard-King.
  2. Black always goes first.
  3. Each player moves only one piece per turn, alternating turns.
  4. There is no castling and no en passant.
  5. Warrior/Eagle Capture: This rule applies only to Warriors and Eagles. If a Warrior or an Eagle is captured in it's own territory or "No Man's Land," instead of being removed from play it is placed on any of the vacant squares marked with an X in it's camp by the player whose piece it is (Warriors on the Earth board and Eagles on the Sky board). A Warrior placed on an X with this rule is considered a new piece and is entitled to it's two square first move. If no X is available on which to place the Warrior or Eagle, it will be held until an X is vacant and immediately placed on the first vacant X. This does not count as a turn. If a Warrior or an Eagle is captured in the opponent's territory it is dead and is removed from play.
  6. Wizard Confrontation: The Wizards can never face each other directly in the same orthogonal or diagonal file without a piece being between them. Similar to the Generals in Chinese Chess, this would be considered being in check.
  7. Promotion: If at the end of it's move, one of your Warriors, Heroes or Giants lands in the opponent's camp (the first two rows where the opponent's pieces begin the game), a Warrior promotes to a Hero, a Hero promotes to a Giant, and a Giant promotes to a Pegasus. No other pieces can be promoted and no piece can be promoted more than once. Promotion occurs immediately upon landing in the opponent's camp, at the end of your movement. The only exception to immediate promotion is the Dragon Resurrection rule. The promoted piece cannot move or capture until the next turn.
  8. Dragon Resurrection: If one of your Dragons has been killed and one of your Warriors, Heroes or Giants reaches the opponent's camp, the player may choose to try to reach the last row of the opponent's camp in order to resurrect your Dragon instead of being promoted. This decision must be announced immediately upon entering the opponent's camp and the piece then forfeits it's ability to promote. If the piece succeeds in reaching the last row, the Dragon replaces that piece on the board and it cannot move or capture until the next turn. There can never be more than two Dragons per player. Each Dragon can only be resurrected one time per game.
  9. Stalemate: There is no stalemate, but a draw can be declared if both players mutually agree to it.

Playing Tips

While it is true that Dragons are impressive and somewhat intimidating, don't rely too heavily on them, after all, everyone knows that Dragons can't be trusted... A Dragon in the Sky is worth two on the Earth. Don't let yourself be "Earthbound," keep your eye on the Sky! Don't let your Wizard be swarmed from above, leave him an avenue of escape... Don't use your Teleportation move unless you must: If you are a good player you can use it to force your opponent to nearly check-mate you twice to win. The Warriors do not tend to get stuck as easily as Pawns do, so don't ignore them. Promotion can be the key to victory, especially between evenly matched players, so promote early and often!

Computer Play

Jens Markmann has created a Zillions of Games Rules File for this game and for regular Wizard Chess, the link can be found below in the "See also" section.

Equipment

We made the boards out of poster board with 1 and 1/2 inch squares. For the playing pieces we used plastic checkers with a paper circle that we cut to fit in the middle, labeled with the initial of the piece it represented on one side and the piece it promoted to on the other. It is also helpful to have a second side for the Dragon to indicate if it has been resurrected or not. We have also used icon-type drawings instead of the initials (which we hope to eventually have in the Zillions of Games format).

Contact

This game was invented by Paul E. Newton and his son Andrew P. Newton. If you have questions, comments or suggestions on any aspect of the game you can e-mail us. (Find the email address via this link; editor.)