The Chess Variant Pages




Chess99

A review of fairy chess terms

Fairy chess pieces are classified as either leapers, riders or hoppers. We will use two of these terms -- leapers and riders -- to describe the moves of the Chess99 pieces.

  • Leapers are pieces that move directly from their starting square to their destination square without passing through intervening squares. Examples of leapers are the king, the knight, the pawn, the ferz, the wazir, the alfil and the dabbaba. (Although the king, pawn, ferz and wazir do not actually "leap", they are still considered members of this group.)
    
    
    
  • Riders are leapers that may repeat their "leap" indefinitely, in the same outward direction. Examples of riders are the rook (a wazir rider), the bishop (a ferz rider) and the queen (a combined wazir and ferz rider). The most well-known fairy chess rider is the nightrider (a knight rider).

Chess99 terms

  • Limited riders are riders that may repeat their "leap" only ‘n’ number of times. For example, a ferz rider, having an ‘n’-value of 3, would move as a bishop that is limited to three squares outward-diagonally.

    A limited rider that may not move through a square upon which it threatens the opposing king we'll call a restricted rider.

    A restricted rider is indicated by an initial followed by a superscripted value of ‘n’, which designates the number of times that it may repeat its "leap" during the course of a move. For example, the above-mentioned restricted ferz rider is designated as ‘F.

    
    
    
  • Progressive pieces are restricted riders that have an ‘n’-value that increases by 1 each time they move their maximum range. For example, a progressive ferz has the following options:

    On its 1st move it may advance one square diagonally.
    On its 2nd move it may advance up to two squares diagonally.
    On its 3rd move it may advance up to three squares diagonally.
    On its ‘n’th move it may advance up to ‘n’ squares diagonally.

    This assumes that the ferz moves its maximum number of squares each turn.

    A progressive piece may not continue to "leap" after capturing or giving check.

    
    
    
  • Simple progressives pieces are progressive pieces which must make each successive "leap" in the same outward direction. For example, a simple progressive knight has a choice of only one knight square, on the second leap of its course (assuming that the square is available).

    A simple progressive piece is indicated by an initial followed by a superscripted ‘+’-sign. For example, ‘F+’ designates a simple progressive ferz rider.

    
    
    
  • Multiple progressive pieces are progressive pieces which may changing the direction of their successive "leaps" during the course of a move. For example, a multiple progressive knight has a choice of eight knight squares, on the second leap of its course (assuming that these squares are available). A multiple progressive piece may also make a ‘null move’, which is to leap up and return to the exact-same square (effectively passing).

    A multiple progressive piece is indicated by an initial followed by a superscripted ‘*’-sign. For example, ‘F*’ designates a multiple progressive ferz rider.

    A progressive piece is assumed to be simple unless designated as multiple.

Noting progressive moves

To note the moves of simple progressive and multiple progressive pieces, we will combine the two conventions described above. For example…

‘ N+ ’ designates a simple progressive knight (viz. nightrider) before it has moved.

‘ W2+ ’ designates a simple progressive wazir (viz. Rook) after its first move.

‘ N3* ’ designates a multiple progressive knight (viz. Ubi-Ubi) after its second move.

 

Chess99 pieces

Piece

Symbol

Movement

Notation

King

K/k

Moves as an orthochess king.

K

Rook

R/r

Moves as an orthochess rook.

R

Combined Bishop-

Wazir

L/l

Moves as an orthochess bishop or as a wazir.

L

Progressive Wazir

W+/w+

Moves as a progressive wazir. May promote to a multiple progressive wazir on the last rank.

Wn+

Combined

Progressive Ferz

F+/f+

Moves as a progressive ferz or as an orthochess knight.

The ferz portion of the move may promote to multiple progressive on the last rank.

Fn+

Progressive Queen

Q+/q+

Moves as a progressive ferz or a progressive wazir. May promote to multiple progressive on the last rank.

Qn+

Progressive Knight

K+/k+

Moves as a progressive knight. May promote to a multiple progressive knight on the last rank.

Nn+

Combined Progressive Dabbaba

D+/d+

Moves as a progressive dabbaba or as an orthochess king (not subject to check). The Dabbaba portion of the move may promote to multiple progressive on the last rank.

Dn+

Combined Progressive Alfil

A+/a+

Moves as a progressive alfil or an orthochess knight. The alfil portion of the move may promote to multiple progressive on the last rank.

An+

Progressive Pawn

P+/p+

Moves as a progressive pawn. Must promote to any other starting piece on reaching the last rank. The promoted piece may further promote to multiple progressive on reaching the first rank and returning again to the last rank.

Pn+

Progressive Berolina Pawn

B+ /b+

Moves as a progressive Berolina pawn. (Promotion rules same as pawn, above.)

Bn+

The board

The 9x11 Chess99 array is shown below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

k

d+

w+

l

q+

f+

a+

n+

r

 

10

p+

p+

p+

p+

p+

p+

p+

p+

p+

 

9

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

8

b+

b+

b+

b+

b+

b+

b+

b+

b+

 

7

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

6

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

5

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

4

B+

B+

B+

B+

B+

B+

B+

B+

B+

 

3

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

2

P+

P+

P+

P+

P+

P+

P+

P+

P+

 

1

K

D+

W+

L

Q+

F+

A+

N+

R

 
 

a

b

c

d

e

f

g

h

i

 

The rules

The rules for Chess99 are the same as for orthochess, except for the following amendments:

  1. A pawn’s two-square first move will count as a single move, in tallying progressive powers.

  2. A Berolina pawn may not advance two squares on its first move.

  3. Neither en passant capturing nor castling is allowed.

  4. Last-rank promotions of pawns and Berolina pawns are mandatory. All other promotions are optional.

  5. Pawns and Berolina pawns may not promote directly to multiple progressive pieces.

  6. When a progressive piece promotes to a multiple progressive piece, its ‘n’-value returns to 1.

This variant is an entry in the 1999 Large Variant contest.


Written by Alfred Pfeiffer. Edited by John William Brown.
WWW page created: May 8, 1999.