The Chess Variant Pages

Tree garden chess

William Overington

31 July 2002

This is an entry for the 84 spaces contest. This game uses the pieces of ordinary chess and some extra pieces. Each side has a complement of the pieces of ordinary chess plus a champion, a centaur and two earls and two viscounts.

The champion has the combined moves of a rook and a knight.

The centaur has the combined moves of a bishop and a knight.

Please consider that a knight is regarded as a 2,1 jumping piece.

The earl is a 3,1 jumping piece. An earl always remains on the same colour square as when it started.

The viscount is a 3,2 jumping piece.

Tree garden chess is based upon Carrera's chess, yet is very different to it due to the large area in the middle of the board which does not constitute a space for the game pieces. Tree garden chess is thought of as being played in a formal garden where the board has been paved in the ground around a tree, whilst not disrupting the tree and not being paved too close to the tree.

The game is played on a chequered board which has 84 squares.

Each side has a white square in the right hand corner.

The starting layout is as follows, using the following notation.

. empty white square
- empty black square

K white king
Q white queen
H white champion
E white centaur
R white rook
A white earl
V white viscount
B white bishop
N white knight
P white pawn

k black king
q black queen
h black champion
e black centaur
r black rook
a black earl
v black viscount
b black bishop
n black knight
p black pawn

-.-    .-.
.-.    -.-
-.-    .-.
.-.    -.-
Each queen starts upon her own colour of square.

= King = Queen
= Champion = Centaur
= Rook = Earl
= Vicount = Bishop
= Knight = Pawn

Pawns may move two squares at their first move as in ordinary chess.

Pieces which move diagonally may move through the internal corner points, for example the first move of a queen could be five squares diagonally, though that would be a foolish move as the queen could be taken by a black earl or a black viscount straightaway. Another example is that a pawn may take through the corner point.

Jumping pieces may jump with regard to just the relative positions of the starting and finishing squares.

The en passant rule is as for ordinary chess.

Castling is permitted by moving the king two steps towards the rook and then moving the rook to the square beyond the king.

Championing is permitted by moving the king two steps towards the champion and then moving the champion to the square beyond the king.

Centauring is permitted by moving the king two steps towards the centaur and then moving the centaur to the square beyond the king.

Castling, championing and centauring may take place, provided always that there are only empty spaces between the king and the other piece which participates in the move.

Each side may only use castling, championing or centauring once in any one game and provided that both the king and the participating piece have not moved previously during the game. Castling, championing and centauring may only take place if the king is not in check at the start of the process, does not pass across a square which is under attack and does not end upon a square which is under attack. If a king has been previously checked in a game, the fact of that king having been previously checked in the game does not prevent castling, championing or centauring taking place.

In game nomenclature, the following are used.

O - O      King's side castling
O - O - O  Queen's side castling
H - H      King's side championing
E - E - E  Queen's side centauring
Pawn promotion is to queen, champion, centaur, earl or viscount at the choice of the player.

A player wins by checkmating the opponent's king. A stalemate is a draw.

This game arose because I realized that 84 is 100 - 16 and that 100 and 16 are both squares of even numbers, thus making a symmetrical paved garden design around a tree a possibility.