The Chess Variant Pages

DRAGONS, ARCHERS, & OXEN

(v. 1.3, 10/30/98)

Dragons, Archers, & Oxen was first developed in early 1998 by science fiction author Jim Aikin, and has been refined through suggestions from several friends. The rules below have been revised in a number of ways since they were first posted. They are still in a state of flux, however. It's even possible to consider Dragons, Archers, & Oxen a scalable variant. You can play it using only the standard chess pieces plus the dragons, or standard pieces plus dragons and gates. Of course, in that case the name would have to be changed.

BOARD & OBJECT OF GAME
PIECES
INITIAL SETUP
MOVEMENT OF PIECES
PAWN
LANCER
KNIGHT
BISHOP
KING, QUEEN, ROOK
CASTLING
DRAGON
OX
ARCHER
FOOL
TRANSPORTER


BOARD & OBJECT OF GAME

Dragons, Archers, & Oxen (DAO) is played on a 10x10 board of squares. The object of the game and manner of play are identical to FIDE chess, and the rules of the latter apply except as noted below. A stalemate is a draw.

PIECES

Each player begins the game with 27 pieces: a king (K), a queen (Q), two dragons (D), two rooks (R), two knights (N), two bishops (B), two archers (A), two oxen (O), a fool (F), two gates (G), four lancers (L), and six pawns (P). The lancers are more powerful members of the pawn class, and certain rules that apply to pawns (notably pawn promotion and en passant capture) also apply to lancers. Because it seems sexist to refer to the DAO pieces as "men," in these rules the word "piece" generally means "piece, lancer, or pawn." It also, from time to time, means "any piece (or pawn) except the gates."

In a certain sense, even though the two gates move independently, they constitute only a single piece called the transporter. The gates are unique in that they can occupy the same square as another piece.

INITIAL SETUP

At the beginning of the game, each player has 10 pieces positioned behind a row of four lancers and six pawns. The gates are at the outer ends of the rear row, and the dragons are positioned on the gates. Between the dragons, the setup of pieces is identical to the setup in FIDE chess, as shown in Figure 1. The lancers are positioned in the pawn row, in front of the knights and bishops.

The board has white squares at each player's right-hand corner, and the player with the white pieces has his or her king to the right of the queen, so it's the king that is positioned on its color at the beginning of the game, not the queen.

PIECES ENTERING PLAY FROM THE RESERVE. At the beginning of the game, the archers, oxen, and fool are held in reserve. They are placed in play as follows: In any turn, instead of moving a piece that is already on the board, a player may "drop" a piece from the reserve onto one of his or her vacant gates. A piece may not be dropped onto a gate if it will give check to the enemy king (but it can be dropped onto a gate so that an archer behind the gate gives check to the enemy king).

For reference: A drop is not considered a move by the piece, and so has no effect on the dragon's movement ability, as explained below. Also, a drop is not considered a "null move"; thus an enemy piece on the gate cannot be captured by a drop. For the drop to take place, the gate must be vacant, as already noted.

FIGURE 1: The initial setup in DAO.

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+        RESERVE:
|d*g|*r*|*n*|*b*|*q*|*k*|*b*|*n*|*r*|d*g| 10
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|*p*|*p*|*l*|*l*|*p*|*p*|*l*|*l*|*p*|*p*|  9     AAOOF
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
| P | P | L | L | P | P | L | L | P | P |  2     AAOOF
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|D/G| R | N | B | Q | K | B | N | R |D/G|  1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

  a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j

MOVEMENT OF PIECES

PAWN. The pawn moves and captures much as in standard chess, but with some enhancements. When starting from its initial position on the second row, the pawn can move one, two, or three squares forward in a single move, so as to reach the center. Starting from a square on the third row (row 8 for black), it can move one or two squares forward -- again, so that it can reach the center of the board quickly.

Due to an ox-push or a fool-swap (see below) or by moving through the transporter, a pawn can arrive on the first rank, even though it can't move backward. Starting from the first rank, it can move one or two squares forward. When positioned on the first, second, or third rank, a pawn is always allowed to make a forward move of more than one square, even if it has made a multi-square advance earlier in the game. Starting from a rank more advanced than the fourth, a pawn can only advance by a single square per move.

A pawn can also move a single square sideways. Like the forward move, this is a non-capturing move. The pawn always captures by moving exactly one square diagonally forward, as in FIDE chess.

A pawn can be captured en passant by another pawn immediately following any multi-square move in which it passes over a square on which it could have been captured by the other pawn if it had stopped on that square. For details on the en passant capture of a pawn using the transporter, see the last section of this document.

Pawns promote on reaching the last rank. A pawn can't promote to become a king, but it can be promoted to become any other piece, including a third (fourth, etc.) gate. Promotion is not limited to pieces that have been removed from the board earlier in the game, except for the fool. A player can have only one fool on the board at a time. (One fool is entirely enough, thank you.)


LANCER. The lancer can always make a non-capturing move of one or two squares forward, one or two squares sideways, or one or two squares on its forward diagonal. When starting from a square on the player's second rank, the lancer can move three squares directly forward (but not three squares on the forward diagonals). The lancer captures by moving one or two squares on its forward diagonals -- see Figure 2. When moving or capturing with a two-square move, the lancer does pass across the intervening square, which must be vacant.

A lancer can be captured en passant by a pawn or another lancer, if in its multi-square move it passes across a square on which it could have been captured by the other pawn or lancer if it had stopped there. The en passant capture of a lancer is allowed on any multi-square lancer move -- forward, sideways, or diagonal; see Figure 3.

A lancer can capture a pawn en passant. On reaching the enemy's home rank, a lancer promotes exactly as a pawn does.

FIGURE 2: The lancer's move. Squares to which it can move but on which it can't capture are marked "m". Squares where it can either move or capture are marked "m/c". The three-square advance to the square marked "!M!" is only allowed when the lancer is starting from the second rank, as shown.

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |!M!|   |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |m/c|   | m |   |m/c|   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |m/c| m |m/c|   |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   | m | m | L | m | m |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

FIGURE 3: The lancer can be captured en passant whenever it passes across a square on which it could have been captured by an enemy pawn or lancer if it had stopped there. Here the black pawn on e3 can capture the white lancer on c2 if the lancer moves two squares sideways to e2; the en passant capture is to the d2 square. The white lancer can be captured en passant by the black lancer on d5 if it moves forward three squares to c5, or if it captures the black rook at a4. The former capture occurs on c4, the latter on b3.

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  10
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  9
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |*l*|   |   |   |   |   |   |  5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|*r*|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |*p*|   |   |   |   |   |  3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   | L |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

  a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j

KNIGHT. The knight is a more powerful piece than in traditional chess, probably more powerful than the bishop. In addition to jumping in the usual L shape (one square straight followed by one diagonally), it can jump over an extra square straight before angling, forming what might be called a "large knight's move" or "long L," such as from a1 to b4 or d2. The squares that a knight can reach from the center of an empty board are shown in Figure 4.

Strategy Note: The added power of the knight has an impact on the opening. A white knight on g3, for instance, both protects a pawn at f5 and attacks the opposing pawn at f6.

FIGURE 4: The knight's move. Starting on the square marked 'N', the knight can reach any of the squares marked 'x', irrespective of the presence of intervening pieces.

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   | x |   | x |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   | x |   | x |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   | x | x |   |   |   | x | x |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   | N |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   | x | x |   |   |   | x | x |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   | x |   | x |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   | x |   | x |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

BISHOP. The bishop moves on the diagonals, as in FIDE chess. Note, however, that there are three circumstances in DAO -- the ox-push, the fool-swap, and use of the transporter -- that can cause a bishop to shift from the white squares to the black or vice-versa. The ability of two bishops to support one another on a single diagonal may prove to enhance the value of the bishop very slightly.

KING, QUEEN, ROOK. The king, queen, and rook move and capture exactly as in normal chess.

CASTLING. When the king castles with the king's rook, it moves two squares toward the rook and the rook hops over it, just as in FIDE chess. When castling with the queen's rook, the king moves three squares and the rook only two, so that the after-castling positions of a kingside castle and a queenside castle are symmetrical with respect to one another. The limitations on castling found in FIDE chess apply in DAO. The presence of a piece on the end square, beyond the rook, is not a bar to castling.

Castling can occur when either a friendly or enemy gate is on a square that the king or rook moves from, across, or onto, but neither the king nor the rook can make use of a gate during the castling move. If an enemy gate is on a square that the king moves across or onto, castling is not allowed if that square is threatened by an enemy piece via the transporter. (Note: In case it isn't obvious, "friendly" means "belonging to the same piece set as the piece being referred to," either white or black as the case may be. "Enemy" is the opposite of "friendly.")


DRAGON. The dragon has no defined vector of movement of its own. Instead, it moves and captures in the same manner as the non-pawn/lancer, non-dragon, non-gate pieces moved most recently by the player and the opponent. For example, if I moved a rook last turn, and then my opponent moved a knight, my dragon can now move as if it were either a rook or a knight.

The dragon can never mimic the movement of a gate, lancer, or pawn. Nor can it mimic another dragon. When either player moves a pawn, lancer, gate, or dragon, the dragon retains the type of movement it acquired from the most recent previous non-P/L, non-D, non-G piece moved by that player. Consider the situation in which the pieces are moved in the order shown:

      WHITE       BLACK
1.    knight      bishop
2.    dragon      rook
3.    pawn        dragon
4.    queen       gate
5.    dragon

In move 2, the white dragon can move like either a knight or a bishop. In move 3, the black dragon can move like a rook (because that is the piece most recently moved by black) or like a knight (because that is the most recent non-dragon, non-pawn piece moved by white). The black dragon in move 3 does not inherit the ability to move like a bishop from the white dragon that was moved in move 2 (no matter whether the white dragon moved like a bishop or like a knight). Likewise, in move 5 the white dragon can move like a queen (or like the rook moved by black in move 2, which is irrelevant since the rook's move is a subset of the queen's move), but it can't move like a knight, because it doesn't inherit the knight-move capability from the black dragon moved in move 3.

The dragon inherits only the movement and capturing abilities and limitations of the piece it mimics, not the piece's other powers and limitations. Specifically, it can't be checked when able to mimic a king, and does not acquire the fool's immunity to capture. When imitating the move of an archer, the dragon is likewise limited in its movement by being unable to leap over an enemy lancer.

The dragon gets its movement ability from the actual piece moved, not from the class to which the piece belongs. If the particular piece that gave the dragon a particular movement ability is captured and removed from the board -- even if it was captured by the dragon itself -- the dragon loses that type of movement ability. At this point, its acquired movement ability does not revert to the previous piece moved by the player whose piece has just been lost; the dragon's movement ability is simply reduced in scope until the next time that player moves a piece. Thus there may be situations during the game, such as simple piece exchanges, in which the dragons are rendered immobile. For example:

1. Nf6     Bxf6
2. Pxf6

Since both of the captures take place on the same square, both white's and black's most recently moved pieces have been taken off the board, so the dragons have nothing to mimic. However, the dragon can make a "null move" (either capturing or non-capturing) from one gate to the other, even when it is otherwise immobile. A null move by another piece through the transporter is not "seen" by the dragon, and has no effect on the dragon's movement status.

In case it isn't obvious, a dragon can mimic the movement of a white-square bishop even when it is situated on a black square, and vice-versa. With respect to its effect on the dragons, castling is considered a rook move, not a king move (because in castling, the king does not use its normal move).

The dragon acquires its movement power at the moment when the conferring piece ends its move. This distinction becomes important, for instance, in the case of a "dragon pin" (see the strategy notes, below).

Strategy Notes: It's dangerous for the king to be on an open rank, file, or diagonal where it can be "seen" by an enemy dragon. The player whose king is in this situation can't move his or her queen and rooks or queen and bishops at all, no matter where they are on the board. This is called a "global pin" or "dragon pin." However, the dragon-pinned piece can still move if there will be no check at the end of its move; see Figure 5.

FIGURE 5: The black rook at c5 is dragon-pinned: It can't capture the white queen (at c2) because this move would put the black king in check from the white dragon. However, the rook can still move to e5, even though this gives the dragon the power to move like a rook, because at the end of the move the rook itself will be between the dragon and the king.

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  10
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  9
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |*k*|   |   |   |   |   |  6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |*r*|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   | D |   |   |   |   |   |  4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   | Q |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

  a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j

Before moving any piece, it's essential to check what power it will give to the enemy dragon. And pay close attention to whether one or more pieces being relied on for attack or protection has been globally pinned.

Note also that it's not possible to tell by examining the board what the dragons are capable of. You may not even be able to tell whether a given position is check, or checkmate, without consulting the game record.

REMOVING CHECK BY A DRAGON. If the white king is threatened with check by a black dragon due solely to the dragon's ability to mimic the piece most recently moved by white (the black player having most recently moved a different type of piece), to remove the check the white player need only move a different type of piece, so that the dragon no longer has the same power of movement. It's legal for the white king to move onto a square that is currently threatened by a black dragon, if the threat is due to a previous move of white's by another piece and will no longer exist when the king is white's most recently moved piece.

("White" and "black" can be reversed in the foregoing discussion.)


OX. The ox is an unusually muscular piece. It moves like a rook, but cannot capture when making this type of move. It captures like a sort of double-sided pawn, by moving exactly one square diagonally in any of the four directions. (These squares can be visualized as the "horns" of the ox.)

OX-PUSH. When moving vertically or horizontally, the ox has the power to "push" other pieces vertically or horizontally. It can push a contiguous line of one or more pieces (see Figure 6) in front of it, provided that the line contains no more than a single enemy piece. A push move must begin with the ox on a square adjacent to the first piece in the line to be pushed. The push can cross any number of squares, but comes to an end when the piece furthest from the ox in the line being pushed encounters another piece, or reaches the edge of the board.

When notating an ox push in the game record, the movement of the ox itself should be noted first, followed by a list of the new squares of the various pieces. For example:

Oa3(Pa4,Ra5)

If the push moves a piece so that it checks the enemy king, the check should be notated like this:

Oa3(Ra4+,Pa5)

An ox cannot push an enemy ox.

By analogy with the multi-square move made by the king in castling, an ox cannot push its own king through a square on which the king would be in check, even if the move ends with the king in safety. (Note that this is one of the situations in which it can be significant that the dragon acquires a new movement ability at the end of the other piece's move. An ox can push its king through a square on which it would be subject to capture by a dragon using the ox's capture move, unless the dragon already has the ability to move and capture like an ox due to a previous ox move, or can capture diagonally because it can currently mimic some other piece.) The ox is allowed to push an enemy piece in such a way that, from one of the squares traversed by the enemy piece, it would check the ox's king, as long as at the end of the push the enemy piece doesn't check the ox's king.

Pieces pushed by an ox are not considered to have "moved" for purposes of being mimicked by a dragon.

An ox can push an enemy dragon, provided that the dragon cannot currently move like an ox. (Again, the dragon acquires its movement ability at the moment when a piece ends its move. Thus it would only be able to move like an ox in this situation due to a preceding ox move.) If the dragon currently has the ox-move ability, it can't be pushed by an enemy ox.

An ox cannot push a gate. Pieces pushed by an ox can pass over a vacant gate as if it were an empty square, but cannot be pushed through the transporter. The gate itself is not affected by the push.

FIGURE 6: Some examples of ox pushes; all are shown horizontally with the push proceeding from left to right, but in play the push can be horizontal or vertical, and can move in either direction. Row (a) shows the position before the push, (b) the same set of pieces after the push. Here the push is stopped by the white rook (R); thus it's limited to one square. In (c), no push is allowed, because the line contains more than one enemy piece. The line of pieces in (d) can be pushed clear to the edge of the board (e), or the push can stop at any point before the edge is reached (f).

(a)
 _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |  O  | *b* |  P  |     |  R  |     |     |     |     | 
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

(b)
 _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |  O  | *b* |  P  |  R  |     |     |     |     | 
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

(c)
 _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |  O  | *p* |  Q  | *p* |     |     |     | 
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

(d)
 _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|  O  |  P  |  R  |  D  |  P  |     |     |     |     |     | 
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

(e)
 _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |  O  |  P  |  R  |  D  |  P  | 
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

(f)
 _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |  O  |  P  |  R  |  D  |  P  |     |     |     | 
|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

ARCHER. The archer does not always move as it captures, and its movement, like the pawn's, has a directional bias. When moving straight forward or on a forward diagonal, as shown in Figure 7, the archer must leap over at least one other piece. It can leap over a series of pieces if they are in an unbroken line, but cannot leap over a line of pieces that contains gaps. (An unoccupied gate is not considered a piece with respect to the archer's leap.) After its leap, it continues forward along the open file or diagonal exactly as a queen would. It can capture an enemy piece following a leap, but is not obliged to. The capture is made in the normal manner, by moving the archer onto the square of the captured piece.

The archer cannot leap over an enemy lancer. It can leap over one or more of its own lancers, however.

When moving laterally on a row, or retreating directly toward the player's rearmost rank along a file, the archer can move one or more unoccupied squares like a rook, but cannot leap and cannot capture. It cannot move along its rearward diagonals.

When jumping an unbroken row of pieces, the archer can capture an enemy piece in the middle of the row, or at the far end, as shown in Figure 8, but cannot capture a piece at the beginning of the row, because no jump would occur.

When situated on a friendly gate, the archer can make a null-move capture from one gate to the other without jumping. (For more on how the archer uses the transporter in a leaping move, see below.)

FIGURE 7: The archer at d5 can move to any of the squares marked with an 'x', or capture an enemy piece on any of these squares. It can move to any of the squares marked 'm', but cannot capture enemy pieces on these squares. It cannot capture the black queen (on c6) or the black ox (on f7).

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   | x |   |   |   |   |   |   | 10
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   | x |   |   |   | R |   |   | 9
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
| x |   |   | P |   |   | x |   |   |   | 8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   | x |   |   |   |*o*|   |   |   |   | 7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |*q*|   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
| m | m | m | A | m | m |*p*|   |   |   | 5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   | m |   |   |   |   |   |   | 4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   | m |   |   |   |   |   |   | 3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   | m |   |   |   |   |   |   | 2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   | m |   |   |   |   |   |   | 1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
  a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j

FIGURE 8: Here, the archer on f1 can capture any of the black pawns (*p*), but can't capture either of the black bishops (*b*). There is no leap before the first bishop, and the second could only be reached by leaping a broken line of pieces. The archer can't capture the black queen, because its line of fire is blocked by the black lancer on d3.

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 10
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |*b*|   |   |   |   | 9
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |*p*|   |   |   |   | 8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |*p*|   |   |   |   | 6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   | N |   |   |   |   | 5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |*q*|   |   |*p*|   |   |   |   | 4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |*l*|   |*b*|   |   |   |   | 3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   | A |   |   |   |   | 1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
  a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j

Strategy Notes: The archer is a very dangerous piece, but the danger is somewhat mitigated by its lack of maneuverability. It will become slightly less powerful in the endgame, as more unoccupied files and diagonals appear.

Watch out for attack by enemy archers. There are positions in which the archer's attack on the king can't be deflected. In general, the concept of pinning works in reverse where an archer is concerned. If an enemy archer is on an unobstructed forward line where it can "see" your king, interposing a piece between them (other than a lancer) would be illegal for you. A principal role of the lancer is to defend against archer attacks.


FOOL. Almost everything about the fool is peculiar. The fool can capture or be captured by an enemy piece only in restricted circumstances. The rest of the time, it just causes trouble. Even its move is strange.

The fool's move consists of a series of one or more "knight's moves" (chess knight, not DAO knight) in a single direction. Squares within this pattern must be vacant if the fool is to pass across them, but the intervening squares are leaped (as in the case of the knight's move) whether they are vacant or occupied.

If, while moving in this manner, the fool lands on a square at the edge of the board (on the a or j file or the 1st or 10th rank) it can "rebound" in any of the directions that it could move if it were starting on that square. The fool is allowed only one rebound per move. It can even rebound back in the direction from which it came and end its move on the square from which it started. (This foolish move allows the player, in effect, to pass.) The fool's move is illustrated in Figure 9.

That's a foolish method of movement -- but wait, it gets worse. For the most part, the fool can never capture an enemy piece. The fool can capture an enemy piece only if the enemy piece is checking the fool's king. In this situation, if the square occupied by the checking piece is a square the fool could move to if it were vacant, the fool can make a "fool's capture." This suicide-capture (notated, for example, "FxBe7xF" in the game record) removes both the checking piece and the fool from the board. The fool can also suicide-capture an enemy piece that is giving an enemy dragon the power to check the fool's king.

The fool can be captured by the enemy king, by a dragon, or by a lancer, but not by any other piece.

FOOL-SWAP. The fool's move can end on (but not pass through) a square occupied by a friendly piece. In this "friendly capture," the fool swaps squares with the other piece: The swapped piece is moved to the square where the fool started its move, and the fool remains on the square formerly occupied by the other piece. The swap is indicated in the game record in this manner:

Fg4<->Rc2

FIGURE 9: The fool's move. Squares that it can reach without rebounding are marked "x", squares at the edge of the board from which it can rebound are marked "x!", and the squares that it can reach after a rebound are marked "r". Note that the fool does pass through the marked squares, so its move is blocked by a piece on any of these squares, such as the pawns at f3 and h8. The squares that the fool can't reach because its trajectory is blocked are marked "[x]" and "[r]". (Note that i6 can't be reached via a rebound from g10, because of the black pawn, but can be reached via a rebound from a10.) The white pawn's square is marked "x" because the fool can reach this square; in doing so, it swaps places with the pawn, which after the move is positioned on d4.

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
| x!|   |   |[r]|   |   | x!|   |   |   | 10
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   | r |   | r |[r]|   |   | r |   |  9
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   | x | r |   | r | x |   |*p*|   |   |  8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
| r |   |   |   |   |   | r |   |   | x!|  7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   | x |   | x |   |   | x | r |   |  6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   | x |   |   |   | x |   |   | r |   |  5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   | F |   |   |   |   |   |[r]|  4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   | x |   |   |   |xP |   | r |   |   |  3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   | x |   | x |   |   |[x]|   |   |  2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   | r |   |   |[x]|  1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

  a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j

The fool can swap squares with a pawn even when the fool's move begins on the enemy's home rank; "instant pawn promotion" can occur in this manner. However, the fool cannot swap places with its own king; that would be presumptuous (and would make checkmate very difficult, even if the swap didn't take place when the king was in check).

A piece that has swapped places with a fool is not deemed to have moved, and its change in position has no effect on the movement of the dragons.

Strategy Notes: The fool can be used as a movable block, to disrupt the enemy's lines of attack and defense. It can also be used to swap a piece into an attacking position that the piece could not otherwise reach, or to rescue a piece from attack. Worst of all, since the fool is quite likely still to be on the board in the endgame, it will make pawn promotion easier. The fool is a pest. You're probably well advised to capture your opponent's fool if the opportunity presents itself.

DRAGON MIMICKING OX, ARCHER, OR FOOL. If the dragon mimics a type of move that is not a capturing move for the piece being mimicked, the dragon can't capture using this move. Similarly, if the capturing move of an ox is being mimicked, the dragon must capture when making such a move.

When the dragon mimics an ox-push, the same powers and limitations apply that apply to a real ox-push, with one additional limitation: The dragon can never push a line of pieces that contains either an enemy ox or an enemy dragon (since the enemy dragon is, at that moment, also capable of mimicking an ox).

When the dragon mimics an archer, it is unable to leap over an enemy lancer.

When the dragon mimics the move of the fool, it can swap places with a friendly piece whose square it moves onto, just as the fool does. It can't capture an enemy piece when moving as a fool, unless it uses the fool's suicide-capture of a checking piece, in which case the dragon is removed from the board along with the captured piece, just as the fool would be. However, the dragon does not acquire the fool's immunity from capture.

It may be useful, in the game record, to indicate, as part of each dragon move, the piece the dragon is mimicking:

D(A)f5+

TRANSPORTER. The transporter is a dual piece consisting of two or more gates. (The idea is adapted from Christian Freeling, who called the piece a transmitter, and the two parts of it chakras.) The gates move independently. On a board with typical sculpted pieces, the gates should probably be represented by flat discs, like checkers.

A gate can move either like a bishop or like the standard chess knight (not the DAO knight). When using the knight-type move, a gate can leap over an intervening piece. When moving diagonally, it cannot leap a piece, but can slide across another gate, if the other gate is vacant. A gate can begin its move either on an unoccupied square or on a square already occupied by a piece, either friendly or enemy, but it must end the move on a vacant square. A gate move requires a separate turn, just like the move of any other piece.

Two gates can never occupy the same square. But another piece, friendly or enemy, can occupy the same square as a gate. If the square containing a gate is not occupied by another piece, the square is considered functionally empty: both friendly and enemy pieces can pass across it freely. (Unlike Freeling's chakras, the gates are not an impediment to the movement of enemy pieces.)

A gate cannot move if a dragon is sitting on it. Thus in the opening game layout, a given gate can't be moved until the dragon occupying the same square has moved.

The main purpose of the transporter is to provide an extra topological wrinkle in the board. It's a sort of secret passage from one gate square to the other. Only the pieces belonging to the same side as the transporter can make use of this special property; to enemy pieces, a gate is simply an empty square.

If both gates are vacant, a piece that has a multi-square move can begin its move in the region of one of its gate squares, arrive on that gate by its normal method of movement, pass through the transporter, and emerge from the other gate to continue the same move in the same direction. This basic usage of the transporter is shown in Figure 10, and is notated in the game record by indicating the gate that the piece enters, not the gate from which it exits:

R(Gg7)i4

FIGURE 10: Using the transporter. The queen on e1 can enter the gate on b4 and emerge from the gate on g7, continuing her move along the same trajectory (shown by dots). The rook on e7 can enter the gate on g7 and emerge from the other gate, traversing the squares indicated by "x". Each piece can also pass across the gate as if it were an ordinary square, as shown.

      a     b     c     d     e     f     g     h     i     j
    ___________________________________________________________
   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
10 |     |     |     |  .  |     |     |     |     |     |     | 10
   |_____|_____|_____|____.|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     |     |     |     |.    |     |     |     |     |     |
 9 |     |     |     |     |  .  |     |     |     |     |     |  9
   |_____|_____|_____|_____|____.|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     |     |     |     |     |.    |     |     |     |     |
 8 |     |     |     |     |     |  .  |     |     |     |     |  8
   |_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|____.|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     |     |     |     |     |     |.    |     |     |     |
 7 |     |     |     |     |  R  |  x  | xG. |  x  |  x  |  x  |  7
   |_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
 6 |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |  6
   |_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
 5 |  .  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |  5
   |____.|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     |.    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
 4 |     | x.G |  x  |  x  |  x  |  x  |  x  |  x  |  x  |  x  |  4
   |_____|____.|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     |     |.    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
 3 |     |     |  .  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |  3
   |_____|_____|____.|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     |     |     |.    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
 2 |     |     |     |  .  |     |     |     |     |     |     |  2
   |_____|_____|_____|____.|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     |     |     |     |.    |     |     |     |     |     |
 1 |     |     |     |     |  Q  |     |     |     |     |     |  1
   |_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

      a     b     c     d     e     f     g     h     i     j

When a piece makes use of the transporter to move from one square to another, the two gate squares are considered to be topologically the same square temporarily. They are not considered to be the same square when pieces are not moving; if a piece is located on one of its gates, the other gate square can be occupied by another piece. A piece on a gate blocks movement through the transporter, except when the blocking piece is an enemy piece and the move consists of capturing it. (However, if a pawn has been promoted to make a third gate, two of the gates can be used as a transporter when the third is occupied; and so on.)

A piece that ends its move on one friendly gate can be positioned, as a result of the move, on either that gate square or the other one, if the latter is vacant. A piece that begins its move on one gate square can make a move by departing from the other gate square, if desired -- again, provided the other gate square is vacant. Since the movement of the knight is always a leap, it can make use of the transporter only by beginning or ending its move on one of the gates.

The transporters can never be captured. They remain in play throughout the game.

If a pawn has been promoted to a gate, all of the three or more gates are considered to be part of the transporter. In all of the discussion in this section, if there are more than two gates on the board belonging to the same player, the phrase "the other gate" should be understood to mean "any other gate" or "all of the gates." If a player has more than two gates in play, a piece can conceivably pass through the transporter more than once in a single move, if they're situated properly.

A king situated on one of its own gates gives check to the enemy king if the enemy king is on the other gate, or on a square adjacent to the other gate. Likewise, one king can check the other if the enemy king is on one friendly gate and the player's own king is on a square adjacent to the other friendly gate. I suspect (though I haven't proved it) that it's even possible for one king to checkmate the other with the aid of no other pieces than three gates. (If you decide to work on this problem, don't forget that the other king will have two gates to use as well, since they can't be captured.)

The king cannot make use of its transporter if it is in check. The fool cannot use the transporter at all.

If a black piece is situated on one white gate, it can be captured by a white piece that moves onto the other (vacant) white gate. In this case the capturing piece must end its move on the square formerly occupied by the black piece; it can't make a capture on one gate while remaining physically on the other, but it can end its move on the formerly vacant gate and not capture the black piece if desired. If a white piece is on one white gate and a black piece is on the other white gate, the black piece can be captured simply by transferring the white piece to the other gate, in effect making a "null move" of a piece from one square to the "same" square. ("Black" and "white" can be reversed in this paragraph.)

Any piece except the fool can perform a null move from one gate to the other, and a null move does not have to be a capture. (Strategy Note: The main reason for making a non-capturing null move is to remove a piece from the first gate, either to avoid having it captured or to unblock the path of another piece. With respect to the subsequent movement ability of the piece itself, the null move has no effect.) Properly positioned gates allow a player to make a move in which a piece passes through the transporter and ends its move on the square where it began, as illustrated in Figure 11. In effect, this configuration allows the player to pass.

FIGURE 11: Here, the rook can use the transporter to make a move that both begins and ends on the same square. It can be considered to have moved either upward, in the trajectory f6-f7-f8-f9/f4-f5-f6, or downward; the result is the same. However, such a move must end. It's not possible to draw a game by passing through the same pair of gates an infinite number of times, so that the opponent never gets another move.

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  10
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   | G |   |   |   |   |  9
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   | R |   |   |   |   |  6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   | G |   |   |   |   |  4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

  a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j

PAWN THROUGH TRANSPORTER. A pawn that is entitled to a multi-square advance can advance through the transporter, and when doing so is entitled to advance by its full complement of squares, based on its starting position. For instance, if a pawn and gate are on b2, and the other gate is on h8, the pawn can advance to h10 and be promoted in a single move.

In order to use the transporter for capturing, a pawn must do one of three things: (a) make a null move from gate to gate; (b) move onto the first gate using its normal diagonal capturing move and then pass through the transporter to the second gate, capturing a piece on the second gate; or (c) start on the first gate, emerge from the second, and make a diagonal capturing move from that square (see Figure 12). A pawn cannot move onto a gate using a non- capturing move and emerge from the other gate in the same move to capture a piece situated there. The same limitation applies to the diagonal capture of the ox.

FIGURE 12: The white pawn on a2 can capture the black knight on the white gate at g8, by moving diagonally onto the gate at b3. The black pawn on the black gate at b8 can capture the white rook at i3 by passing through the transporter and then moving diagonally. The black pawn at b8 can also make a null-move capture of the white knight on the black gate at e4, but can't capture the white queen at f3, because the gate is blocked by the knight. The white pawn at b2 can't capture the knight at g8, because its move onto the b3 gate is of the non-capturing type.

      a     b     c     d     e     f     g     h     i     j
    ___________________________________________________________
   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
10 |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     | 10
   |_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
 9 |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |  9
   |_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     | *p* |     |     |     |     | *n* |     |     |     |
 8 |     | *g* |     |     |     |     |  G  |     |     |     |  8
   |_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
 7 |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |  7
   |_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
 6 |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |  6
   |_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
 5 |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |  5
   |_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     |     |     |     |  N  |     |     |     |     |     |
 4 |     |     |     |     | *g* |     |     | *g* |     |     |  4
   |_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
 3 |     |  G  |     |     |     |  Q  |     |     |  R  |     |  3
   |_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
 2 |  P  |  P  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |  2
   |_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
 1 |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |  1
   |_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

      a     b     c     d     e     f     g     h     i     j

If one gate is situated on the enemy's home rank, a pawn may enter the other gate and be promoted on passing through the transporter. If already situated on one gate, it can make a null move through the gate to a gate on the enemy's home rank. In this case, at the end of the move the newly promoted piece must be situated on the square on the enemy's home rank, not on the square occupied by the other gate. (Note that in this situation the pawn could not be promoted to a gate, because two gates can't occupy the same square.)

ARCHER THROUGH TRANSPORTER. The archer can pass through the transporter before making its forward leap, or after the leap, but not during the leap. It can leap over a piece on a friendly gate as if the gate were not there, but can't leap over a piece on a gate and through the transporter at the same time, because the gate is blocked by the piece. Likewise, it can't move into the transporter via a vacant gate and then leap a piece occupying the other gate. When making a non-leaping move, the archer uses the gates normally, just as a rook would. It can also make a null move (capturing or not).

PAWN CAPTURED EN PASSANT USING TRANSPORTER, OR AFTER A MOVE THAT PASSES THROUGH TRANSPORTER. The idea behind the en passant capture in FIDE chess is that because pawns are slow-plodding creatures, two pawns on adjacent files can never pass one another on their dreary march across the board without one or the other having an opportunity to capture its opposite number. The en passant capture ensures that this opportunity always exists, even when one pawn tries to duck out by using its two-square advance. This same idea is embodied in the rules of Dragons, Archers & Oxen -- but because the situations in which one pawn (or lancer) can deprive another of the opportunity to capture it are more varied, the rules covering en passant capture are necessarily more complex.

Whenever a pawn or lancer passes across a square on which it could be captured by another pawn or lancer, but does not stop there, the opposing pawn or lancer has the opportunity, on the next move only, to make an en passant capture by moving onto the square that the moving pawn passed over. That's an ordinary en passant capture. The second situation that can arise is if the moving pawn (or lancer -- all the rules in this section apply to both pieces) avoids even passing across (or landing on) a square where it could be captured by passing through the transporter instead. In this situation, an en passant capture is allowed, just as if the move had been made normally, in the absence of the transporter. The third situation is if the capturing pawn makes its en passant capture using its own transporter. This type of capture is also allowed.

An en passant capture can be made whether the capturing pawn is positioned near the departure gate or behind the arrival gate; see Figure 13.

FIGURE 13: If the white pawn at a2 makes a three-square forward move, it can be captured en passant by the black pawns on b4 and b5 whether or not it uses the transporter. It can also be captured en passant by the pawn on b6 if it makes a three-square move through the transporter, since in the absence of the transporter it would have ended its move on a5. However, if it makes a two- square move through the transporter, ending the move on g6, it cannot be captured en passant by the pawn on b6, since in the absence of the transporter its move would have ended on a4. If it makes a three-square move through the transporter, ending its move on g7, it can be captured en passant by the black pawn on h7, which will move diagonally onto g6.

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 10
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  9
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |*p*|   |   |  7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |*p*|   |   |   |   | G |   |   |   |  6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |*p*|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
| G |*p*|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
| P |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

  a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j

An en passant capture like the b6-a5 capture in Figure 13, in which the capturing pawn moves to a square that the moving pawn never actually crossed, is allowed only if the moving pawn could have entered or crossed that square in the absence of the transporter. Consider the situation in Figure 14, where no en passant capture is allowed because the moving pawn could not have advanced into a capturable position. In addition, a pawn cannot be captured en passant by an enemy pawn "upstream" of the gate from which it emerges; see Figure 15.

FIGURE 14: Here the black pawn on b5 cannot capture the white pawn en passant if the white pawn makes a multi-square advance through the transporter, because the white bishop on a3 would have prevented the multi- square advance in the absence of the transporter.

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 10
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  9
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   | G |   |   |   |  6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |*p*|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
| B |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|P/G|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

  a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j

FIGURE 15: If the pawn on a2 makes a multi-square advance through the transporter, ending its move on g4 or g5, it cannot be captured en passant by the black pawn on h6, even though in some sense it would have passed, in the absence of the transporter, through g3. The g3 square is considered "upstream" of the g4 gate with respect to the pawn's direction of movement, so no capture can be made on this square.

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 10
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  9
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
| G |   |   |   |   |   | G |*p*|   |   |  4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
| P |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

  a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j

Finally, let's look at the situation where a pawn making a multi-square advance passes across or along a file adjacent to an enemy gate. In this situation it can be captured en passant by an enemy pawn that could have used the gate to capture it if it had stopped on an appropriate square. This idea is illustrated in Figure 16. A bizarre but legal double usage of transporters for en passant capture is shown in Figure 17.

FIGURE 16: Here, black has four gates. If the white pawn on c2 makes a three- square advance, it can be captured en passant using a null move by the black pawn on the gate at h8, which ends the capture on c4, because the moving pawn could have been captured using the null move if it had advanced by only two squares. After the same three-square advance, it can also be captured en passant by the black pawn on c9, which moves diagonally onto the d8 gate and emerges on c4. If the pawn on f2 advances by two or three squares, it can be captured en passant by the black pawn on the h8 gate, which would end its capturing move on f3. However, the pawn on c9 could not capture the f2 pawn en passant, because it would have to make a double diagonal move to reach f3. (A lancer on c9 could capture the f2 pawn en passant in this manner.)

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 10
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |*p*|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  9
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |*g*|   |   |   |p*g|   |   |  8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |*g*|   |*g*|   |   |   |   |   |  4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   | P |   |   | P |   |   |   |   |  2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

  a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j

FIGURE 17: If the white pawn on c2 makes a three-square advance through the transporter, ending its move on f8, it can be captured en passant by the black pawn on g8 in either of two ways: directly, with a diagonal move to g7, or via the black transporter, with a diagonal move to c3. If the white pawn on d2 uses the d3 gate in a multi-square advance, for instance to c6, it can be captured en passant by the g8 pawn using a null move to d4 -- but if it makes only a single-square advance through the transporter, ending its move on c4 or f7, the null move en passant would not be possible (because in the absence of the transporter the d2 pawn would never have passed through d4). Finally, if the pawn on i2 makes a two- or three-square advance through the transporter, ending its move on c5 or c6, it can be captured en passant by the black pawn on g8, which uses the j5 gate to end its capturing move on i4.

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 10
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  9
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |p*g|   |   |   |  8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   | G |   |   |   |   |  7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |*g*|  5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   | G |*g*|   |   |   |   |   |   |  4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   | G |   |   |   |   | G |   |  3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   | P | P |   |   |   |   | P |   |  2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

  a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j

Written by Jim Aikin. "Dragons, Archers & Oxen" rules (c) 1998 by Jim Aikin. All rights reserved.

HTML conversion by David Howe.


WWW page created: November 4, 1998. This is a revision of a webpage, first published on April 7, 1998.