The Chess Variant Pages

Jikaida

Taken from A Sword for Kregen by Kenneth Bulmer; Appendix, pages 200-206.

The smallest form of Jikaida, known as Poron Jikaida, is here described. I should like to acknowledge the advice and interest of John Gollon of Geneva in preparation of these rules for publication. I must also thank my son for his enthusasm and expertise in playing Jikaida. He has helped to clarify game situations and contributed to the strategical shape of Poron Jikaida. As a matter of convenience the terminology of terrestrial chess is used when practical.

The board consists of six drins, arranged two by three, each drin containing thirty-six squares, arranged six by six. The dividing line between drins is called a front and is painted more heavily than the other lines to facilitate demarcation.

The squares are almost always either black and white or blue and yellow, although other colours are known. On Kregen red and green are seldom used. The players have a yellow square on the right of each first rank.

Blue is usually north and Yellow south. Each player has two drins before him, his home drins, and two wild drins in the center. From Yellow's point of view each drin is lettered A to F from left to right, and numbered one to six from south to north. Each drin has a name.

In Poron Jikaida the six drins are named and arranged:

Wersting Chavonth
Neemu Leem
Mortil Zhantil
By using the drin name followed by the coordinates any square is readily identifiable, and this system has been found to be quick, simple, and efficient.

It is possible to place artificial features on the board- rivers, hills, woods, etc. - by prior arrangement between the players. Most often these are not employed, Jikaida purists contending that they interfere with the orthodox developments and powers of pieces in combination on the open board.

The object of the game is to capture the opposing King. This piece is variously called Princess, Ailessa, Rokveil, and in Loh, Queen. When any piece is in a position enabling it to take the king, the player calls "Kaida." When the King cannot evade capture, "Hyrkaida." At any time he thinks he is in a winning position, a player may ask his opponent: "Do you bare the throat?" If his opponent does, he resigns.

Each player has thirty-six pieces, arrayed in his first three ranks. The pieces are: one King, one Pallan, two Kapts, two Chuktars, two Jiktars, two Hikdars, two Paktuns, twelve Deldars, and twelve Swods.

The King moves as in Terran chess. Notation: K

The Pallan moves as Terran Queen plus Knight and may pass from one drin to the next, once only, during his move. The Pallan has the power of taking any friendly piece except the King. Notation: P

The Kapt moves as Pallan, but may not take friendly pieces. When crossing drin front must continue in direction of travel. Notation: Ka

The Chuktar moves as Terran Queen. May cross drin front once per move continuing direction of travel. Notation: C

The Jiktar moves as Terran Rook. Must halt at drin front and cross on next move. Notation: J

The Hikdar moves as Terran Bishop. Must halt at drin front and cross on next move. Notation: H

The Paktun moves as Terran Knight. Notation: Pk

The Deldar moves and captures one or two squares in any direction, orthogonal or diagonal. A two-square move may not involve a change of direction and is not a leap. Notation: D

The Swod moves one square, straight forward or to the two forward diagonals and captures only on the forward diagonals. Notation: S

The Paktun may leap twice on his first move. The Deldar may move twice on his first move, being able to move one, two, three, or four squares, but changing direction only after the second square. The Swod may advance or capture one, two, or threesquares on his initial move.

In these initial moves of Paktun, Deldar, or Swod, and in the case of the two-square move of the Deldar under normal circumstances, the move of such a piece ends when he makes a capture. The Paktun, for example, cannot on his initial move leap and capture, then leap again.

After his initial move, the Swod moves and captures one square only.

In some areas of Kregen, Dray Prescot notes, players contend that the Deldar may only move and capture for a two-square move. Other areas allow a single square move without capture. These variations are considered interesting, and frustrating, as the piece's power cannot then extend to adjacent squares and would be limited to eight squares at a straight two square range diagonally and orthogonally.

The Paktun crosses drin fronts in the normal course of his move. The Jiktar, Hikdar, Deldar, and Swod must halt at a front and cross on the next move. If the Deldar's normal two-square move is halted by a front after one square, he must halt and wait until a subsequent move to cross. The Chuktar and Kapt may cross a front once only during their move and must continue on in the same line of travel. The Pallan also has this privelige; but also he may change direction at the front, (like light through the surface of water.) When a Pallan comes up to a front orthogonally he may continue straight on or take either of the two diagonals ahead. If the square adjoining the front is yellow on the hither side of the front, the diagonals he may follow will also be yellow. If the square is blue, the diagonals will be blue. If the Pallan comes up to a drin front diagonally, he may continue on the same diagonal or take either of the two orthogonals enclosing the diagonal. One of the orthogonals will always lie alongside the front. He cannot turn at right angles to his line of advance. The Paktun-leap of the Pallan is his move and cannot be taken as well as another move.

A move through an interior drin corner would allow the player to move into any one of the other three drins.

Unless halted by a piece in the way, the Jiktar and Hikdar may move the full distance of a drin up to the front. The Pallan, Kapt, and Chuktar, unless halted by a piece, may move the full distance of one drin and the full distance of the next. To cross a front, all pieces with the exception of those with trans-front movement and the Paktun must stand on a square adjacent to the front to cross.

There is no en pasant capture in Jikaida.

There is no castling as such in Jikaida, but a near-eqivalent is employed. If the King is not under attack and the square he will land on is not under attack, and if the King and the other piece involved are on their original squares (whether or not they have previously moved) once only during a game a player may switch the place of the King with that of a Kapt or a Chuktar. The King would then be moved to the of the Kapt or Chuktar, and the other piece moved to the King's square. It does not matter if there are, or are not, pieces in the way, nor if the intervening squares are under attack. This move is known as the King's Fluttember. Because of zeunting, this move is strategically less vital in Jikaida than castling is in chess, but nevertheless can be important tactically.

The use of drins and the power of pieces to vault make Jikaida unique. The Kregish word for vault is zeunt.

Any piece (some variations exclude the King) may move from one end of a straight unbroken line of pieces to the other end. The line may be diagonal or orthogonal and be of any length. The piece vaulting must stand on the square immediately adjacent to the end of the line, diagonally if a diagonal line and orthogonally if an orthogonal line, and may move along the line and come to earth on the immediately adjacent square at the far end. Exceptions will be noted below.

A line for vaulting must consist of three or more pieces.

The pieces in the line may be blue or yellow or a mixture.

If there is a break in a line the vauling piece must land there and finish his move. A piece may land on an opposing piece and capture anywhere along the line, providing he has already vaulted over at least three pieces, and he is not a Swod landing on an opposing Swod propt by a Deldar. (see below.)

Whenever a vaulting piece touches down, to capture an enemy, at the end of the line, or in a break, his move is ended.

The Pallan who may capture a friendly piece may do so in the normal course of a vault.

Any piece may vault across one or more drin fronts provoded the line to be vaulted extends unbroken across those fronts. Pieces which would normally have to halt at a drin front when moving do not have to do so when vaulting. However, if a piece moves to a square abutting on a front and the line to be vaulted begins on the other side of the front he must wait until the next or subsequent move to vault.

Vaulting instead of moving normally counts as the player's turn.

Swods vault forward orthogonally or diagonally only.

If a line to be vaulted ends at a drin front the piece vaulting may touch down in the adjacent square as noted, or capture, over the drin front.

It should be noted that a vault can change a Hikdar's colour.

In Poron Jikaida as usually played the Pallan is the only piece with the power of using the two other features of the vault. The Pallan may, in his turn, move legally as specified in the rules, to the end of a line and in the same turn vault. The Pallan may make one change of direction when vaulting, but must follow a continuous line of pieces three or more from one end to the other with a single bend in the line.

The Pallan may move Diagonally to the end of an orthogonal line and vault, and vice versa. The change of direction can follow any single bend in the line.

A player wins by either checkmating (Hyrkaida) or stalemating (tikaida) his opponent, or by baring his opponent's King, unless the opponent then immediately (on the move) bares player's King also, in which case the game is drawn.

If a Deldar stands next to a Swod of the same colour an opponent Swod cannot capture that Swod. Adjacency, to afford this protection, may be orthogonal or diagonal. In the Kregish, this protection is called propt. One Deldar may propt as many Swods as he is ajacent to.

Dray Prescot points out that the idea of a rank of Deldars standing against an advance of Swods, thus forcing heavier pieces into action, probably gave rise to the traditional challenge of the game: "Rank your Deldars!"

When a Swod reaches the last rank of the board he may promote to any rank, including Pallan but excepting King, regardless of the number of pieces of the chosen rank already on the board.

The initial array of Blue Pieces from Blue's point of view is: First rank, from left to right: Chuktar, Jiktar, Hikdar, Paktun, Paktun, Kapt, King, Pallan, Kapt, Hikdar, Jiktar, Chuktar. Second rank: twelve Deldars. Third rank: twelve Swods.

C J H Ka P K Ka Pk Pk H J C
D D D D D D D D D D D D
S S S S S S S S S S S S
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
S S S S S S S S S S S S
D D D D D D D D D D D D
C J H Pk Pk Ka P K Ka H J C

The initial array of Yellow oieces from Yellow's point of view is: First rank: from left to right: Chuktar, Jiktar, Hikdar, Paktun, Paktun, Kapt, Pallan, King, Kapt, Hikdar, Jiktar, Chuktar. Second rank: twelve Deldars. Third rank: twelve Swods.

Kings stand on squares of their own colour.

First move is by agreement; either colour may open the game.

Variations

Whatever rules or variations of rules are used, it is essential that players are aware of them and agree before play starts. It is particularily important that the rules governing vaulting should be completely agreed upon.

These variations are similar to differences in chess rules on Earth before advances in communication and transportation allowed standardization. Poron Jikaida is the smallest form of Jikaida. (Jikalla will form the subject of an appendix in a subsequent volume in the Saga of Dray Prescot.) There are other sizes of board and numbers of pieces employed. Great Jikaida is the largest. Many forms employ aerial cavalry.

Jikshiv Jikaida is played on a board six drins by four drins.

Hyrshiv Jikaida is played on a board three drins by four drins. The Lamdu version of Hyrshiv Jikaida employs ninety pieces a side.

In the larger games with more pieces the power of superior pieces increases with the additions, the Jiktar taking on the powers of the Chuktar for example. Some additional pieces are: the Hyrpaktun, who moves in an elongated Paktun's move, three squares instead of two before the sideways move. The Flutsman, who moves four spaces, diagonally or orthogonally, over intervening pieces, must touch down on an unoccupied square, and then move or capture one square orthogonally or diagonally. This simulates the flutsman's flight to his target and then the attack on foot. There are other aerial moves of similar character.

In some areas of Kregen the Hyrpaktun is allowed a single square move, like the King, to facilitate colour changing.

The Archer moves one square diagonally and then as a rook. The Crossbowman moves one square orthogonally and then as a bishop. Trans-drin restrictions with the missile pieces vary. Vaulting rules vary considerably and have been the subject of great controversy. With the larger games the Pallan has the power of more than one change of direction during a zeunt, and may come down off the vault and continue moving. Sometimes the Kapts have the power of moving to a vaulting line. The pieces of a knight-like leap may come down off the vault to one side or the other, as though continuing their leap. This confers a very great power to these pieces, as they would then cover the entire sides of the vaulting line from three pieces away.

Trans-drin restrictions also vary, as, for instance, the Kapt being allowed to change direction at a front, and the Jiktars and Hikdars being allowed trans-drin movement. The Pallan may be allowed to cross two drn fronts, and this is particularily important during diagonal moves near the center of the board or where fronts meet. On the larger boards increased freedom of movement has been found to be essential, but this is often restricted to the home and central drins, and does not extend to the opponent's home drins.

The powers of the Swods and Deldars also vary by agreement, and it is a pleasant game of to play Poron Jikaida with two ranks of Swods each. In Porondwa Jikaida there are two ranks of Deldars. The larger boards build on the basis of the Poron board, the additional drins of the Hyrshiv board are as follows: From Yellow's point of view: the right-hand home drin is Krulch. The drins above that are Prychan and Strigicaw. Blue's home drins are Boloth, Graint, and Dermiflon.

Boloth Graint Dermiflon
Wersting Chavonth Strigicaw
Neemu Leem Prychan
Mortil Zhantil Krulch

Prescot says an interesting variation developed in Vallia where the Swods were called Brumbytes and the Deldars were called Hakkodin; but he gives no details of the play, except a mention of the Brumbytes being initially arrayed in three ranks of eight, and provided they are on adjacent squares they are allowed to be moved three at a time. One assumes this pivelige ould end by at least the front of the opponent's home drins.

The above description is necessarily brief; but enough information has been given to enable the game to be played and enjoyed and some of the ramifications and developments to be explored. The construction of a board is a simple matter. It is suggested chess pieces are used where applicable, and the new pieces represented by model soldiers of a suitable scale and colour. It is possible that a range of figures from the Saga of Dray Prescot will soon be available.

Finally, it is left to me to say, on behalf of Dray Prescot, enjoy your Jikaida and-Rank your Deldars!

                    Alan Burt Akers.


Written by Alan Burt Akers. Text from Kenneth Bulmer's book: A Sword for Kregen. Web page created by Pete Smith. Web page posted by David Howe.
WWW page created: 12 Jul 2000. Last modified on: 16 Aug 2000.