The Chess Variant Pages




Mega-Chess

aka Recursive-Chess(1)

This is a game I've been thinking about for some time now. I finally decided to document it so I can stop thinking about it and move on...

Mega-Chess is a chess variant which uses pieces which are themselves games of chess. The Mega-Chess board is composed of 32 chess games (arrayed on the first two, and last two ranks), and 32 blank squares (ie. empty chess boards). For the purposes of terminology, we will call the board which is made up of 64 chess boards, the mega-board. The boards which make of the squares on the mega-board we will call mega-squares. And the pieces represented by chess games we will call mega-pieces (mega-Queens, mega-Kings, etc.).

Here is the layout of the mega-board:

         The Mega-Board
       (high-level view)

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|mr |mn |mb |mq |mk |mb |mn |mr | 8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|mp |mp |mp |mp |mp |mp |mp |mp | 7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|mP |mP |mP |mP |mP |mP |mP |mP | 2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|mR |mN |mB |mQ |mK |mB |mN |mR | 1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
  A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H

mR = white mega-Rook
mr = black mega-Rook
etc...
                             The Mega-Board
                            (detailed view)

+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|
|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|
|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|
|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|........| 8
|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|
|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|
|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|
|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|
+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|
|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|
|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|
|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|........| 7
|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|
|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|
|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|
|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|
+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        | 6
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        | 5
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        | 4
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        | 3
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
|        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|
|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|
|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|
|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|........| 2
|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|
|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|
|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|
|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|
+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|rnbqkbnr|
|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|pppppppp|
|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|
|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|........| 1
|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|
|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|........|
|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|PPPPPPPP|
|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|RNBQKBNR|
+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
    A        B        C        D        E        F        G        H

Turns

Each turn, a player makes a move on any eight of the chess boards. They must be eight different boards, and exactly eight moves must be made if possible. The chess pieces must stay on their own boards (eg. a piece on mega-square A1 may not move to a square on any other mega-square, except A1). The eight moves must be legal chess moves in the context of the chess game being played on the mega-square.

A player may, instead of making eight normal moves on the normal chess boards, chose to move a mega-piece.

While a game is being played, its corresponding mega-piece can be moved by the owning player, but it may not capture. A mega-piece in this state is called neutral.

When a player wins a game on one of the boards (ie. he puts his opponent's King in checkmate on that board), that board is no longer played on. If the board is the winning player's mega-piece, then the winning player can move and capture with that mega-piece. A mega-piece in this state is called armed.

If the player wins a game on a board that is the opponent's mega-piece, then that mega-piece is captured (ie. the mega-square becomes empty).

If a game is drawn or stalemated, then the corresponding mega-piece can still be moved by the owning player, but it may not capture. A mega-piece in this state is called disarmed.

If the player loses the game on his mega-King, he may no longer move his mega-King (but it is not removed from the mega-square). A mega-King in this state is called dethroned.

Mega-Pieces

An armed mega-piece cannot capture a neutral mega-piece, but may capture other armed, or disarmed mega-pieces. An armed mega-piece may give check to a mega-King, even if the mega-King is still neutral or has been disarmed or dethroned.

Neutral or disarmed mega-pieces do not give check.

If a player's mega-king is put in check while he is in check on one or more normal boards, then he must use his turn to remove the check on his mega-king, and he loses the games on all the boards where he remains in check.

Armed mega-pawns may promote to an armed mega-Queen, mega-Rook, mega-Bishop or mega-Knight. Neutral or disarmed mega-pawns cannot move to the last rank of the mega-board.

A player wins by checkmating (or stalemating) his opponent's mega-King.

Not Enough?

Recursive-Chess(0) is chess.

Recursive-Chess(1) is Mega-Chess.

Recursive-Chess(N) is like Mega-Chess, except each mega(N)-piece is a Recursive-Chess(N-1) game.

Moser-Chess is Recursive-Chess(2).

Aleph-Chess is Recursive-Chess(8).


Written by David Howe.
WWW page created: September 5, 2001.