Pocket Mutation Chess
Pocket Mutation Chess was invented in response
to a comment thread under Pocket Knight Chess. Each player has a
"pocket" to keep one piece in to drop on the board. A
piece put in the pocket may mutate into an equivalent value piece
if the owner desires.
The setup is identical to FIDE Chess.
Initially, players have the usual Chess army.
Other piece types may appear in the game as described under
Rules. The pieces are divided into eight value classes as follows
(pieces with no move description move as in FIDE Chess):
- Nightrider makes repeated
Knight moves in the same direction. Each destination
square except the last (which may contain an enemy piece)
must be empty.
- SuperBishop moves as a
Bishop or Wazir (one square orthogonally).
- Cardinal moves as a
Bishop or Knight.
- SuperRook moves as a Rook
or Ferz (one square diagonally).
- Chancellor moves as a
Rook or a Knight.
- CardinalRider moves as a
Bishop or Nightrider
- SuperCardinal moves as a
Bishop, Knight, or Wazir.
- ChancellorRider moves as
a Rook or Nightrider.
- SuperChancellor moves as
a Rook, Knight, or Ferz.
- SuperCardinalRider moves
as a Bishop, Nightrider, or Wazir.
- Amazon moves as a Queen
- SuperChancellorRider moves
as a Rook, Nightrider, or Ferz.
- AmazonRider moves as a
Queen or Nightrider.
Most of these pieces are known under other
names--I have used these names to simplify memorizing the pieces.
All FIDE Chess rules apply except as follows:
- Each player has a "pocket" in
which at most one piece may be kept. At the start of the
game, each player's pocket is empty.
- If a player's pocket is empty, the player may remove any of his pieces (except his King) from the board and put it in his pocket as a move. White may not use the pocket on the first move.
- If the piece put in the pocket was removed
from its owner's first through seventh ranks, it remains
the same value class, but may may optionally mutate into
a different piece of that class. This must be done
immediately upon putting the piece into the pocket.
- If the piece put into the pocket was
removed from its owner's eighth rank, it promotes to the
next higher value class (except the AmazonRider--there is
no higher value class). The exact piece promoted to is
chosen immediately. There is no other form of promotion
is this game: a pawn moved to the eight rank remains a
pawn until it is pocketed and promoted.
- If the player has a piece in his pocket,
he may drop that piece on any empty square as his move,
except he may not drop the piece on the eight rank.
- There is no castling in this game.
- A pawn on the first rank cannot take a
double step; a pawn on the second rank can take a double
step, whether it is on its original square, was dropped
on the second rank, or moved up from the first rank. En
passant applies as usual.
- The game is drawn if fifty consecutive
moves have elapsed without a capture or a promotion.
Pocket Mutation Chess could be played with a different lists
of pieces, or with different starting armies.
Don't get too caught up in using the pocket: while it is a
powerful tool for attack and defense, it is best used sparingly.
Make sure that the advantage you seek is worth the loss of a tempo.
Particularly, don't use the pocket just to mutate a piece--you
should also be aiming for a favorable drop.
Written by Mike Nelson.
WWW page created: March 1, 2003.