The Chess Variant Pages

UOS (Universal Origin Spiel)

By Jörg Knappen

Introduction

UOS was invented by Gerhard Loos from Dessau. My description is taken from Gerhard Josten's book Die Steine der Weisen, Edition BEYER, C. Bange Verlag, Hollfeld/Oberfranken 1992, ISBN 3-8044-1362-5 (in german).

The Board

The board of UOS consists of 113 squares rotated 45 degrees. 64 squares are black, 49 squares are white. One can play FIDE chess on this board using the black squares only.

   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\   
  /XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\
  \XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/    
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\
  /XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\       
  \XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/       
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\
  /XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\       
  \XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/       
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\
  /XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\       
  \XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/       
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\
  /XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\       
  \XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/       
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\
  /XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\       
  \XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/       
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\
  /XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\       
  \XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/       
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\
  /XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\/XX\       
  \XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/\XX/       
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/

Movement

UOS can be played with a set of usual chess pieces, however their moves are different according to the geometry of the new board.

The Rook moves and captures horizontally and vertically, moving over the corners of the squares. In addition it may move (but not capture) one square diagonally.

   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\
  /  \/  \/  \/ *\/  \/  \/  \/  \
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/ o\/ o\/  \/  \/  \/
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\
  / *\/ *\/ *\/ r\/ *\/ *\/ *\/ *\
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/ o\/ o\/  \/  \/  \/
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\
  /  \/  \/  \/ *\/  \/  \/  \/  \
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/
This Bishop moves and captures diagonally, moving over the edges of the squares. In addition it may move (but not capture) one square horizontally or vertically.
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\
  /  \/  \/ *\/ o\/ *\/  \/  \/  \
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/ *\/ *\/  \/  \/  \/
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\
  /  \/  \/ o\/ b\/ o\/  \/  \/  \
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/ *\/ *\/  \/  \/  \/
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\
  /  \/  \/ *\/ o\/ *\/  \/  \/  \
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/
The Queen and the Knight move as in FIDE Chess.

The King moves like a FIDE Queen initally, but looses mobility with the first few checks: After the first check it can move only up to 3 fields, after the second check up to 2 fields and from the third check on it moves like a FIDE King. There is -- obviously -- no castling in UOS.

The Pawns move one or two steps like a rook and capture a single step like a bishop. Pawns can move in any of the four directions and can make a double step any time, but they never promote. It is not mentioned, whether capturing en passant is possible or not.

   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\
  /  \/  \/  \/  \/ o\/  \/  \/  \
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/  \/ c\/ c\/  \/  \/
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\
  /  \/  \/ o\/ o\/ p\/ o\/ o\/  \
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/  \/ c\/ c\/  \/  \/
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\
  /  \/  \/  \/  \/ o\/  \/  \/  \
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/

Starting Setup

In the starting setup, each army occupies opposite corners like below. All pieces start on black squares.

   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\      
  / q\/ n\/  \/ p\/*P\/  \/*R\/*K\
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/ 
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\      
  / n\/ b\/ p\/  \/  \/*P\/*B\/*R\
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/ 
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\      
  /  \/ p\/  \/  \/  \/  \/*P\/  \
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/ 
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\      
  / p\/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/*P\
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/ 
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\      
  /*P\/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/ p\
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/ 
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\      
  /  \/*P\/  \/  \/  \/  \/ p\/  \
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\      
  /*P\/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/ p\
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/ 
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\      
  /  \/*P\/  \/  \/  \/  \/ p\/  \
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/ 
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\      
  /*N\/*B\/*P\/  \/  \/ p\/ b\/ r\
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/ 
   /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\      
  /*Q\/*N\/  \/*P\/ p\/  \/ r\/ k\
  \  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /\  /
   \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/  \/ 

Aim of the Game

Aim of the game is to checkmate the oppnents' king. No rules about stalemate and other kinds of draw are given, I suppose them to be identical to the FIDE rules.


Written by Jörg Knappen.
WWW page created: January 17th, 2002.