by Fergus Duniho
Fusion Chess is a Chess variant in which pieces may merge together or split apart. In some philosophical inquiries into personal identity, fusion is the process whereby two individuals merge together as a single individual, and fission is the process whereby a single individual divides into two people. Fusion Chess borrows these concepts of fusion and fission from personal identity theory and applies them to Chess pieces. Fusion and Fission Chess would be a more descriptive name, but I favor the shorter name Fusion Chess. Fusion is also one of my favorite forms of music, though that is incidental to the name. Fusion Chess also draws inspiration from Power Rangers and other Sentai shows where the heros merge their ships together into more powerful fighting machines, and it is related to my other game Sentai Chess, which is more closely based on this idea.
A regular 8x8 Chess board, all the regular Chess pieces, and other pieces for Marshalls, Paladins, Popes, Dragon Kings, and Eques Rexi.
Alternately, the game can be played entirely with regular Chess pieces, with pairs of simple pieces used for compound pieces. Doing it this way will make the combination and division of pieces much easier to handle, and it doesn't require anything but the regular equipment. At startup, replace the Queen with a Rook/Bishop pair. You'll need an extra Chess set for the extra Rook and Bishop.
The initial setup for Fusion Chess is exactly the same as for regular Chess. So there is no need for a diagram.
Fusion Chess is played like FIDE Chess with the following exceptions:
|The King moves one space in any direction, but may not move into check. The King is one
of four possible royal pieces which a player may have. A King may merge with a Bishop to form a Pope, with a Rook to form a Dragon King,
or with a Knight to form an Eques Rex. If any one of these pieces gets checkmated, you lose.
|The Pope moves as a King or Bishop, but may not move into check. The Pope is a royal piece and is formed when a King
merges with a neighboring Bishop. When the Pope is on the board, it is the player's only royal piece, and the game is lost if it is
checkmated. The Pope may split into its components by making a non-capturing move with one of them.
|The Dragon King moves as a King or Rook, but may not move into check. The Dragon King is a royal piece and is formed
when a King merges with a neighboring Rook. When the Dragon King is on the board, it is the player's only royal piece, and the game is
lost if it is checkmated. The Dragon King may split into its components by making a non-capturing move with one of them. The name for
this piece is borrowed from Shogi.
|The Eques Rex moves as a King or Knight, but may not move into check. The Eques Rex is a royal piece and is formed
when a King merges with a neighboring Knight. When the Eques Rex is on the board, it is the player's only royal piece, and the game is
lost if it is checkmated. The Eques Rex may split into its components by making a non-capturing move with one of them. The name is Latin
for Cavalier King.
|The Knight moves as the Knight in Chess, jumping in an L shape, two spaces forward and
one to the side. A Knight may merge with a Rook to form a Marshall or with a Bishop to form a Paladin.
|The Rook moves as the Rook in Chess, any number of spaces orthogonally. A Rook may merge
with a Knight to form a Marshall or with a Bishop to form a Queen.
|The Bishop moves as the Bishop in Chess, any number of spaces diagonally. A Bishop may
merge with a Knight to form a Paladin or with a Rook to form a Queen.
|The Queen moves as the Queen in Chess, any number of spaces in any single direction.
The Queen is a combination of Rook and Bishop. It may separate into its components by moving one of them to an empty space.
|The Marshall moves as a Rook or Knight. The Marshall is a combination of Rook and
Knight, and it may separate into its components by moving one of them to an empty space.
|The Paladin moves as a Bishop or Knight. The Paladin is a combination of Bishop
and Knight, and it may separate into its components by moving one of them to an empty space.
|The Pawn moves as the Pawn in Chess. It moves forward one space, but is allowed a double
move on its first move. A Pawn captures by moving one space diagonally forward. If a Pawn makes a double move to a space alongside an
enemy Pawn on its fifth rank, the enemy Pawn may capture it by en passant. Upon reaching the last rank, a Pawn may promote to a Rook,
Bishop, or Knight. It may not promote to a Queen, Marshall, or Paladin.
Use algebraic notation as you would for Chess. Use P to denote Paladin and M to denote Marshall. Denote Pawn moves without the use of any letter to identify it. When a piece merges with another piece, follow the move with = and the abbreviation for the new piece. For example, R a4 - d4 = M indicates that a Rook moved from a4 to d4 and merged with a Knight on d4 to form a Marshall. When a piece separates from a compound piece, identify the move as belonging to the piece which moves away from the compound piece. Follow its move with a semicolon and identify what piece is left behind. For example, R a4 - d4; a4 = N indicates that a Rook moved to d4, separated from a Marshall at a4, and left a Knight behind at a4.
If you have Zillions of Games, you may play Fusion Chess on your computer. In March 2001, the graphics and audio were updated. Pictured on your left is the new board used with Zillions. It was made from computer generated textures. In April 2001, the code was slightly optimized.
Written by Fergus Duniho
WWW Page Created: Tue Nov 09, 1999. Last Modified: Sat Apr 07, 2001.