The Chess Variant Pages




Kingdom Chess

Copyrighted 2005

 

Introduction

Kingdom Chess – A medieval game for modern times

Due to the increase in size of the board, from an 8X8 to a 10X10 chessboard, the effect of the pawn has been diminished somewhat. Another piece similar to the pawn was introduced having a similar yet distinct reversed role; nine subjects are placed in a third rank. The pawn is moved on the same file in a forward manner, capturing is done diagonally. The subject moves diagonally and captures on the same file in a forward manner.

A society without the free civilian and citizen is incomplete, this suggested addition increases the servants and subjects the King and Queen can rule over.

Board

The Kingdom Chessboard consists of a 10X10 grid of 100 similar squares alternating between the dark or ‘black’ squares and the light or ‘white’ squares. The players face each other and between them the Kingdom Chessboard is positioned such that the square in the right hand corner of each player is white.

Rules

Laws of Kingdom Chess

The following Rules cover over-the-board play of the new Chess game referred to in the text as ‘Kingdom Chess’. This English text is the original version of the Laws and Rules of Play of Kingdom Chess and any referral hereunder to ‘his’, ‘him’, ‘it’ and ‘he’ include ‘her’ and ‘she’.

Knowledge of the Laws and Rules of Play of the orthodox Chess game is necessary to understand the Kingdom Chess Laws. For better understanding and for clarity’s sake the Laws and Rules of Play of the orthodox Chess game have been incorporated and mentioned alongside the new Laws and Rules of Play of Kingdom Chess.

Article 1: The purpose and aims of the Kingdom Chess game.

1.1. Kingdom Chess is played between two opponents who play alternately at moving their pieces on the square ‘Kingdom Chessboard’. The first move of the game belongs to the player with the white pieces. Once a player has made his move, the opponent is said to ‘have the move’.
1.2. The principle objectives within the game of Kingdom Chess are:

To capture the opponent’s duke.

Consequently, to proceed and ‘attack’ the opponent’s King.

The latter is done in such a way as to prevent any legal move of this piece on the following move, the king is now considered ‘captured’. Once this situation has been achieved the player is said to have ‘checkmated the opponent’s king’ and thus wins the game. The player whose king is checkmated looses the game.

1.3. When the situation arises that checkmating by both opponents is not possible, the game is drawn.

Setup

The initial starting positions of the pieces on the Kingdom Chessboard are the following:

Black

a10 – r, a9 – p, a8 – s, b10 – n, b9 – p, b8 – s, c10 – b, c9 – p, c8 – s, d10 – ps, d9 – p, d8 – s, e10 – k, e9 – d, e8 – s, f10 – q, f9 – w, f8 – dr, g10 – pr, g9 – p, g8 – s, h10- b, h9 – p, h8 – s, i10 – n, i9 – p, i8 – s, j10 – r, j9 – p, j8 – s.

White

a3 – S, a2 – P, a1 – R, b3 – S, b2 – P, b1 – N, c3 – S, c2 – P, c1 – B, d3 – S, d2 – P, d1 – PS, e3 – S, e2 – D, e1 – K, f3 – DR, f2 – W, f1 – Q, g3 – S, g2 – P, g1 – PR, h3 – S, h2 – P, h1 – B, i3 – S, i2 – P, i1 – N, j3 – S, j2 – P, j1 – R.

Article 2: The original starting positions of the pieces on the Kingdom Chessboard.

2.1. The Kingdom Chessboard consists of a 10X10 grid of 100 similar squares alternating between the dark or ‘black’ squares and the light or ‘white’ squares. The players face each other and between them the Kingdom Chessboard is positioned such that the square in the right hand corner of each player is white.

 

2.2. When starting the game each side has 30 pieces. One opponent has 30 light-coloured pieces, which are referred to as the ‘white’ pieces, and the other opponent has 30 dark-coloured pieces, which are referred to as the ‘black’ pieces. The pieces are listed as follows:

One white king, indicated by the algebraic notation, K

One white queen, indicated by the algebraic notation, Q

One white prince, indicated by the algebraic notation, PR

One white princess, indicated by the algebraic notation, PS

One white duke, indicated by the algebraic notation, D

One white wizard, indicated by the algebraic notation, W

Two white rooks, indicated by the algebraic notation, R

Two white bishops, indicated by the algebraic notation, B

Two white knights, indicated by the algebraic notation, N

One white dragon, indicated by the algebraic notation, DR

Eight white pawns, indicated by the algebraic notation, P

Nine white subjects, indicated by the algebraic notation, S

One black king, indicated by the algebraic notation, k

One black queen, indicated by the algebraic notation, q

One black prince, indicated by the algebraic notation, pr

One black princess, indicated by the algebraic notation, ps

One black duke, indicated by the algebraic notation, d

One black wizard, indicated by the algebraic notation, w

Two black rooks, indicated by the algebraic notation, r

Two black bishops, indicated by the algebraic notation, b

Two black knights, indicated by the algebraic notation, n

One black dragon, indicated by the algebraic notation, dr

Eight black pawns, indicated by the algebraic notation, p

Nine black subjects, indicated by the algebraic notation, s 

 

2.4 The ten horizontal lines of squares are referred to as ‘ranks’. The ten vertical lines of squares are referred to as ‘files’. A ‘diagonal’ refers to the straight line of same coloured squares touching each other at the corners.

Pieces

Article 3: Moving the pieces.

3.1 A piece cannot be moved to a square occupied by another piece of the same colour. When the opponent’s piece moves to a square occupied by a piece of the other colour the latter is captured and, within that same move, is removed from the Kingdom Chessboard. The player’s pieces are attacked when the opponent’s piece moves to that same square making a capture according to the manner of movement as described in Articles 3.2 to 3.15.

 

3.2 The piece termed ‘the bishop’ moves to any square along any of two diagonals upon which it is standing.

 

 

3.3

The piece termed ‘the rook’ moves to any square on the rank or file upon which it is standing.

 

3.4

The piece termed ‘the prince’ may move to an adjoining square along the rank, and only forwards along the file or a diagonal on which it stands.

 

3.5

The piece termed ‘the princess’ may move to any square along the rank and only forwards along the file or a diagonal on which it stands.

 

3.6

The piece termed ‘the queen’ moves to any square along the rank, the file or any of the two diagonals upon which it is standing.

 

3.7

3.7.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.7.2

The piece termed ‘the duke’ can move in two different ways:

Moving to any adjoining square.

or

Moving for two squares along the file, the rank, or a diagonal on which it stands.

 

3.8

On moving, the bishop, rook, prince, princess, queen or duke may not ‘jump’ over any intervening piece or pieces.

 

3.9

The piece termed ‘the knight’ moves to the nearest square not on the same diagonals, rank or file on which it stands.

 

3.10.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.10.2

The piece termed ‘the wizard’ may be transferred to any square along any file, or any rank or any diagonal as long as this square is not occupied by any piece.

Once the opponent’s dragon is captured, the wizard can be transferred to occupied squares capturing any subject or any pawn within the ‘battle field’, which is considered to be the unoccupied area of squares on the Kingdom Chessboard at the beginning of the game before any piece has been moved. In algebraic notation the wizard can only capture subjects and pawns standing on ranks 4, 5, 6 and 7.

 

3.11.1

3.11.2

 

3.11.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.11.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.11.4.1.

 

3.11.4.2.

The piece termed ‘the pawn’ moves forward along the same file onto an unoccupied square right in front of it, or

For the first move this piece moves either as in (3.11.1); it may also advance along the same file for two squares provided these squares are vacant, or

This piece may move to a square capturing the opponent’s piece on a diagonal in front of it upon an adjacent file.

The ‘en passant’ capture can only occur when a player’s pawn attacks a square crossed by the opponent’s pawn following the initial two square move, the opponent’s pawn is thus captured as though it moved for only one square. This is termed as the en passant capture pawn to pawn.

Upon reaching the furthest rank, from its initial position, the pawn is exchanged, within the same move, for any piece of the same colour apart from another pawn, a subject or the king. The choice is not restricted to captured pieces. The exchange is termed ‘promotion’.

In the above case the effect is immediate.

In the case where a subject is promoted to a pawn the player must wait for the following move to promote the pawn into another piece.

 

3.12.1

 

3.12.2

3.12.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.12.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.12.5

The piece termed ‘the subject’ may move forward to the unoccupied square immediately diagonal of it onto the adjacent file, or

On the first move the subject may move as in (3.12.1); alternatively it may advance two squares along the same diagonal provided both squares are unoccupied, or

The subject moves to a square occupied by an opponent’s piece, which is right in front of it on the same file, thus capturing the opponent’s piece.

A subject attacking a square crossed by only an opponent’s subject which has advanced two squares in one move from the initial square, may capture the opponent’s subject as though the latter had been moved only one square along the diagonal. This is termed the en passant capture subject to subject.

Upon reaching the furthest rank from the initial position the subject is exchanged within the same move for a pawn of the same colour. This exchange is termed ‘promotion’. Upon the following move the pawn may be exchanged for any piece of the same colour apart from another pawn, a subject or the king. The choice is not restricted to captured pieces and the effect of this promotion is immediate.

 

3.13.1

 

3.13.2

3.13.3

 

The piece termed ‘the dragon’ may move forwards or backwards to the unoccupied square immediately diagonal to it on an adjacent file, or

The dragon may move to a square occupied by an opponent’s piece, which is immediately in front or behind on the same file thus capturing it, or

The dragon may move to a square occupied by an opponent’s piece, which is immediately to the left or the right on the same rank thus capturing it.

 

3.14.1

 

3.14.2.

 

3.14.3.

 

3.14.4.

3.14.4.1.

 

3.14.4.2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.14.5.

3.15.

The piece termed ‘the king’ cannot at first be captured or capture. Only after the duke of the same colour has been captured can the king be attacked, captured, placed ‘in check’ or ‘checkmated’. The king’s movements and powers depend upon the following:

During the initial stage of the game the dukes of both colours are not captured. Both opponent kings may move to any adjoining square, they both cannot be captured nor can they capture.

Once a duke has been captured, the king of the same colour may move to any adjoining square not attacked by one or more of the opponent’s pieces. Pieces are considered of attacking a square even if they cannot themselves be moved. The king may now move according to 3.14.4.1. The king of the uncaptured duke may move, attack and capture any adjoining square without being attacked.

Once both dukes of the same colour have been captured, the kings may move in two different ways, by

Moving to any adjoining square not attacked by any of the opponent’s pieces, the latter are considered of attacking a square even if they cannot themselves be moved.

‘Kingdom castling’. This is carried out as a single move and involves the king and a rook of the same colour upon the same rank. The king is transferred two squares towards the rook from its initial position and the rook is transferred to the square beside the king, which the king has just crossed. If a king has already moved or if a rook has already moved, then, castling is illegal. Kingdom castling cannot occur if any square involved in this process is either attacked by an opponent’s piece or pieces and when intervening pieces occupy these squares.

The king is considered to be ‘in check’ if it is attacked by an opponent’s piece or pieces, the opponent’s pieces can be considered ‘attacking’ even if these pieces cannot themselves be moved. It is not obligatory to declare a check.

Leaving the king exposed in check, or exposing the king to check, is considered to be an illegal move and no piece can perform this.

 

Notes

The Dragon

The dragon is another servant of the new game. Together with the wizard, the dragon piece is placed on the queen’s file and unlike the wizard within the subjects’ rank. This piece moves similarly to the subject and belches forth fire in a cross like manner, capturing any piece daring to occupy the squares in front, behind or by the side of it. The dragon is closely associated to the opponent’s wizard, once the former is captured the latter has its powers released. 

Due to the re-emerging fascination in modern culture of strange mystical creatures and demons, the dragon has been deemed useful and introduced into the Kingdom Chess game. One of the oldest forms of myth, this creature is a terrible beast inspiring both awe and fear. Wouldn’t it be great to have a dragon on one’s side? In Christian literature the dragon is associated with the devil, however, by no means does the inventor wish to intend that the devil is indeed needed on one’s side, far from this. This creature resembles much the dinosaurs of the ancient world and it would come by no surprise if the mythical dragon derives its origins from these. Therefore, appropriate such an ancient beast has been included within an old game such as chess, especially, when knights are galloping around.

The Wizard

The wizard is another addition to the newly modified chess game and redefines certain dynamics of the game, this piece has revolutionary new moves never used by any other. Standing on an unoccupied square it has the power to vanish and reappear anywhere on the chessboard. Capturing an opponent would seem no trouble at all, however, is this so? Unfortunately not, the reasons being the following:

  1. The power to capture is released only when the opponent’s dragon has been captured,
  2. The wizard can only capture subjects and pawns and can never capture royalty, nobility, knights, clergy or magical creatures such as the opponent’s wizard.
  3. It can only capture other pieces within ranks 4, 5, 6, and 7.

Although difficult to transfer, as the wizard can be captured by any other piece, it still can be used as desired and is especially useful;

  1. for capturing most subjects and pawns,
  2. when an opponent’s subject or pawn is aspiring to be promoted,
  3. when the king of the same colour is in check i.e. placing the wizard in an intervening position could block an attack and offer protection to the king. In the same manner it can also protect any other important piece such as the duke or the queen.

The wizard is mainly a medieval character, seemingly due to the age of the chess game, it was appropriate to be introduced and also offers novel moves adding much to the virtues of the game. Necessarily though, the rule that the wizard should not attack royalty, nobility, clergy, knights and other wizards was included this for the reason that, if otherwise, the game would end quickly and would diminish greatly the importance of most other pieces.

Immediately, after the opponent’s dragon has been captured, pawns and subjects readily succumb to the wizard’s capturing powers. Therefore the dragon has ulterior protective faculties over pawns and subjects in warding off the wizard’s influence. The wizard, possessed by the forces of good or of evil, obtains the supernatural power of invisibility, which is manifested on the chessboard by its random vanishing and reappearing.

The new version of the chess game cannot be referred to as a fantasy or fairy chess game as each character has its origins in the real world of today or of yesteryear. The wizard can be associated to the many augers and the other magic dabbling people who are consulted by modern day politicians, rulers and people of influence. It is the opinion of the inventor that if in need for spiritual enlightenment one would consult the bishop rather than the wizard.

The Prince and Princess

Within a kingdom the royal couple must one day be replaced by their offspring, so in a revised version of the chess game, it was proper for both these characters to make Kingdom Chess there home. Being a potential king or rather the son of a king and a ‘mummy’s boy’, the prince stands besides the queen. Never should he occupy the princess’s square, who like the queen, stands on her colour. Similar to the king the prince moves in the same slow manner of one square per move. Unlike the king this piece moves on the same rank, forwards never backwards. This piece can skillfully be used at protecting the king, however, once moving forwards a prince cannot return to his initial position.

The princess stands besides the king. She moves similarly to her mother, the queen, however, on the same rank horizontally and only forwards. Once moving forwards a princess cannot return to her initial position. This piece is especially useful at protecting the duke and king and could be used in a strategy attack on the opponent’s duke first seducing then capturing him.

The duke and his domineering effect on the King

A form of power struggle occurs between the king and a new piece termed the duke. The duke is given all administrative powers the king originally possessed and being the king’s new administrator stands on the king’s file in the second rank. A duke is present within many royal families and has now also found its place within the game. Just like royalty, the duke moves in any direction and has the added advantage over the king and prince of moving, if so desired, more than one square per move. Depending on the urgency of the matter and if deemed necessary as in making a quick escape, the duke captures and can be captured accordingly.

The most significant modification of the chess game and the single most important feature within the game is the following:

  1. Before the king is placed ‘in check’ or checkmated, the duke must be captured.
  2. As the duke must be first captured for the king to be placed ‘in check’, a new situation is created whereby the king would become indestructible. Theoretically, the king would be able to eat through enemy lines unharmed and unscathed, also in the process, placing the opponent’s king in check. This scenario was avoided or rather delayed by introducing a second rule:
  3. As all the kingdom’s administration is handed to the dukes, both kings start the game deprived of their capturing powers. When an opponent’s duke has been captured, the king (the captured duke’s king) can be checked or check mated, and the king of the uncaptured duke can at this stage resume his capturing powers and if so desires can start his relentless march.

Therefore, the game starts and proceeds in the following manner:

1) At the beginning of the game both white and black dukes are uncaptured, the kings can move but cannot as yet be captured. Both kings also cannot capture.

2)

a) When the white duke is captured the white king becomes vulnerable for checkmating. As the black duke is still uncaptured, the white king still cannot capture.

b) As the black duke is uncaptured and the white duke is captured, the black king becomes all-powerful and can, if so desires capture any white piece in his way. The black king might also place the white king in check.

3) A possible final stage could occur when the black duke is also captured. This causes both white and black kings to function as in the orthodox chess game and now both can capture, be placed in check and be checkmated.

Table

Situations

  2 uncaptured dukes white captured duke black captured duke  2 captured dukes
White King can move can move can move  can move
  cannot capture cannot capture can capture  can capture
  cannot be checked can be checked cannot be checked  can be checked
Black King can move can move can move  can move
  cannot capture can capture  cannot capture  can capture
  cannot be checked cannot be checked can be checked  can be checked

These new rules enhance, improve, and make the chess game a riskier, more challenging and definitely more strategic board game. Terror ‘fills’ the opponent’s heart when an enemy king advances relentlessly and unless of course his duke is captured in time, checkmate swiftly ensues.

The scenario mentioned above can change drastically when the advancing king’s duke is captured causing a winning side to be instantly ruined. A previously capturing king finds himself surrounded behind enemy lines and maybe even already checkmated.

The objectives of the game, which are identical to the orthodox chess game, now revolve around:

  1. The newly introduced dukes.
  2. Slow but powerful kings.

If from the start both kings where allowed to capture, then, they would immediately reach into enemy lines ending the game after a few moves, thus new rules had to be formulated. A delay in achieving the all-powerful status for the king enables all the other pieces to scatter well across the chessboard, and ensues that their original importance is not diminished in any manner.

Since the middle ages the king has been checkmated for thousands of times, the duke’s role of an administrator for a previously burdened king postpones the latter’s end giving the king more respite and capturing power. In a time when feminism was not yet born and a paternal family had kings to lead countries, it seems surprising how, whilst having such a fast wife to contend with, the king was originally attributed such slow moves. In this revised version of the chess game, the queen’s agility was not removed and the king was given his due, delayed and deserved authority. The game now truly progresses as though it were a real kingdom and can worthily be named Kingdom Chess.

Credits