The Chess Variant Pages



Metamorph Chess

by Fergus Duniho

Metamorph Chess is a Chess variant in which pieces transform by fixed rules into other pieces. The pieces used are the regular Chess pieces plus Marshalls(R+N) and Paladins(B+N).

Equipment

A regular 8x8 Chess board, all the regular Chess pieces, and Marshall and Paladin pieces.

Setup

The initial setup for Metamorph Chess is exactly the same as for regular Chess. So there is no need for a diagram.

Rules

Metamorph Chess is played like FIDE Chess with the following exceptions:

  • When a simple non-royal piece (Knight, Rook, or Bishop) is attacked, it may promote to a compound piece by moving to an empty square.
    • Knights promote to Queens [B+R].
    • Bishops promote to Paladins [B+N].
    • Rooks promote to Marshalls [R+N].

  • When a compound piece (Queen, Marshall, Paladin) captures a piece, it demotes to the simple piece it just moved as.
    • If it captured by moving diagonally, it demotes to a Bishop.
    • If it captured by moving orthogonally, it demotes to a Rook.
    • If it captured by jumping as a Knight, it demotes to a Knight.

  • Pawns may promote to Rook, Bishop, or Knight, but not to any compound piece.

Pieces


King
The King moves one space in any direction, but may not move into check. Kings do not transform into anything else. It is the object of Metamorph Chess to checkmate the King.

Knight
The Knight moves as the Knight in Chess, jumping in an L shape, two spaces forward and one to the side. When an attacked Knight makes a non-capturing move, it promotes to a Queen.

Rook
The Rook moves as the Rook in Chess, any number of spaces orthogonally. When an attacked Rook makes a non-capturing move, it promotes to a Marshall.

Bishop
The Bishop moves as the Bishop in Chess, any number of spaces diagonally. When an attacked Bishop makes a non-capturing move, it promotes to a Paladin.

Queen
The Queen moves as the Queen in Chess, any number of spaces in any single direction. When a Queen captures a piece, it demotes to the kind of piece it just moved as. If it captured by moving orthogonally, it demotes to a Rook. If it captured by moving diagonally, it demotes to a Bishop.

Marshall
The Marshall moves as a Rook or Knight. When a Marshall captures a piece, it demotes to the kind of piece it just moved as. If it captured by moving orthogonally, it demotes to a Rook. If it captured by jumping as a Knight, it demotes to a Knight.

Paladin
The Paladin moves as a Bishop or Knight. When a Paladin captures a piece, it demotes to the kind of piece it just moved as. If it captured by moving diagonally, it demotes to a Bishop. If it captured by jumping as a Knight, it demotes to a Knight.

Pawn
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.

Notation

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 promotes or demotes, follow the move with = and the abbreviation for the piece it changes into. For example, R a4 - d4 = M indicates that a Rook moved from a4 to d4 and promoted to a Marshall.

Play on Your Computer

If you have Zillions of Games, you may play Metamorph 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.

Download metamorphchess.zip



Written by Fergus Duniho
WWW Page Created: Tue Nov 09, 1999. Last Modified: Fri Mar 30, 2001.