The Chess Variant Pages




Nachtmahr

Jörg Knappen

A Study Game with Seven Different Nightriders in It

Nachtmahr means Nightmare in English, but the English name is already given to another game.

The rules are the same as in FIDE Chess, with the following exeptions:

Pawns don't have an initial double step, because they start already on the third line. They promote to any of the seven Nightriders in the game.

Initial Setup and Pieces

There are eight pawns on the third line. They are here to block most of the nightriders from breaking out too early.

On file a

Straight, Wide Crooked Nightrider. The axis of development is given by the (0,2) jump. From d1 it can go to b2 and f2, d3, b4 and f4, d5, ... or to e3, f1, g3, h1 and to c3, b1, and a3. It controls the Knight and Dabbabah positions in its close surroundings making it a very powerful piece. Suggested funny notation: zNN.







 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:7:|   |:::|   |:7:|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::| 6 |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:5:|   |:::|   |:5:|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::| 4 |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:3:|   |:::|   |:3:|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::| 2 |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:1:|   |:::|   |:1:|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::|zNN|:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+







 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:3:|   |:1:|   |:1:|   |:3:|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::| 2 |:::|zNN|:::| 2 |:::| 4 |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

On file b

The Rose, (see piececlopedia). After each Knight's jump it turns 45 degree, always in the same direction. Funny notation: qNN.

On file c

Diagonal Narrow Crooked Nightrider. The axis of development is given by the (3,3)-jump. From c1 it can move to e2 or d3, f4, h5 or g6 ... Suggested funny notation is: ZdNN.







 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::| 3 |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::| 3 |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:2:|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::| 1 |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::| 1 |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |ZdN|   |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

On file d

The usual Nightrider (see Piececolpedia). Funny notation: NN.

On file e

The King. It has the usual moves, a FIDE King has, including castling with the corner pieces, if you really want to castle.

On file f

Diagonal Wide Crooked Nightrider. The axis of development is given by the (1,1)-jump. From e2 it can move to g1 or d4, f3, h2 or e5, g4, ... It controls the Ferz, Alfil and Knight positions in its close surroundings as well as (3,3) leaps and (0,3) leaps, making it a very powerful piece. Note that it cannot reach the corner thru an Alfil move, since the crooked pattern ends at the edge of the board. Suggested funny notation is: zdNN.







 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:7:|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:5:|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::|   |:3:|   |:::| 6 |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:1:|   |:::| 4 |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::|   |:::| 2 |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::|zdN|:::|   |:3:|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:1:|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

On file g

The Quintessence or essential Nightrider. The axis of development is given by the (3,1)-jump. The turning angle between the knight moves is the right angle. It has certainly a very unusual flavor. From a1 it can move to b3, d2, e4, g3, h5 and to c2, b4, d5, c7, e8. Around it, it controls the Knight and Camel positions. Suggested funny notation is: zeNN.







 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::| 5 |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::| 3 |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::| 1 |:::|   |:::|   |:4:|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:2:|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |zeN|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+







 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::| 5 |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:4:|   |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::| 3 |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:2:|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::| 1 |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |zeN|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

On file h

Straight Narrow Crooked Nightrider. The axis of development is given by the (0,4)-jump. From d1 it can go to c3 or e3, d5, c7 or e7, and to f2 and h1 and finally to b2. Suggested funny notation is ZNN (note the capital Z).







 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:3:|   |:3:|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::| 2 |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:1:|   |:1:|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |   |:1:|   |:::|   |:1:|   |:::|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:::|   |:::|ZNN|:::|   |:::| 2 |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

Notes

Nightrider and Rose are traditional pieces from fairy chess problems. Also four of the crooked nightriders are well known to problemists, called Spiralspringer in German and Cavalier spirale in French. Ralph Betza suggested a Crooked Nightrider in his article about the crooked bishop and discarded it immediately because of (ZNNZdNN) b1-e4 checkmate. Breaking down the Crooked Nightrider into its components makes it actually a playable piece.

The Quintessence is probably my own finding---at least I have not been able to dig out any references on it. It is very hard to see, but has become my personal favourite Nightrider. Some day I'll have to design a chess variant specially featuring it.

Are there other Roses?

I asked myself, if there are other roses by increasing the turning angle from 45 degrees. For 90 degrees, nothing new occurs. The 90-degree-rose is just a Quintessence restricted to 2 moves, which is a lame Wildebeest/Gnu. The 135-degree-Rose is a very powerful piece, covering all fields a KAND (King + Alfil + kNight + Dabbabah) covers with a rather low lameness. It may be useful in some chess variants, but I think a non-lame KAND is preferable because it is more transparent.

References

Ralph Betza: The Crooked Bishop and Revisting the Crooked Bishop.

Christian Poisson: http://www.multimania.com/cpoisson/problemesis/pieces.html (English and French).

Oliver Sacks: http://www.schachprobleme.de/chessml/xmpl/lexikon/pieces.html (in German).

Piececlopedia: Nightrider, Rose, Boyscout and Gnu.


Written by Jörg Knappen.
WWW page created: July 31st, 2002.