This is a submission to the contest for a chess variant that takes 32 moves or less. I thought of this game while thinking of an old game that had nothing to do with chess, called Give & Take (published by Ideal in the early 80s, described on my website. The chess variant that followed had such an inevitability to it that it seemed as though someone should have invented it before now. But, since no one seems to have done so, here it is:
by J. Mark Thompson
Give & Take Chess is played with the standard board and equipment. There are two phases in a game: first the "Drop Phase", followed by the "Capture Phase."
At the start of the game the board is empty and the players have their armies in hand. A move during the Drop Phase consists of placing one of your pieces onto any vacant square, with a few restrictions:
When all of the pieces are on the board, the second phase begins.
During the Capture Phase, every move consists of capturing an enemy piece, using the usual capturing rules from chess. There is no en passant capture. Pawns that capture a piece on the last rank may promote to any piece of the same color -- even including a king, though a queen would always be a better choice.
The King is not royal in Give & Take Chess; during the Drop Phase it may (and must!) be dropped onto a square that is under attack, and during the Capture Phase it can be captured like any other piece, and the player may make moves that leave it in check.
The object is to leave your opponent with no legal moves, in either phase of the game. (I doubt that it is possible to win in the Capture Phase -- can anyone prove me wrong?)