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This page is written by the game's inventor, A.J. Winkelspecht.

Convergent Chess


This chess variant was somewhat inspired by one of my other variants called Mini Citadel Chess. Most of the pieces in this game are much weaker than their orthodox chess counterparts. Pawns are actually much more powerful, despite the fact that they cannot promote in this game. There are now two ways to give check in this game, and it is even possible for one King to checkmate the other. There is a Zillions of Games rules file available for anyone who would like to play this game.

Setup of the Board

This game is played on a 6x6 board with four additional squares, two on each side of the board. These extra squares are the royal squares and are occupied by the King and Queen at the start of the game. For the purposes of notation, the board will be considered an 8x8 board with 24 of the perimeter squares obscured.

White: Rook (R) b2, g2; Knight (N) c2, f2; Bishop (B) d2, e2; Queen (Q) d1; King (K) e1; Pawn (P) b3 - g3;

Black: Rook (R) b7, g7; Knight (N) c7, f7; Bishop (B) d7, e7; Queen (Q) d8; King (K) e8; Pawn (P) b6 - g6;

Rules of the Game

All rules of orthodox chess apply unless otherwise stated. The game is won by either checkmating or stalemating the enemy King. The enemy King can be placed in check by threatening it directly, or by occupying one of the enemy royal squares. Thus, a piece that can enter the starting square of the enemy King or Queen will give checkmate if not immediately captured. Pawns are not promoted upon reaching the other side of the board, but they may attempt to gain access to the royal squares.

Movement of the Pieces

Pawn: A Pawn moves one square diagonally forward, or it may move one square forward when not capturing. If a Pawn is in one of the corners of the board, it may make a non-capturing move to the side. Pawns do not promote upon reaching the last rank, and they cannot make a double step on their first move.

Knight: A Knight moves like an orthodox Knight.

Bishop: A Bishop moves like an orthodox Bishop, but only up to 3 squares away.

Rook: A Rook moves like an orthodox Rook, but only up to 3 squares away. It may not castle with the King.

Queen: A Queen may leap up to 2 squares in any direction.

King: A King moves like an orthodox King. The King cannot castle in this game.

Additional Notes

I tried to create a balance between the different methods of mating the enemy King. You can win the game by succesfully controlling an enemy royal square, but you can still win the game by directly mating the enemy King. The game is much more than a mere race to the other side of the board. A piece in a royal square only gives checkmate if it cannot be captured. Also, the lack of promotion gives a Pawn different motives for crossing the board.

Many of the changes I made to the game were an attempt to compensate for the 70% density of the opening setup. I felt it was especially important to give the pawns more mobility, in order to make the opening feel less cramped. I also wanted every Pawn to have access to the enemy royal squares. Pawn promotion just seemed unnecessary after these changes.

Although there is no promotion or castling, every piece can give check. A King cannot give check by directly attacking the enemy King, but it can give checkmate by moving safely into an enemy royal square.

Play It!

Use Zillions of Games to play this game! If you have Zillions of Games installed, you can download this game and play it.

Written by A.J. Winkelspecht.

This is an entry in the contest to design a chess variant on a board with 40 squares.

WWW page created: December 10, 1999.