Brief DescriptionSmegi is my second submission to the 40 square Chess variant contest. It is played on a 5x8 board that is derived from the regular 7x8 Smess board. Pieces are the same as in Smess. The object is to checkmate the enemy Brain. As in Shogi, captured pieces change sides and may be dropped back on the board.
IntroductionShogi and the discontinued Parker Brothers game Smess® are as unalike as Chess variants get. Smess is a simple game for Children. Arrows on the squares show where pieces can move. There are only three kinds of pieces, and all that's required to win is to capture a certain piece. Shogi is so complicated that even Zillions of Games, which is very good at other Chess variants, cannot play it well. There are lots of different pieces in Shogi, and captured pieces can be dropped almost anywhere on the board.
Smegi combines elements of Smess and Shogi in a game that is more sophisticated than Smess but less sophisticated than Shogi. The board and the game pieces come from Smess. Smess is normally played on a 7x8 board. By removing two files from the Smess board, I made a 40 square board for Smegi. The files I removed were the b and f files. I also switched the a and g files to keep the board checkered.
Board and PiecesSmegi is played on a 5x7 board derived from a 7x8 Smess board. This board has arrows on each square. The arrows on a square indicate which directions a piece may move from that square. Ninnies and Brains move one space at a time, and Numskulls move in a straight line any number of spaces. The object is to checkmate the Brain.
|The Brain moves one space in any direction the arrows point. It may not move into check.
|The Ninny moves one space in any direction the arrows point.
|The Numskull moves in a straight line any distance in any direction the arrows on its starting square point. The Numskull moves like a Queen except that the arrows determine which directions it can move.
The pieces are colored Blue and Red. The setup goes like this:
- Brain c1; Numskull b1, d1; Ninny a2, b2, c2, d2, e2
- Brain c8; Numskull b8, d8; Ninny a7, b7, c7, d7, e7
PlayBlue moves first. Each player moves one piece at a time, as in Chess. When a player captures a piece, the captured piece changes sides and belongs to the player who captured it. On any subsequent turn, a player may drop a captured piece onto the board. This counts as a move and is done instead of moving a piece already on the board. A player may drop a captured piece only on a square which is defended by one of his pieces. A defended square is one which a piece already on the board could move to.
ObjectA player wins by checkmating the enemy Brain. Stalemate results in a draw.
Equipment and LogisticsI'm not going to recommend cutting up a Smess board for playing the game. Look at my Smegi Photographs for one way to put together a Smegi board.
I have also prepared some image files you can print out and use as a board. There is a color image for color printers and a greyscale image for black and white printers. I recommend loading the image into a graphics program, such as Ultimate Paint, and printing it out with a "Stretch to Fit" option, or its equivalent, selected. This will rescale the image to cover most of the space on a sheet of paper.
- Color Board at 150%
- Color Board at 200%
- Color Board at 300%
- Black and White Board at 150%
- Black and White Board at 200%
- Black and White Board at 300%
If you have a Smess set, you can use the pieces from that. Otherwise, you might use Pawns for Ninnies, Rooks for Numskulls, and Kings for Brains. If you use Smess or Chess pieces, you should have extra pieces available. When a player captures a piece, you will need to switch it with the same piece of your own color.
Another possibility is to use reversible pieces, such as cardboard Shogi style pieces. These could be reversible by the shape alone, as Shogi pieces are, or have Blue and Red images on alternate sides.
Playing on the ComputerI have developed this game by writing a file which lets Zillions of Games play it. You can download this file from