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Turncoat Chess

Jon Leistiko and Frank Truelove invented a chess variant in the beginning of the 1990's.

Array and (most) play as orthochess. However, after each move a player rolls two 8-sided dice. (Eight-sided dice are available for use in most roleplaying games, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, et al.) The first die rolled indicates the file (A-H with the number rolled indicating a letter) and the second die rolled indicates the rank (1-8). If dice of differing colors are available, this is somewhat beneficial.

If the space is occupied, the piece changes color BUT ONLY if an appropriate piece (i.e., of the color to be changed TO) has already been captured. If a substitute is unavailable, the piece indicated does not change color.

Obviously, it isn't necessary to roll unless captures have already been made.

Play is quick (once the first capture is made) and it is good for both players to develop their pieces such that if they change color they won't give check to one's own king. In playtesting, I was suddenly back-rank mated by my own (turncoat) Queen.


Written by Frank Truelove, with small changes by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: January 8, 1997.