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The Chess Variant Pages



This page is written by the game's inventor, Antoine Fourrière.

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Nicholas Kuschinski wrote on 2003-04-09 UTC
It seems extremely difficult to checkmate in the midgame! The pieces changing identities provides a relatively simple way to escape check, that is not embedded into the rules of ordinary chess: just move a piece of the type that is giving the check. The piece that was giving check can no longer attack the king, and that's the end of that. The only ways to get around this are to give check twice, with two different types of pieces, to capture all opposing pieces of the same type as the piece that is giving check, and to set up a situation such that even if the one piece changes, another piece of your army of the same kind will change in such a way so as to give check. All of these situations are extremely unlikely to come up at any time other than the late endgame, and makes most of the beginning and middle of the game more of a struggle over pieces, than a strategic game of chess. Also, it seems that you really need one pocket per side. Here's why: its an extremely powerful move to put a strong piece in the pocket early, and just keep it there until late in the game, blocking off the pocket for your opponent (so that all of his pieces are succeptible to flipping, and keeping him from using it for the fast deployment of pieces), and assuring that you will be able to strike back at your opponent near the end. Other possibilities for a player who has a piece in the pocket are using it temporarily to force moves from your opponent (by placing him in check, etc., which you have permitted) and gain a tactical advantage, only to send it back into the pocket as soon as your opponents moves are no longer forced. All this would be well and good, if it was harder to get into the pocket, but as the rules stand, white can get an immediate advantage by throwing his rook/bishop into the pocket on the first move. The best ways I can see of leveling things off a bit are to either add more pockets in general, establish a move limit, for how long a piece may remain in the pocket, making it harder to move pieces to and from the pocket, giving each player a pocket of his own, or removing the pocket and just playing wihtout it. Keeping things on exactly 43 squares is harder, and I'm really not sure how you would do that. This game is a nice try. As you read through the rules the first time around, it sounds like the greatest thing ever, but closer inspection reveals that it is (sadly) defective. Work on it: Someone clever enough to come up with a game like this should be able to think of some way to fix these problems.

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