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The Chess Variant Pages

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H. G. Muller wrote on 2020-06-02 UTC
files=10 ranks=10 promoZone=1 maxPromote=1 promoChoice=QNBR graphicsDir= whitePrefix=w blackPrefix=b graphicsType=png startShade=#20C040 symmetry=mirror pawn::FflarFfralF::a2-j2 forest ox::NmpafsmpacabK:knight:b1,i1 bishop::::c1,h1 rook::::a1,j1 valkyrie::QudQafudQ:queen:d1,g1 king::xK::e1,f1

Odin's Rune Chess

This is a variant with really wild pieces. This made it a challenge to get it right with XBetza notation in the Interactive Diagram. With the aid of the newly implemented 'unload' modifier, and extension of the meaning of 'x' to cases were no move (to induce) follows the x-marked leg (where it then borrows moves from the target, instead of inducing the specified one), it became possible.

The King has the simplest XBetza description of the unorthodox pieces: just xK to indicate it borrows moves from friend a K step away. The Pawn was straightforward, but gets a somewhat lengthy description, because both paths to the square two steps in front of it must be specifies separately (because they bend in opposite ways).

The XBetza description of the Valkyrie uses the 'unload' operator for the moves that displace a friendly piece. There are two differnt kinds of such moves: a plain swap, which is specified as a simple move that unloads at the start whet it captures at the end; the 'd' mode in udQ indicates friendly capture. (First-time use in a real variant!) Then there is a more complex move, that involves a third square. The diagram considers this a two-leg move with the unload square as intermediate. So you first have to click the square where the other piece is to end up, and then where the Valkyrie goes.

The Forest Ox is the worst of all. It combines a Knight move with a King-like rifle capture. XBetza cannot forge such different move types into a multi-leg move, so everything has to be reduced to a 'common denominator'. In this case everything is reduced to King steps, meaning that the initial Knight jump becomes two legs, where the intermediate square is made a don't-care w.r.t. the content of the square by allowing both moving and hopping. By using K as basic atom, each N square is reachable through two paths, but as neither is blockable that does not matter. After the first two legsfor the Knight jump, two more legs follow for the rifle capture, the first making the capture as a normal capture in any possible direction, the second one to move back (cabK). Because of this description, one has to click the locust victim first, before clicking the target square of the Forest Ox.

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